By: Steve Miller – Sports Editor
Just one week out from the men’s basketball exhibition game Nov. 4 against Findlay, the best part of the Flyers sports year is upon us. And there are several big differences on the court for both the men’s and women’s teams from last year to this. Here’s what to look out for:
New uniforms unveiled at the men’s team’s media day Oct. 18 will give UD a fresh look. The Flyers will again sport white jerseys at home with red and blue jerseys as the predominate road wears. Gray jerseys will still be used as an alternate.
Dayton’s new gear is made by Nike and features “Dayton” in block letters rather than more fine font on the previous jerseys.
“The style usually changes every other year, and getting into a more modern version with Nike was our goal this summer,” said head coach Archie Miller in an interview with Flyer News.
“I like them better, I like the tight fit jerseys,” said junior guard Darrell Davis. “Our seniors [Scoochie Smith, Kyle Davis, Charles Cooke and Kendall Pollard] picked them out. I think they did a good job.”
“Feel good, play good,” senior guard Scoochie Smith added.
Shauna Green is the new head coach of the women’s basketball team, taking over for Jim Jabir, who stepped down in September after 13 seasons at the helm of the team.
Green was an assistant under Jabir from 2012-15, and was an integral part of the team’s success during their 2015 Elite Eight run.
Last season, Green served as an assistant coach on Northwestern University’s women’s basketball team. She was eager to return to Dayton upon getting the call.
“The culture here is already great,” Green said when she was introduced as head coach. “ And I’m going to continue and our staff is going to continue to cultivate that and make it even better.”
Josh Cunningham, a redshirt sophomore forward, is a co-captain of Dayton’s men’s team this season. He redshirted last year after transferring from Bradley University. At 6-7, Cunningham will help Kendall Pollard in the front court with his size and strength.
“Just to be one of the bigs and to be a leader…that’s a big part of our program,” Smith said about his co-captain and teammate.
Cunningham was on the Missouri Valley Conference All-Freshman team in his first season at Bradley. He scored 12 points in the Red vs. Blue Scrimmage at UD Arena last Saturday, leading the Red team.
Kelley Austria is back for her redshirt senior season on the women’s basketball team. After tearing her ACL early last year, Austria was able to redshirt so that she could return for a fifth year.
In her junior year, she started all 35 games and was named to the A10 All-Defensive Team. With 806 career points, she’s well-within reach of the 1000 point mark after scoring 336 in her junior season.
“It’s great to have her back,” Green said about Austria. “Her leadership, her experience, it’s so great to have her back.”
Trey Landers will be the only freshman on the court this season for the men’s squad. The 6-4 guard from Huber Heights won the 2015 Division I Ohio state championship at Wayne High School with current Flyer teammate Xeyrius Williams. He is one of six Flyers to have won a state championship while in high school.
Fellow freshman Kostas Antetokounmpo will be sitting out the 2016-17 season as an academic redshirt after being declared ineligible by the NCAA.
So there you have a crash course on all things Dayton basketball heading into the 2016-17 season. See you at the arena!