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Previewing the Dayton Flyers with Blackburn Review

We haven't talked to the Blackburn Review since November 17, 2009. Since then, Tech fired Paul Hewitt, stole Dayton's Brian Gregory, and Dayton made a Cinderella run to the Elite 8. Check out our question and answer session with Tom of the Blackburn Review.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports


Bird: So let's start off with the crazy NCAA run Dayton made last year. #11 seeds are 41-79 against #6 seeds in the 64-team tourney and only have six total elite 8 teams since 1985! How sweet was it to knock off big brother in the first game and then cruise all the way to the Elite 8?

Tom @ BBR: It was, to say the least, an extremely pleasant surprise. The tournament is all about matchups, and UD got some really good ones (Ohio State, Syracuse, Stanford) - teams that struggled to find an offensive identity throughout the season. The Flyers weren't an offensive juggernaut, and facing off against teams with similar offensive woes definitely inspired confidence. Dayton got some clutch shooting, some lucky breaks, and the rest is history. Eventually, talent wins out and the ride comes to an end, which is exactly what happened when they faced off against Florida in the Elite Eight. Still, a historic moment for Dayton to be sure, a run I'm not sure anyone who follows the program will ever forget.

Bird: Please be frank with us. We fired a coach that in his last three seasons averaged16-16, made the tourney once, and had three NBA draft picks. We've since averaged 14-17 under Gregory, have seen our best players transfer at the end of each season, and not made one tourney. Do Dayton fans think Gregory is worth keeping around or should Tech move on?

Tom @ BBR: I can't tell you how happy UD fans are that Tech took BG off our hands. Gregory isn't a program builder, he's what I like to call a program steward. He won't make the program worse, but he certainly won't make the program better. Coaches like Gregory are placeholders, the meat in the coaching sandwich. It's advantageous in the sense that Tech won't be left in such a horrid state to chase potential recruits away. GT has a new building, now it just needs someone to get the program back to where it was during its heyday. I have to think Bobinski is looking forward to making an imprint on the athletic program, hiring a new basketball coach is just as good a place to start as any (considering Paul Johnson isn't going anywhere soon).

Bird: Tech is familiar with Jordan Sibert as he led the Flyers in their victory over Tech last season. Sibert seems to be shining in Dayton's big games this season as he averaged ~19 ppg against UConn, BC, and Arkansas. For Tech fans that missed 2013's match up, describe Sibert's game and why Archie Miller is giving him the minutes and opportunities in the big games.

Tom @ BBR: Sibert is UD's most talented perimeter player, a guy that can get hot and put up points quickly. Like all shooters, he is streaky. Sibert started off cold to start the season, but seems to be back to form lately. With UD dismissing its two big guys this past week, UD's success will be contingent on Sibert's scoring. He will have the green light to put up shot after shot after shot after...

Bird: Who else is stepping up for the Flyers in this first half of the 2014-2015 season?

Tom @ BBR: The biggest surprise has been the play of sophomore forward Kendall Pollard. He looks like the most unathletic kid in a UD uniform but is extremely active on both ends of the floor. His play over the first ten games has been the most encouraging part of the season so far. Freshman Darrell Davis will play a larger role now that Dayton's roster has been significantly reduced. Davis scored 19 in the Flyer's win over Boston U on Saturday. He will be called on to play a larger role for UD going forward.

Bird: Dayton is 3-0 against Tech now with wins in 1977, 2009, and 2013. What type of game ends with Dayton remaining undefeated against Tech all-time? How does Tech end the Flyer streak?

Tom @ BBR: Tech has some big bodies and Dayton basically has none at the moment. I'd expect GT to attack the paint and rebound the ball very well against the Flyers. The only saving grace is the fact that Brian Gregory is coaching a road game, besides that there isn't much that points at a Dayton victory Tuesday night.