Dayton center Steve McElvene dribbles against kids during a youth basketball camp at the UD on Tuesday, July 21, 2015. David Jablonski/Staff
Just over three months remain until the 2015-16 season opener for the Dayton Flyers. It’s never too early to talk basketball, though, and coach Archie Miller did that last week on the nationally-syndicated Sports Byline radio show.
I transcribed a few highlights below, but here’s the link to the complete interview.
Archie on winning 53 games in last two seasons: “Anytime you can win in college basketball, it’s extraordinary to put it together season after season. When you look at the best programs, they’re able to sustain winning. It’s remarkable because it’s so hard to win with all the turnover, graduation, transfers, it’s really hard. For us to be in the very early stages of building a place, to be able to get some consistency going from season to season, it’s really important.”
On whether it’s fair to label Dayton a mid-major: “I think 10 years ago, the mid-major thing was important. Nowadays with the one-and-done (rule), the best schools in the country can’t really hold onto guys. The Daytons, the Wichita States, they get older, they get better and they get more consistent. They can compete with those guys, especially on one given night in a one-game setting in the tournament. If you have a 70,000-seat football stadium, I think you can walk around with your chest stuck out, but in a basketball game, in a basketball environment, to me there are certain schools that have an opportunity to compete because of their resources and their fan base, and we’re one of them.”
On the team he has returning: “We’ll have four starters back from a team that competed very well last year. We’ll miss Jordan (Sibert). Jordan was a first team all-conference player. Our returning guys have won a lot of games. They’ve won more NCAA tournament games in the last two years than a lot of programs have won in the last decade. I like our newcomers. We had two guys sitting out: Charles Cooke, a transfer; Steve McElvene, who redshirted, who’s a a true 7-footer who I think can be a difference maker at some point. And we have a great freshman class, high-character guys who have got off to a great start. I think our depth will be good. We’re going to rely on our older guys to lead us, but I think our younger guys can really help us.”
On working McElvene into offense: “If he can’t run, he won’t play for us. The great thing about Steve is he’s very mobile. He can really run the floor. We’re going to rely on him to continue to keep the pace up with what we do. His size is an advantage at the rim, especially early in the clock. That ‘ll be something we focus on. I think we have versatility in our program. We’ve shown we can play different lineups, small or big. In my opinion, hopefully we can make people adjust to us like we always do.”