Preseason College Basketball Rankings: #18 Dayton Flyers

Dayton was the very first team out of the NCAA Tournament last season. They had some really good wins (Davidson, Virginia Tech, Miami, and eventual national champion Kansas.), but also had some really bad losses (Lipscomb, UMass-Lowell, Austin Peay.). But, they had the youngest rotation in college basketball. All but two of their major contributors were freshmen. Of the other two, one was a sophomore and the other a junior. That junior is the only play they lose. This team is still very young but is good and knows how to play together. Maybe the basketball gods can give the Flyers what they deserve after the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA Tournament.

This previous team in my rankings can be viewed here.

Preseason College Basketball Rankings: #18 Dayton Flyers

DaRon Holmes II might be the best player in the Atlantic-10. He averaged 20 points, six rebounds, and two blocks per game over the course of his last five games last season. He was a First Team All-A-10 member and the A-10 Freshman of the Year. He might be my favorite for conference Player of the Year this season.

Toumani Camara is the most experienced player on this team. The Belgian forward and former Georgia transfer was the teams leading rebounder and second-leading scorer last year in his first year as a Flyer. The fourth-year junior will be counted on to provide the necessary experience and leadership this season. Malachi Smith is one of the best point guards in the A-10. He was sixth in the conference in assists per game as a freshman and second in assist-to-turnover ratio. Both Smith and Camara are potential All-Conference players this year.

The other two starters are Kobe Elvis and R.J. Blakney and are both returning. In addition to all five of the starters, there is a host of solid, young guys that will come off of the bench for the Flyers this season to make it a deep squad.

The lone incoming freshman is Mike Sharavjamts. The top 100 four-star had plenty of high-major interest of course but committed to Anthony Grant’s Flyers. The young small forward could be one of the best freshmen at a mid-major school this season.

Projected Lineup:

PF – DaRon Holmes II (12.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.4 SPG, 2.3 BPG)

F – Toumani Camara (10.9 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 1.6 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.8 BPG)

SF – R.J. Blakney (6.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.2 BPG)

SG – Kobe Elvis (8.9 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.0 BPG)

PG – Malachi Smith (9.3 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 5.3 APG, 1.8 SPG, 0.1 BPG)