Archie Miller at the first UD practice. 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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. Anyone who submits a story gets four 4×6 prints of UD buzzer-beaters in the last two years.
No. 25: Improved depth
Archie Miller won with a deep bench two seasons ago. He won with a bench so short last season, he could have grabbed a couple seats for himself and taken a nap, though it’s hard to imagine Miller sleeping — in a game, after the game or ever.
The biggest difference between the 2015-16 Flyers and the 2014-15 Flyers is depth. The Flyers have it again.
Even without Dyshawn Pierre, who ended a social media hiatus Monday by posting a short clip of him practicing back in Whitby, Ont., the Flyers have 11 scholarship players. That’s not ideal. You can have 13. But it’s better than seven.
“It feels a little bit awkward in there, having so many bodies in practice,” Miller said last Thursday, a day before UD’s first practice. “It’s refreshing to have guys going hard and not saving themselves, and you’re not worried about saving yourself as a coach, so to speak, by preparing to not be injured on game day. We have a group that’s worked very hard. Our upperclassmen know what they’re doing. Our returners who didn’t play are more comfortable. Our freshmen are mature, and they’re handling things very well so far. The depth we have, the versatility we have, it’s going to be unique. It’s going to be a task to get the right combos on the floor. I think our young people have to be ready to go.”