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UD's Derenbecker looking for bigger role

Dayton’s Matt Derenbecker made a trio of 3-pointers in inhospitable surroundings at Xavier.

The sophomore wing also popped off the bench and drilled a pair of treys in front of a manic crowd at VCU.

Derenbecker has major-college experience, having started at LSU before transferring, and he isn’t fazed by the caliber of opponent or the din of opposing fans. The bigger the stage, it seems, the better he plays.

“He gives us a guy who can really stretch the floor,” UD coach Archie Miller said. “As you can see, he’s not afraid. As the season goes on, we’ll find more windows for him.”

The 6-foot-7 lefty pumped life into a dormant offense in a 66-61 loss Wednesday at Xavier, but he played only nine minutes because of match-up issues and wasn’t happy with his limited stint.

“I’m getting longer minutes as opposed to the first part of the season, but I’m still not satisfied,” Derenbecker said. “I want to find a way to stay on the court even longer. … I want to get my defense better and just have the coaches be able to trust me in big-time situations, so I’m not just coming off the bench for offense. I want to play both sides of the ball.”

Derenbecker has gone 25-of-43 on 3-pointers in the last 12 games and is shooting 45.5 percent overall, third in the Atlantic 10. He’s displayed the long-range ability of former Flyer Luke Fabrizius, a fan favorite from 2008-12, but is a better athlete.

Still, Derenbcker can’t provide much help in the area where the Flyers are lacking most — rebounding. They were out-boarded by Xavier, 36-18, and had just six total rebounds in the second half .

“Coach preaches rebounding every day, every night, every morning. We eat, sleep and live rebounding. I just don’t know how to explain that part,” Derenbecker said.

“To get outrebounded and only have (six) rebounds in a half, that’s something we’ll never do again. Coach will make sure of that.”

The Flyers will be tested again inside at 2 p.m. Saturday against rugged Saint Louis, which is coming off a 75-58 home upset of No. 9 Butler on Thursday night (making for a quick turnaround).

Miller said the game will be “a slugfest. Half-court basketball. They’re great on defense. They’re going to give (point guard Kevin Dillard) a lot of trouble. We’re going to have to find a way to get out there and get it done.

“For our team to take it to the next level, we’ve got to get some guys playing at a high level. It can’t be one guy or two guys. We need everyone doing their jobs.”

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