University of Dayton redshirt junior guard Jordan Sibert (24) shoots during an exhibition game against the University of Findlay, Saturday, Nov. 2, at UD Arena. UD won 96-87. (Ethan Klosterman/Photo Editor)
By: Kyle Janowicz – Staff Writer
For the past few years, the University of Dayton men’s basketball team has been either aided by the arrival of players due to recruiting and transfers or devastated by departures of key players to other programs.
Two seasons, the Flyers acquired an impressive player, Georgetown University guard Vee Sanford ,and received great contribution from class of 2012 recruits in guard Khari Price, and forwards Dyshawn Pierre, Jalen Robinson and Devon Scott.
This year, however, the Flyers look to add just as much talent.
The new players on the team are headlined by talented Ohio State University transfer guard Jordan Sibert.
Sibert is a redshirt junior who sat out last season because of NCAA transfer rules.
“It was extremely hard in the fact that you want to get out there, but you just can’t and every day you go to practice and go to war with your teammates and on game day you can’t go to war with someone else. You’ve just [got to] sit there and watch them battle,” he said.
Unrelated to Sibert’s eligibility with the team, former UD player Matt Derenbecker transferred out from school to the University of New Orleans during the offseason June 10, giving Sibert a similar, but expanded role to fit immediately into.
Sibert said it was worth it to transfer from OSU, as he feels he has been able to come to a team where he can play a bigger role and make a direct impact.
“Here, it is a little more personal,” Sibert said. “I don’t feel like I’m just a number. I feel like I’m actually a part of something.”
Sibert also had early connections to Dayton before his transfer, which gave him a good impression of UD.
Sibert said he remembers visiting Dayton to see his older brother Logan, who went to UD for a year. Sibert also has a great relationship with head coach Archie Miller, whom he had known at OSU before Miller’s head coaching days at Dayton.
Their relationship played a factor in his decision, as he said Miller has always been in his corner.
“Even when I struggled at Ohio State, even when I struggled in high school,” Sibert said. “And you know things won’t always be perfect between you and your coach, but that’s what makes it work when you know you have someone that you aren’t great with, but day-to-day you fight for the same reason.”
Miller kept tabs on Sibert as his career progressed and sought him out after he announced his intentions to leave OSU.
“Jordan is important to us. He knows that, and that’s why he’s here,” Miller said.
Sibert is an athletic wing player who has shown both an ability to score, with 17 and 23 points in Dayton’s two exhibition games, and to play defense, getting four steals in the University of Findlay game Saturday, Nov. 2.
Sibert said he is an all-around player who can do a little bit of everything, but is focused primarily on winning games.
Describing himself further, he said being an exciting player that gets the crowd into games is something he enjoys.
“That’s one thing I’ve always liked watching,” Sibert said. “I never liked Michael Jordan because of how many points he scored. I never liked Kobe [Bryant] because of how many points he scored. I liked them because of the way they engaged the crowd. And I know people come to the games to see a win and to be excited.”
Miller previously said Sibert was playing to win a national championship the first time he hit the floor in front of fans during the Red-Blue game Oct. 19, but immediately saw him make a difference after the team’s first exhibition game against Ryerson University Oct. 26.
“I thought he had great efficiency, shot making ability is something we have to have,” Miller said. “His ability to get to the basket and draw fouls is something we have to have. What we’re looking from him is to bring that other guy to the floor that can compete and bring a bigger guard that can defend and do some things.”
Appearing in only 24 of OSU’s 39 contests in his sophomore season, Sibert averaged under 12 minutes per game under former head coach Thad Matta’s system, which was reliant on large minutes by his starters.
Sibert said his goal is to make an impact on Dayton’s program, a lasting impression that will begin to change its basketball culture. After going through a season last year he is familiar having to spend games watching from afar, he now gets his first chance to hit the floor with a new opportunity.