Flyers arrive at arena for NCAA tournament; heading in with tough mindset
INDIANAPOLIS (WKEF/WRGT) – Hoping to rebound from their loss in the Atlantic 10 Tournament opener, the University of Dayton Flyers will take the court against Wichita State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament March 17.
According to head coach Archie Miller, his team is going to have to get meaner, tougher and grittier if they’re going to have any shot at advancing in the tournament, and his players agree.
“We need to play defense, play physical and just be able to play our game no matter what,” Flyers sophomore Xeyrius Williams said. “Kind of make them feel uncomfortable, just kind of put the pressure on them.”
“Just kind of go out there and play with that edge like we did at the beginning of the season,” sophomore Ryan Mikesell said. “That’s pretty much what it’s about. Go out there, punch first and see where that goes. Like this team’s shown in the past, you don’t have to be that big or that athletic to ground out with those bigger teams, you just have to have that nastiness to you.”
“Definitely will be a focus,” senior Scoochie Smith said. “I think part of the reason we lost the last two games. Be sure to come out with a little more aggression.”
“Coach said we got to be more nasty,” senior Kyle Davis said. “We just got to look at each other and tell each other this might be our last game on that court, so if we don’t go out any play nasty from the jump, then we going home. So that’s been the focus every day in practice. We all been beating each other up in practice because we know at the end of the day, that’s what we have to do on the court.”
Not only is the team playing for its tournament life, but the Flyers are trying to keep the season going for four outstanding seniors: Kendall Pollard, Kyle Davis, Scoochie Smith and Charles Cooke, who are all looking to get at least one more game in while wearing a Dayton uniform.
You can catch all the actions from FOX 45’s James Rider and Erik Elken, including a full recap on our shows tonight.