It’s Dec. 18, and a new season has begun

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Devon Scott, right, in his last game with the Flyers at Arkansas. David Jablonski/Staff

As Archie Miller said Wednesday, it’s like the Flyers are starting the season over in mid-December. That’s how much the news of Devon Scott and Jalen Robinson’s dismissal changes things for Dayton.

I remember writing a little over a year ago about the strength of the sophomore class, a group that included Dyshawn Pierre, Khari Price, Robinson and Scott.

All four played significant minutes as freshman with only Scott not playing double-figure minutes that season. Robinson started the first game of his freshman season. Pierre and Price started as a sophomores. Robinson and Scott were key contributors off the bench, but then almost everyone was last year. The “True Team” motto was born of the idea that the Flyers had no stars and they needed everyone to play and contribute.

That’s certainly true today, but for a different reason. The Flyers need everyone to play because they don’t have any other options. Only one of those four players remain, Pierre, and he has a chance to climb high in the Dayton record books before his career ends. Khari Price transferred, and by now, you know yesterday’s news about Robinson and Scott (see below), who probably won’t be invited back for the Elite Eight reunion in 20 years.

The Flyers are so short-handed, they’re a couple of sprained ankles away from Miller turning into Norman Dale and telling the referee, “My team’s on the court,” as everyone wonders how they’ll compete with only four players.

OK, that’s a bit of a stretch and just an excuse to work a “Hoosiers” reference into this post, but Dayton will have only seven scholarship players available Saturday against Boston University and walk-on Bobby Wehrli. An eighth scholarship player, Detwon Rogers, could return soon, but he still hasn’t been cleared for full-contact practices as he works his way back from a knee injury.

I have no doubt the remaining Flyers will compete harder than ever. On the other hand, it’s going to be harder than ever to compete with no one taller than 6-6 available. Rebounding will be an issue. Foul trouble could hurt. A team that hasn’t shot well will need to hit more outside shots. Miller should win A-10 coach of the year if he gets this team to finish in the top half of the conference.

Why are the Flyers in this predicament? Here’s part of my story from yesterday:

Junior forwards Devon Scott and Jalen Robinson have been dismissed from the Dayton men’s basketball team, coach Archie Miller announced Wednesday.

Miller would not comment on the specific reasons for the dismissals. According to a source, the dismissals are related to a series of thefts from residence halls on campus. The University of Dayton Department of Public Safety is conducting an investigation into the thefts, which occurred over the weekend. That investigation is ongoing, but a police log showed at least 25 theft reports came in over the weekend from students in two dorms.

Scott and Robinson, both graduates of Northland High School in Columbus, played major rules in the Flyers’ run to the Elite Eight last season. Scott and Robinson could not be reached for comment. Their coach at Northland, Sean Taylor, said he didn’t know enough about the situation and declined to comment.

Scott was named one of three captains in a preseason vote by his teammates. He has started all nine games and averaged 9.1 points and a team-best 7.4 rebounds in 27.7 minutes per game. Robinson averaged 3.2 points and 2.4 rebounds in 15.3 minutes per game.

“We made a decision as a basketball program to dismiss Devon Scott and Jalen Robinson from our team,” Miller said. “This is a decision really based on behavior and acceptable behavior. Both guys didn’t live up to expectations, not only in what we feel about our players but in general in how you’re supposed to do things.

“There are no winners. It’s a sad day. This is a basketball decision. This is a program decision. From this point forward, we’ll move on.”

Miller ruled out a possible return for Scott and Robinson. They have not be dismissed from school, but Miller said he expects them to move on at some point.

“They’re dismissed permanently,” Miller said. “They’ll no longer be a part of this program. Both guys will continue to finish what they’re supposed to do in school. That’s a university decision. From our standpoint, we’re moving forward.”

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