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Dayton Flyers vs. North Florida: What you need to know about tonight’s season opener

Published: Tuesday, November 06, 2018 @ 12:37 PM
Updated: Wednesday, November 07, 2018 @ 9:56 AM

Dayton’s starters, including Ryan Mikesell, center, huddle during an exhibition game against North Florida on Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, at UD Arena.
Dayton’s starters, including Ryan Mikesell, center, huddle during an exhibition game against North Florida on Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, at UD Arena.

Who: North Florida at Dayton

What: 2018-19 season opener

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

Content Continues Below

Where: UD Arena

TV/Radio: Spectrum Sports; streaming video available outside Ohio on DaytonFlyers.com; AM 1290, News 95.7 WHIO

» CAPTAINS NAMED: Dayton names three for 2018-19 season

Probable Dayton starters

Josh Cunningham, 6-8, R-Sr., F, 15.6*

Trey Landers, 6-5, Jr., G, 11.3

Jalen Crutcher, 6-1, So., G, 9.2

Jordan Davis, 6-2, So., G, 8.0

Ryan Mikesell, 6-7, R-Jr., F, 5.7

» EXCITING NIGHT: Toppin enjoys every moment of his UD Arena debut

Probable North Florida starters

Ivan Gandia-Rosa, 6-1, Jr., G, 13.8

Garrett Sams, 6-7, Jr., G/F, 12.7

Noah Horchler, 6-8, Jr., F, 11.7

JT Escobar, 6-2, R-Jr., G, 11.5

Wajid Aminu, 6-7, Jr., F, 9.9

* Stats are from 2017-18 season. Mikesell’s stats are from 2016-17 season.

Series history: Dayton leads 1-0. The Flyers won 86-71 on Dec. 5, 2015.

Coaches: Anthony Grant begins his second season as Dayton coach. The Flyers finished 14-17 last season. His career record entering his 11th season as a head coach is 207-126. North Florida coach Matt Driscoll, who begins his 10th season, is 147-150.

» DAYTON VS. CAPITAL: Five takeawaysPhoto gallery | Archdeacon on MatosHype videoFirst-half highlightsSecond-half highlights

About Dayton: This will be the 300th consecutive Dayton regular-season home game with at least 11,000 fans. UD ranked 23rd in the nation in attendance last season with average attendance of 12,996. UD also expects its all-time attendance mark to surpass 10 million this season. … This is the 114th season of Dayton basketball. The program’s record stands at 1,624-1,103 (.596). … Redshirt freshman forward Obi Toppin, junior guard Jhery Matos, freshman guard Dwayne Cohill and freshman forward Frankie Policelli all will make their Dayton debuts if they play in the opener. Toppin, Cohill and Policelli also will make their college debuts. Matos played junior college basketball the last two seasons. … Among the new coaches on the Dayton bench are assistant coach Donnie Jones, graduate assistant Sean Damaska and strength coach Ed Streit. James Kane and Devin Davis, who were on Grant’s staff last season, are no longer with the program.

About North Florida: The Osprey were picked to finish fourth in the nine-team Atlantic Sun Conference. Gandia-Rosa and Horchler were named to the preseason first team. Horchler was named the preseason defensive player of the year. … North Florida has suffered back-to-back losing seasons (14-19 last season and 15-19 in 2016-17) after back-to-back 20-win seasons. … North Florida played one Atlantic 10 Conference team last season, losing 95-85 at Virginia Commonwealth. This is North Florida’s first game in the Dayton area since it lost 75-67 at Wright State in 2016.

Looking ahead: This is the first of three straight home games to start the season. Dayton plays Coppin State at 7 p.m. Saturday and Fort Wayne at 7 p.m. Nov. 16.

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