The Dayton Flyers have endured and overcome the most adversity of any team in college basketball. It doesn’t seem to matter who suits up for the Flyers, they just win.
This is a team that lost one of the most talented big men in the country in Steve McElvene when he died in May due to heart disease. They started the season without Kendall Pollard for six games but now he is back at full strength. Then they lost Josh Cunningham in the second game of the season at Alabama on a dunk gone wrong to a torn ankle ligament.
Then the Flyers lost Charles Cooke, their leading scorer and rebounder as he sat out one game with a wrist injury and then suffered a lower back injury in the win against La Salle. He sat out on Tuesday at St. Bonaventure in the Flyers' 90-74 win on the road. The Flyers then beat URI at the Dayton "Decibel Dungeon" 67-64 again without Cooke.
Scoochie Smith led the Flyers averaging 19 points per game, 5 rebounds and 4.5 assists. Pollard averaged 19.5 ppg while shooting 58%. Dayton is now 13-3 and 3-0 in the Atlantic 10.
Archie Miller is my national coach of the year right now.
Mark Adams is ASN’s men’s basketball analyst. Follow him on Twitter at @EnthusiAdams.