By Jack Brewer, For The Miami Student
The Miami University men’s basketball team faces the University of Dayton Wednesday, a team that surprised the country last season with an Elite Eight run in the NCAA tournament.
The RedHawks (2-4) are coming off a tough 70-68 loss to Elon University. Senior guard Will Sullivan and junior guard Geovonie McKnight were the top scorers for the RedHawks, with 13 and 14 points, respectively. Both players shot 5 of 11 from the field, but Sullivan struggled from 3-point range, making just two of eight shots from behind the arc.
“When you want to win games you got to have 40 minutes of consistent basketball, so that’s something we’ve got to work on,” Sullivan said after the game.
Despite the loss, the RedHawks were exceptional from the free throw line, making 13 of 14 attempts. The RedHawks have had their struggles from the charity stripe thus far, but the effort is a good sign for the team moving forward.
“You treat it almost like practice, you know,” junior forward Chris Bryant said. “I take those shots every day. We shoot free throws every day before and after practice. To me, I just block everything out and just concentrate on the goal and put the ball in the basket.”
Last season, the University of Dayton was the Cinderella story of the NCAA tournament. As an 11 seed, the Flyers knocked off Ohio State, Syracuse and Stanford on their way to an Elite Eight appearance, before falling to top-seeded Florida.
The Flyers (4-1) are coming off an easy 75-41 win over the University of Illinois-Chicago. Senior guard Jordan Sibert led the Flyers with 22 points, making seven of 11 shots from the field, including four 3-pointers. Sibert was a key factor in the Flyers’ tournament last season, and his experience makes the team a dangerous force in the much-improved Atlantic 10 conference.
The RedHawks are averaging just over 15 turnovers per game, a number that must go down if they want to knock off the Flyers. The Flyers convert turnovers into points at the other end, which can take the RedHawks out of the game in a hurry. Sophomore Flyers Kyle Davis and Scoochie Smith combine for 3.4 steals per game, so the RedHawks must play clean and efficient basketball to beat their talented opponent.
Tip is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday. Fans can listen to the game on redhawkradio.com.