As the countdown to the 2016-17 college basketball season shortens, the battle for playing time at Dayton heats up. With the four Flyer seniors all but guaranteed starting jobs, only one starting spot remains available. It appears Dayton will have plenty of depth this year, a luxury they have not had since the Elite 8 run. While this provides the Flyers with many options, it also makes Archie Miller’s decision on who gets playing time much more difficult. One guy right in the mix of it all is sophomore big man Sam Miller.
As a freshman last year, Sam Miller certainly experienced his ups and downs. Standing at 6’9″ with the ability to shoot the three, Miller came in with fairly high expectations. Last season Miller averaged 3.2 points per game to go along with 1.4 rebounds. Miller’s playing time came in spurts as he shot 30% from behind the arc and 45% from the field. If Miller wants to earn more steady playing time and possibly compete for the final starting spot, he will need to prove he can produce consistently.
Arguably the best game of Miller’s freshman season came at home against Duquesne. After the Flyers struggled mightily throughout the game, Miller helped lead a miraculous comeback to escape with a victory. He scored nine points to go along with two clutch steals. Following the game I asked Archie Miller (no, unfortunately they’re not related) how happy he was with Sam’s improvement and what we could expect from him going forward. Archie said, “Sam has been much better confidence wise. He changes the game shooting the ball and played hard tonight.” In order for Sam Miller to keep improving, he must continue believing in himself, shooting the three ball well, and giving everything he has on a nightly bases. If Miller can do these things he will certainly see more playing time and Flyer fans can expect big contributions from him.