53 Reasons: Sizing up Steve McElvene

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Steve McElvene, right, and Charles Cooke on Saturday. 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. 14: Sizing up Steve McElvene

Steve McElvene already took up one spot on this list, but he deserves another about what he did Saturday in the Red and Blue game. He was the most dominant player in that game. By halftime, I was joking that one of my Twitter followers, Matt Hager, was up on the concourse etching McElvene’s name into the Hall of Fame with a pocket knife.

Another UD fan wrote:

McElvene had 12 points and nine rebounds and played without getting into foul trouble, which will be key for a young big guy. After the game, Charles Cooke told me, ““That’s the first time I’ve seen Steve really play like that. He was aggressive. That’s the Steve we like to see. With his size, he’ll be hard to guard down there.”

Tom Archdeacon wrote about Steve in Sunday’s paper. Here’s an excerpt:

He is one of the biggest players in Dayton Flyers history and yet he’s smaller than he’s been in a long time.

Steve McElvene is listed as a 6-foot-11 redshirt freshman, though many of his teammates refer to him as a 7-footer.

In the 113 years Dayton has played basketball, it has had just three 7-footers: Bill Uhl, Wes Coffee and Sean Finn. Only three other guys have been listed as 6-foot-11.

McElvene wasn’t able to settle the size debate after Saturday’s annual Red-Blue Scrimmage at UD Arena because of coach Archie Miller’s rule that new players are not allowed to speak to the press until they’ve played in an actual game.

On this day McElvene’s play would have to speak for him and in some ways it said volumes. With 12 points in 18 minutes of play, he was the leading scorer in the scrimmage. His nine rebounds also were the day’s best.

Afterward, Miller and some of the older players talked about how McElvene — even at 260 pounds and with the nickname “Big Steve” — is just a shadow of the teenager who lumbered onto campus a year ago from New Haven High School in Indiana.

“He’s lost a lot of weight, probably 50 or 60 pounds,” said senior forward Bobby Wehrli. “He worked super hard in the offseason. I give him a lot of credit.”

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