The Flyers will then play an 18-game A-10 schedule. Dayton was picked to finish second behind Virginia Commonwealth in the preseason poll.
“I think every team now from top to bottom is vastly improved,” Green said. “Every coach in this league is really good. The new coaches in the league have elevated it. It’s just continuing to get deeper and deeper. It really is going to come down to a lot of leadership and some veteran teams because there’s so much uncertainty. We’ve gone through a couple of quarantines. It’s hard.”
The Flyers finished 25-8 overall last season and 15-1 in the A-10, losing only to Fordham. Dayton has won the regular-season championship three times in Green’s tenure and the A-10 tournament twice.
Among the key returners for Dayton are:
• Redshirt senior guard/forward Erin Whalen, who averaged 12.2 points last season and was named to the all-conference preseason first team.
• Redshirt senior guard Araion Bradshaw (5.7 points per game), who was named to the preseason third team and the all-defensive team.
• Junior forward Kyla Whitehead (7.2), who was also named to the preseason third team.
• Redshirt senior guard Jenna Giacone, who was the team’s fifth-leading scorer (6.4).
Dayton’s roster also includes junior forward Amari Davidson, redshirt sophomore Maliya Perry, a transfer from Auburn who sat out last season, and sophomore forward Mariah Perez. Two redshirt freshmen who missed last season with knee injuries are back: guard Destiny Bohanon, a Wayne High School graduate; and forward Nadjy Tyler.
The freshman class includes guards Capria Brown, Makira Cook, Anna LeMaster and Bailee Adkins and 6-foot-5 center Tenin Magassa, who’s from France.
All the players will have to adapt to play games in front of small crowds. UD won’t be able to have more than 300 people at games through at least December.
“That’s a big difference for us when we normally get 3,000 fans,” Green said. “But at the end of the day, basketball is basketball. Fans aren’t making shots for you. Fans aren’t getting stops for you. It’s really hard to win basketball games. I don’t care if it’s on the road or at home. It’s hard. Everyone wants to play in front of fans, but you’ve still got to go play. We’ll get used to it fast.”
Araion Bradshaw, 5-6, Sr., G
Nadjy Tyler, 6-3, Fr., F
Makira Cook, 5-6, Fr., G
Capria Brown, 5-9, Fr. G
Kyla Whitehead, 6-2, Jr., F
Anna LeMasters, 5-9, Fr., G
Amari Davidson, 6-2, Jr., F
Jenna Giacone, 6-1, Sr., G
Bailee Adkins, 5-7, Fr., G
Erin Whalen, 6-1, Sr., F
Mariah Perez, 6-3, So., F
Maliyah Perry, 6-1, So., F
Destiny Bohanon, 5-10, Fr., G
Tenin Magassa, 6-5, Fr., C