Archie Miller on Saturday against Richmond. David Jablonski/Staff
On the Day of the Dismissals in December, I figured Archie Miller should win A-10 Coach of the Year if the Flyers finished in the top half of the standings.
Obviously, I underestimated what they could do with a seven-man rotation and no one taller than 6-6. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. The depth situation has only gotten worse since then. Ryan Bass won’t play again because of concussion problems. It appears Detwon Rogers won’t see the court at all because of what Miller called an “academic situation.” He’s not ineligible, but Miller said Saturday he doubts he’ll play.
Despite all that, the Flyers have won nine of 10 since their loss at Arkansas. They’re 16-3 and 6-1 in the A-10 with 11 games left in the regular season. There’s a very real chance they will win all their home games. They’ve played so well, one national writer ranked Miller third on his list of candidates for national coach of the year.
Jeff Eisenberg, of Yahoo Sports, writes:
For Dayton to be 16-3 overall and just a half game out of first place in the Atlantic 10 is remarkable because of the adversity the Flyers have endured this season. Injuries and off-court issues have left them with only six scholarship players and nobody 6-foot-6 or taller. The secret to Dayton’s success is the no excuses mentality Miller has instilled and his ability to exploit his team’s quickness advantage on offense without getting pummeled in the paint or on the glass defensively. When opponents have played man-to-man, Miller has spread the floor and had his team attack a favorable matchup off the dribble. When opponents have gone zone to prevent those mismatches, Miller has played through one of his skilled wings in the high post. The result is a team that has become much more efficient offensively since losing its only two big men without surrendering a whole lot at the defensive end.