Dayton’s unlikely emerging star: Ryan Mikesell

Growing up in St. Henry, Ohio, Ryan Mikesell knew about the tradition of Dayton Flyer basketball from a young age. Despite receiving baseball offers as a standout pitcher, Mikesell decided to play basketball for Archie Miller and the Flyers. In just his first game at Dayton, Mikesell showed everyone his high potential. The 6’7″ forward hit five threes and dropped 21 points in his Flyer debut. Following the great season opening performance, however, Mikesell received inconsistent playing time the rest of the year. With his freshman season in the books, Mikesell seems ready for a breakout sophomore campaign.

Thus far, the 2016-17 season has been filled with opportunities for Mikesell. Due to Kendall Pollard’s continuous struggle with injuries, Mikesell has started in every game for Dayton and is taking advantage. Through the Flyer’s first two games, Mikesell averaged nine points to go along with 4.5 rebounds. Not only is Mikesell putting up solid numbers, he is shooting at a prolific rate. So far in this young season the sophomore forward is shooting 63% from the field and 40% from three. If Mikesell can keep these kinds of statistics up, his role at Dayton will continue to grow.

Following Dayton’s exhibition game against Findlay in which Mikesell started, I asked Archie Miller about what to expect from the 6’7″ forward this season. Miller called Mikesell as “consistent as anyone they’ve had.” Offensively, Miller said Mikesell, “can do a lot of things for us in terms of stretching the floor, passing, driving, he plays hard. While Mikesell’s offensive game is quite polished, Miller he must “work hard to stay out of foul trouble. They’re going to go after him in the post.” In the end, Miller called Mikesell a “terrific leader and a great competitor. He’s going to have some great moments for us and will be one of the guys that’s greatly improved on our team.” If Mikesell continues working hard and taking advantage of every opportunity, the sophomore will provide the key Dayton needs this season.

Grant Kelly is a sophomore finance and marketing major at the University of Dayton. He has been attending college basketball games since birth and has...