Dayton’s men’s basketball team goes 2-0 for an exciting beginning of the season

Photo by Keegan Gupta, director of digital media and photography.

Max Cross | Sports Editor

The hype surrounding the University of Dayton Men’s basketball team came to an apex when the Dayton Flyers were revealed in the first AP Top 25 Preseason Poll. The Flyers were placed at No. 24 and are ranked in the preseason for the first time since the beginning of the 2009-10 season, when they began the season ranked No. 21.

On Nov. 7, the Dayton Flyers opened the much anticipated 2022-23 season with a 73-46 victory against the Lindenwood Lions. The Lions transitioned into Division I earlier this year.

Mustapha Amzil led Dayton with 14 points off the bench. He also went 7 of 8 from the free throw line. Both DaRon Holmes II and R.J. Blakney each scored 13 points. 

Newcomer and true freshman Mike Sharavjamts made the first basket of the game with a three-pointer on the first possession, on his way to score 10 points and ignite an 8-0 run to open the game. 

Only three true freshmen have started the season opener for Dayton in the last 11 seasons: Jalen Robinson in 2012, DaRon Holmes II in 2021, and Sharavjamts in 2022. Sharavjamts also became the first player from Mongolia to suit up for a Division I team when he started for Dayton. 

Dayton never trailed in the game, and had its largest lead of the night at 34 with 3:54 to go in the second half. 

Kobe Elvis and Sharavjamts, both playing point guard, led Dayton in passing with five assists. 

Toumani Camara led Dayton in rebounds, totaling 11 to go along with six points. 

The Flyers shot 47% from the field and held the Lions to only 33%. However, Dayton struggled from three point range only shooting 26.3% from deep.

Following the game, Coach Anthony Grant said that Georgia transfer Tyrone Baker, one of two newcomers on the roster along with Sharavjamts, will redshirt this season. That decision now leaves UD with a total of seven players on scholarship along with Malachi Smith, Koby Brea, and Richard Amaefule injured, and Kaleb Washington suspended. Grant did not disclose a timetable for Washington’s return or the reason he was suspended. 

On Nov. 11, the Dayton Flyers, unveiled the new “Chapel Blue” uniforms for the game. They had a 15-3 run in the final five minutes to win 74-62 against the Southern Methodist Mustangs to move to 2-0 for the first time since the 2019-20 season. 

Mustapha Amzil and DaRon Holmes II each scored 20 points. The Flyers scored 45 points in the second half to avenge losses against SMU in the 2020-21 season. 

The Mustangs made it interesting to start the game, nailing an early three to go up 7-4. The Flyers responded with a 13-0 run to go up 17-7 with 13:06 remaining. Amzil contributed five points during the run. 

Dayton scored only seven points over the last 12 minutes in the first half but still managed to lead 29-24 at the break. The Flyers led 22-10 after Amzil sank two free throws with 12:00 left in the half and then went cold, going nearly eight minutes without a point until Holmes made a floater with 5:33 to play. 

Dayton had seven scholarship players see the court in the first half, however Brady Uhl did not see action after receiving limited minutes in the opener. Koby Brea, who was dressed in uniform, was seen during pregame warmups on the floor, but did not enter the game. 

The game soon got chippy in the second half, when true freshman Mike Sharavjamts received a technical foul for flopping after he fell taking a three point shot. 

Both teams continued to go back and forth throughout most of the second half, but it wasn’t until Mustapha Amzil drilled a contested 3-pointer with 2:12 to play that put Dayton up 66-62. The basket sent the sold out crowd of 13,407 at UD Arena into a frenzy. Amzil made 3 of 6 from deep and 7 of 7 free throws, including three in the final seconds to seal the win for the Flyers.

Dayton will travel to Las Vegas, Nev. on Tuesday Nov. 15 to play University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. PST and 11 p.m. EST. 

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