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53 Reasons: Newfound optimism

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Dayton fans cheer for free pizza during a game against Winthrop on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff
Dayton fans cheer for free pizza during a game against Winthrop on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

Dayton fans cheer for free pizza during a game against Winthrop on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff


 

The 2015-16 college basketball season is just around the corner. In honor of the Flyers winning 53 games the last two seasons (and because I couldn’t come up with 2,015 reasons), I’m counting down 53 reasons (in no particular order) to look forward to the season.

Follow the blog between now and the season opener against Southeast Missouri State on Nov. 13. I will have four to five updates per week.

I’ll post links on Twitter (@DavidPJablonski) and on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/DavidPatrickJablonski.

No. 46: Newfound optimism

Of the 189 people who voted in the poll last week about the A-10 race, 154 think the Flyers will win the title. That’s 81 percent. That won’t surprise anyone. This is a UD blog. Fans tend to support their team. There are still people out there watching the Reds in September, people who don’t have Netflix or a library card or grass to mow, I assume.

You could say UD fans have always been an optimistic lot. That would explain the decades of great attendance. However, I have to think the optimism of UD fans has reached new heights in 2015. They have a program that won 19 NCAA tournament games in its history, and more than a quarter of those (5) have come in the last two seasons. UD’s junior class is on pace to win more games than any class in UD history.

Earlier tonight, a fan named Pete Thomas tweeted at me, “Dayton makes sweet 16 this year. Goes to final four the next.”

Another fan commented on the Kendall Pollard post from a few days ago: “Archie knows raw talent and what to do to improve the execution phase of the player.  UD has a special team … stay healthy, stay proud.”

The optimism extends to the media, too. Dayton has a real chance to begin the season in the top 25. ESPN’s Jeff Goodman ranked the Flyers 25th in his preseason top 25 in June.

Archie Miller talked about the expectations that come with that optimism in an interview with Chris DiSano, of CoxHub.com, this week:

Miller: “I think we have a great line and we talked a lot about it recently. Our program has a culture in it, and our program in many ways has attracted and recruited people to come to a tradition. But it many ways our recent tradition is what it’s about: We don’t ride coattails.

“The ability to have a team break through an go to an Elite 8. To be 40 minutes from a Final Four is something that is astonishing in many ways when you’re at a Dayton or in the Atlantic 10. How do you build on that? Well, the following year you come back, you don’t ride the coattails, you do it again, you win 27 games and go to the Tournament, and you’re right there against a great Oklahoma team to go to the Sweet 16.

“All that being said, this year’s team is greatly different. We have six new guys. How is our chemistry going to be? Nothing we’ve done in the past is going to mean anything unless we earn the right every single day.”


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