“At least we weren’t picked seventh like last year,” Rhoades said. “We’ll take it. It’s great for the program and the older guys, but we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.”
» PRESEASON HYPE: Dayton receives a vote in AP poll
VCU and Saint Louis, which won the A-10 tournament, represented the conference in the NCAA tournament in March. Dayton and Davidson played in the NIT.
McKillop, the longest-tenured coach in the league, enters his 31st season with the hopes of taking the Wildcats to the NCAA tournament for the third time in six A-10 seasons. He has the only team with two preseason first-team selections: senior guard Jon Axel Gudmundsson, the reining A-10 Player of the Year, and junior guard Kellan Grady, who combined to average 34.2 points per game.
McKillop expects a competitive conference race with Dayton and VCU.
“We all won 20-something games last year,” he said. “We all have a significant portion of our roster returning. But what’s exhilarating for me is there’s sort of a cheerleader in me because the better we are as a conference, the better opportunity we have in postseason play. That’s very refreshing.”
Season tickets: The University of Dayton turned back the clock to 1969 with the ticket design for the 2019-20 season opener.
Dayton Flyers men's basketball fans started receiving their season tickets in the mail this week. All the tickets feature photos of the arena from years past, but the tickets for the Nov. 9 game against Indiana State copy the design of the tickets issued for the first game at UD Arena: Dec. 6, 1969, vs. Bowling Green.
The 1969 tickets, which cost $3 if you were sitting in the upper level, celebrated the 65th season of Dayton basketball. The 2019 tickets celebrate the 50th year of UD Arena.
Recruiting: R.J. Blakney, a three-start 2020 recruit from Maryland, took an official visit to Dayton last weekend, according to Instagram posts from his mom, Dafne' Lee Blakney.
Blakney, a 6-foot-5 guard, was originally in the 2019 recruiting class but decided to attend prep school after graduating from St. Maria Goretti Catholic High School in Hagerstown, Md., and now attends the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Conn.
In August, Blakney wrote about his decision on Twitter: “This is the best thing for me and my family, and I can’t wait to get to work.”
Dayton offered Blakney a scholarship early this month, according to Team Thrill, a team he plays for in the Under Armour Association. Georgetown offered him a scholarship around the same time.
St. Bonaventure, St. Joseph’s, Nebraska, Towson, Hofstra, George Mason and Iona are among the other schools to offer Blakney a scholarship.