Kendall Pollard dunking last season. 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.
NOTE TO READERS: I want to salute the fans at some point in this series. Here’s my idea: Email me a photo of your favorite piece of UD memorabilia (email@example.com). It could be a ticket stub, a T-shirt, a poster, a newspaper page, a photo of you at a game, etc. And write a paragraph or two or more about the story behind it: where you got it, what it means to you, why it’s special, etc. Also tell me how long you’ve been a fan, how and why you started rooting for the Flyers. I will include the story and the text in a blog entry. The best photo and entry wins an 8×10 print of Vee Sanford’s shot against OSU or Jordan Sibert’s shot against Boise. Your choice.
No. 36: Outside expectations
I talked about the expectations within the UD fan base earlier on this list. The expectations outside the program have risen, too.
The Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook ranked the Flyers 25th in the preseason poll it released this week. For what it’s worth, Dayton is the only Ohio team on that list. No Ohio State. No Cincinnati. No Ohio Bobcats (always a shocking omission). No Xavier.
No other A-10 team made the list. Only one of Dayton’s non-conference opponents earned a ranking: No. 14 Vanderbilt.
The Athlon Sports College Basketball preview did not rank Dayton in its preseason top 25, but listed it as one of the seven teams considered for the top 25.
Here’s another list from ESPN putting the Flyers on the edge of the top 25. About the Flyers, Eamonn Brennan writes:
Archie Miller’s team was undersized and undermanned for most of 2014-15, and it still managed 27 wins and a First Four push into the NCAA tournament bracket proper, where it nobly held the line before falling to Oklahoma. Jordan Sibert is the only notable departure.
One Associated Press writer I talked to not long after the end of last season expected the Flyers to start the season in the AP top 25. We shall see if that happens and, if it does, if the Flyers can hang on to their ranking longer than the last two seasons. They lost to Davidson in their first game after receiving a No. 22 ranking last January. A season earlier, they lost at Illinois State days after earning the No. 25 ranking.