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. 11: Saint Louis games
No program fell harder and faster than Saint Louis last season. Its win total decreased by 16 (27-7 to 11-21). That’s the downside of having such a great senior class. The Billikens lost their top four scorers after winning their second straight A-10 regular season title in 2014.
Saint Louis was picked to finish 12th out of 14 teams this season, and it expected that.
“It just shows that we need to really work hard, and it should be a motivation to us to prove everybody wrong,” guard Mike Crawford told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We know what we can accomplish. Everybody gets along with each other better and everyone is a lot more mature. We understand each other better on the court and even off the court.”
The Billikens return their three leading scorers: Milik Yarbrough (10.0), Ash Yacoubou (9.1) and Crawford (7.3). They return four players who earned significant playing time as freshmen last season: Davell Roby, Marcus Bartley, Miles Reynolds and Austin Gillman.
Yacoubou, who played his first two seasons at Villanova, is the team’s only senior. Saint Louis hopes he improves his shooting. He shot 39 percent from the field and 23 percent from 3-point range.
“I didn’t shoot the ball well last year,” he told the Post-Dispatch. “I know deep down inside I can. I have to get back to where I used to be and that comes with repetition.”
Dayton hosts Saint Louis on Jan. 27 and plays at Saint Louis on Feb. 23. Dayton swept two games from Saint Louis last season and has won three straight in the series after losing three straight.