The 2016 season draws to a close and so do some great senior careers. As sophomores on the 2014 Dayton Elite 8 team, Dyshawn Pierre and Bobby Wherli wasted no time in making their mark on Flyer basketball. In fact, late in the 2014 NCAA first round tournament game, Dyshawn Pierre found himself at the line under huge presser. Even as a youngster, however, he stepped up, drained all three free throws, and helped Dayton knock off Ohio State. While the Elite 8 run continued to unfold, Flyer fans began to realize Pierre’s legendary Flyer career was just getting started.
Going into last year’s 2015 season, fans set lofty expectations for Dyshawn. Most believed, along with Jordan Sibert, that Pierre would lead the way for Dayton. What people did not expect was a large contribution from Bobby Wherli. After big men Devon Scott and Jalen Robinson were kicked off the team for a well documented incident, Wherli realized his time had come. Left with no player over the height of 6’6″, Archie Miller called upon the redshirt walk-on to make an impact. Although not much seemed expected of Wherli, he certainly made his presence felt on the 2015 season. Due to Dayton only playing a seven man rotation, the “Wherli-Bird” saw valuable minutes. The effort he displays every game quickly turned Wherli into a fan favorite. Despite finding themselves undersized at the center position, Pierre and Wherli gave everything they had night in and night out. They both played large roles in helping Dayton make it the NCAA tournament round of 32.
Now as seniors in 2016, Dyshawn Pierre and Bobby Wherli continue their success. Pierre plays at least 35 minutes a game and has emerged as Dayton’s go-to-man along with Scoochie Smith. This season Pierre is averaging 13 points and 9 rebounds per game. Wherli, on the other hand, sees sporadic minutes. Bobby earned a scholarship for his efforts last year and has retained that for 2016. He only averages a point per game, but remains ready to contribute whenever his number gets called.
Dayton recently earned a share of the 2016 A-10 regular season title. After the win against VCU on senior night I asked Dyshawn Pierre what it felt like to walk-off Co-Champs in his last home game. “It’s awesome,” he said. “We knew what the stakes were coming into the game. Everyone was talking about senior night, but it was more about winning a championship.” With the NCAA tournament almost ready to start, these two Flyers aren’t done adding to their already stellar legacy. Dayton will make its third straight NCAA tournament appearance thanks to contributions by Pierre and Wherli. Time to find out if the guys who helped start True Team can make one last magical run in the Big Dance.