By: Connor Hanson – Staff Writer
Putting together one of its best seasons in recent history last year, the Dayton Flyers men’s basketball team will look to continue trending upward as the new season officially begins Friday. Ranked No. 1 in the Atlantic 10 for the preseason, with a handful of nationally televised games and intense conference matchups, this looks to be another action-packed season. Here’s a look through the Flyers 2015-16 schedule with some highlighted matchups.
Saturday, Nov. 7, 2 p.m.: Saginaw Valley State – Exhibition – Dayton
Friday, Nov. 13, 7 p.m.: Southeast Missouri State – Dayton
Tuesday Nov. 17, 1 p.m.: Alabama – Dayton
Saturday Nov. 21, 2 p.m.: William & Mary – Dayton
Dayton will find itself in the midst of a four-game home stand as it faces off against Alabama.
“It’s a great way to start off the season,” junior guard Kyle Davis said. “We usually have one game at home and then have a tournament, so this is a way for us to possibly gain some confidence before that.”
This game will be the second and last day of the ESPN college basketball tipoff marathon series. This will be one of 16 other games featured over the course of two days on the ESPN family of networks. Dayton is 2-1 against Alabama in team history: During their previous game in 2012, Dayton won 81-76.
AdvoCare Invitational: Orlando, Florida
Thursday Nov. 26, 9 p.m.: Iowa
Friday Nov. 27, TBA: Notre Dame/Monmouth
Saturday Nov. 29, TBA: TBD
Following its four-game home stint, Dayton will travel down to Orlando, where it will play in the AdvoCare Invitational. With the possibility of playing Iowa and Notre Dame right off the bat, Dayton is in a tough position because both teams have received votes for the preseason top 25 poll, with Notre Dame ranked at 18.
“It’s a good opportunity to play some really good competition. There’s some really good teams [that] are playing down there,” senior forward Bobby Wehrli said. “It’ll be a good test for us, and we’ll learn from whatever we get out of it.”
Saturday Dec. 5, 2 p.m.: North Florida – Dayton
Wednesday Dec. 9, 9 p.m.: Vanderbilt – Nashville, Tennessee
This will be Dayton’s third of six games broadcasted on an ESPN channel and the one and only true nonconference road game for the Flyers. This will be another one of Dayton’s bigger nonconference games this season, as Vanderbilt placed at 20 in the preseason top 25 and has two massive low post juniors coming back for another year to add to its two electric guards.
Saturday Dec. 12, 7 p.m.: Chattanooga – Dayton
Saturday Dec. 19, 7 p.m.: Furman – Dayton
Tuesday Dec. 22, 7 p.m.: Miami Ohio – Dayton
Wednesday Dec. 30, 9 p.m.: Arkansas – Dayton
Dayton’s game against Arkansas will be the last of its second four-game home stand and its nonconference season. The Flyers will look to come out of the gates strong as they found themselves traveling home with a loss last year against Arkansas. This game will be featured on the CBS Sports Network with UD taking on what looks to be a rebuilding Arkansas team that lost six of its top seven scorers a year ago.
Saturday Jan. 2, 2:30 p.m.: Duquesne – Pittsburgh
Dayton will open its conference play away against a Duquesne team that finished 12-19 last season. Dayton went 1-1 against Duquesne last year, winning at Dayton and losing in Pittsburgh at CONSOL Energy Center. This game will be an intriguing matchup as Duquesne is returning four of its starters but was predicted to finish 11th in the A-10 conference in the preseason poll.
Wednesday Jan. 6, 8 p.m.: Massachusetts – Dayton
Saturday Jan. 9, 2 p.m.: La Salle – Philadelphia
Tuesday Jan. 12, 8 p.m.: Davidson – Dayton
Dayton will get the chance to host Davidson at home this year after playing away and losing to Davidson a year ago. Davidson, who finished as the A-10 champion last year and received its first at-large bid for the NCAA tournament, placed third in the A-10 preseason polls with junior guard Jack Gibbs on the preseason first team list. Davidson returns four starters and 13 lettermen to a team that should pose no surprises in the A-10 compared to last year.
Friday Jan. 15, 7 p.m.: George Washington – Dayton
Tuesday Jan. 19, 7 p.m.: St. Bonaventure – Olean, New York
Sunday Jan, 24, 4 p.m.: Fordham – New York, New York
Wednesday Jan. 27, 7 p.m.: Saint Louis – Dayton
Saturday Jan. 30, 2 p.m.: La Salle – Dayton
La Salle ranks ninth in the A-10 preseason polls and features redshirt junior guard Jordan Price, who was featured on the A-10 first team. Price dropped 21 points on the Flyers last year as La Salle handed Dayton a loss in its very last regular season game.
Saturday Feb. 6, 6 p.m.: George Mason – Fairfax, Virginia
Tuesday Feb. 9, 7 p.m.: Duquesne – Dayton
Friday Feb. 12, 7 p.m.: Rhode Island – Kingston, Rhode Island
Last year, both teams found themselves tied for second in the A-10 conference, with Dayton going to the NCAA tournament and Rhode Island finding itself in the NIT. Rhode Island ranks just behind Dayton in this year’s preseason poll. The Rams will look to be another top contender in the A-10, returning with juniors E.C. Matthews and Hassan Martin, who also were named to the A-10 first team preseason rankings. This will be the first of two matchups versus Rhode Island, both featured on ESPN2.
Wednesday Feb. 17, 6 p.m.: Saint Joseph’s – Philadelphia
Saturday Feb. 20, 12 p.m.: St. Bonaventure – Dayton
Tuesday Feb. 23, 8 p.m.: Saint Louis – Saint Louis
Saturday Feb. 27, TBA: Rhode Island – Dayton
Playing Rhode Island for the second time in 15 days, this matchup could prove to be an intense one, as it may be the last opportunity for either team to jump up in its A-10 standings before the season is over. With one of these teams having a loss fresh in its memories in addition to the heavier implications on the season, this game has the possibility to be one of Dayton’s highly intense and must-watch matchups of the season.
Tuesday March 1, 7:30PM: Richmond – Richmond
Saturday March 5, 8PM: VCU – Dayton
Dayton will close its regular season against a team that cut off Dayton’s bid for an A-10 tournament championship a year ago. With VCU being another top five preseason ranked team, Dayton will have its work cut out ahead of them in hopes of ending the regular season on a high note.
“I think the league [A-10] is a lot better than last year,” head coach Archie Miller said. “There is about six potential NCAA tournament teams on paper.”
Now, we wait to see if Dayton can keep its undefeated home record from last year—and make another run into March.
Graphic by Art Director Kelsey Mills.