By: Nathan Vicar – Staff Writer
Entering this season, the University of Dayton men’s basketball team will have the additional of youthful depth on their backcourt.
This year’s group features redshirt junior guard Jordan Sibert and a stand-out high school performer in freshmen guard Scoochie Smith.
Sibert transferred last year from the Ohio State University, but had to sit out a year because of NCAA transfer rules. Smith enters Dayton as a highly regarded freshman recruit from New York, N.Y., as Rivals.com ranked him as a four-star athlete in addition to being place into the top-125 nationally.
Last year, Smith was the fifth ranked player out the state of New York. As a senior in high school, he averaged 18.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game.
Redshirt senior guard Vee Sanford will look to be a leader in the backcourt. Sanford was inserted into the starting lineup for all 31 of the Flyers’ games during the 2012-2013 season after transferring from Georgetown University.
Sanford was the Flyers’ second leading scorer at 12.3 points per game, and should be a mainstay for the entire season as one of the team’s captains.
Sibert has bust out capabilities, as shown in the win against Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, and will look to continue helping lead the Flyers this year.
Sibert played in 24 games on OSU’s Final Four team in the 2011-2012 season, averaging 11.4 minutes, 3.0 points and 1.4 rebounds. In total, he was only at OSU for two seasons. Sibert is a Cincinnati native, and was ranked as the 39th best recruit nationally and the seventh best shooting guard in 2010 by Rivals.
“I’m just glad to be out there playing now and not sitting in street clothes,” Sibert said. “It feels good to be playing and working with the team.”
In the first exhibition game of the season against Ryerson University Oct. 26, the Flyer Faithful got its first look at Smith and Sibert.
Smith started the game alongside Sanford, dishing out five assists and had two steals. Smith is a quick guard that transitions down the court fast. Sibert had 17 points and four assists, and showed himself to be an impressive shooter with a lot of upside for this season.
“I just wanted to go out and play as hard as I could,” Sibert said. “I just wanted to go out there and I wanted people’s first impression of me to be like, ‘This guy can impact the team. He can do something. He can impact, he can change the culture here.'”
Head coach Archie Miller came away with a more favorable impressive of Sibert after a rough start to his year.
“During the Red-Blue scrimmage, Sibert looked like he was playing for a national championship,” Miller said. “After the first exhibition game, he looked like himself.”
Miller said the Flyers will have potential to mix and match combinations for the backcourt all season.
“At the moment, we don’t have designated starters,” Miller said prior to the IPFW game. “We put the guys on the floor that have been working well in practice and are starting them.”
In addition, sophomore guard Khari Price also looked improved against Ryerson and IPFW, scoring a career high 17 points in the latter. The team’s top perimeter defender will look to continue to lock down opponents this year, as
well as be a key part to the depth.
Price started in place of Smith in the second exhibition game against the University of Findlay Nov. 2, and the IPFW game.
All in all, the Flyers will have many options in the backcourt this season with its potential mix of youth and veteran leadership.