More scheduling news dropped today for the Dayton Flyers. The team announced today that they are hosting Indiana State for a second year in a row. Dayton hosted the Sycamores last season for their season home opener and the revealing of the new and improved UD Arena. This year’s game will be played on December 2nd.
This will be the second time that Dayton and Indiana State will play each other in their history. Dayton won last year’s meeting in a battle that left many fans nervous throughout the game before the Flyers pulled out the 86-81 victory. Most fans called it a warm up game to work out all the kinks, which they would be right about as the season played out to be one of the best in Flyer basketball history.
Indiana State finished last season 18-12, good for third place in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Sycamores finished at 105 in the NET and 122 on KenPom. Indiana State graduated two seniors from last season’s team, including Third Team All-MVC winner Jordan Barnes and All-Defensive Team winner Christian Williams.
The Sycamores are bringing back their star shooting guard Tyreke Key, who was on the First-Team All-MVC team. He scored 21 points in the game against Dayton. They are also returning star freshman Jake LaRavia, who was on the All-Newcomer and All-Freshman teams in the MVC.
This game is without a doubt a buy-game for Dayton. Before fans start to get uneasy by the lack of a “quality opponent”, every big program in the country schedules these games. The key to scheduling buy-games is to try and schedule the best teams in non-power 5 conferences. The Missouri Valley is rated 11th on KenPom last year, and Indiana State is one of the better programs in the conference along with Loyola-Chicago and Northern Iowa.
This was a strategic move by Dayton to schedule a team that is projected to be a top contender in another mid-major conference, which Indiana State is. Expect more moves like this by Dayton to try and schedule a projected top 3 program in non-power 5 conferences to better their overall strength of schedule.
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