Welcome to A10 Talk’s Top 14 Coach Countdown of the 2016-17 season. We like to rank the players of the A-10 each season, but we’d also like to take a look at the brains of the operations. Who were the best coaches of the 2016-17 season? Who were the worst? Our site voted and compiled a list based on last season alone. This list is representative of how well each coach performed in the 2016-17 season, not in his entire career. Today, we feature #8 Bob McKillop.
1. Senior night win over VCU
With an outright A-10 regular season title on the line, Archie Miller guided Dayton to senior night win over VCU. Going into the game, everyone knew this Flyer-Ram showdown would be a fight to the end. As a result of Miller’s tough-minded preachings, though, the Flyers were ready to handle any possible adversity. Dayton took a 45-38 lead into halftime thanks to 60% shooting from the floor. After opening up as much as a 14 point lead in the second half, the Flyers held on to grab a 79-72 victory over VCU. Not only did the win secure Dayton’s second straight A-10 regular season title, it also sent the Flyer’s all-time winningest class out in style.
2. Last-minute win at Rhode Island
Entering the home-stretch of conference play, Dayton travelled to Rhode Island for a Friday night fight with the Rams. After defeating Rhode Island earlier in the year at UD Arena by a final score of 67-64, the Flyers knew they were in for another close battle. Down 73-69 with just 24 seconds left, Dayton turned to an unlikely hero. Sophomore forward Xeyrius Williams nailed back to back corner threes with 18.9 and 7.2 seconds left to give the Flyers a 75-74 lead. Rhode Island had one last chance to win, but a classic Dayton defensive stop earned the Flyers a huge road win.
1. Loss at UMass
After picking up huge conference wins over St. Bonaventure and Rhode Island, Dayton travelled to UMass on January 11th. Unfortunately for the Flyers, rather than keeping the momentum going, they faced a big letdown. Shooting a remarkably low 29% from the floor, Dayton fell to the Minutemen 67-55. Only one Flyer, Kyle Davis, scored in double figures as Dayton suffered its worst offensive performance of the season. Three UMass players dropped double digits, giving the Minutemen the win and handing Archie Miller’s team its first loss of A-10 play.
2. Finish to the season
Coming off a senior night win over VCU and securing the A-10 regular season conference championship, the Dayton Flyers were flying as high as ever. Despite the regular season success, though, the Flyers season did not end the way they had hoped. Dayton’s nine game win streak came to a close in the regular season finale at George Washington. Then, the No.1 seeded Flyers were upset by No. 9 Davidson in the A-10 tournament quarterfinals. Receiving a seven seed in the NCAA tournament, Dayton hoped to recapture some March magic. With 25 points in the Flyer’s first round game, senior guard Scoochie Smith did all he could to help Dayton advance. In the end, however, it was not enough. The Flyers fell to Wichita State 64-58, brining a tough close to an otherwise successful season.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ve heard by now that Archie Miller will not be returning to Dayton next season. After six incredible years with the Flyers, Miller accepted the job to become the next head coach at Indiana. One of the hottest coaches in all of college basketball right now, Miller has the chance to turn Indiana’s blue-blood program back into a national powerhouse. While it’s tough to see Miller leave, Dayton found an excellent replacement in its own Anthony Grant. Best of luck to the Miller family as they start the next chapter of their lives.