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UD seniors ‘changed the face of the program’

Soon the stories will turn to next season. The 2013-14 Dayton Flyers smashed the glass ceiling for this program with their run to the Elite Eight and raised expectations for next season and all the seasons beyond.

It’s still a relatively youthful group that will return its top scorer, four sophomores who played big roles and three freshmen who showed tremendous promise.

For now, though, thoughts of the future can wait. A 62-52 loss by the No. 11 seed Flyers (26-11) to No. 1 seed Florida (36-2) on Saturday in the South Regional final at FedExForum gave coach Archie Miller one more chance to talk about his seniors and their legacy. That was Miller’s message in his postgame speech to the team in the locker room.

“He just said the seniors left their mark,” Dayton Flyers sophomore Devon Scott said. “No matter how they feel, they changed the face of our program. They made us a together team. They took us there. We hadn’t been here in 30 years, and we rode their backs the whole way. They should be proud of that.”

Top performance: Sophomore Dyshawn Pierre and senior Devin Oliver made the All-South Region team. Oliver scored 12 points in his final game as a Flyer, and Pierre carried UD at times with 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting.

“Dyshawn was terrific,” Miller said. “In our darkest, sort of gloomiest period out there, we needed to find somebody that could kind of get us going. I thought we had a favorable matchup for him inside. We were able to get him the ball two or three times in a row, and he was able to capitalize.”

Sibert silenced: Dayton junior Jordan Sibert was held scoreless for the first time this season. He attempted three shots.

Meeting of stars: The stars of the 1984 and 2014 Flyers met for the first time Friday in Memphis. Devin Oliver posted a photo to Instagram of him with his arm around Dayton’s all-time leading scorer, Roosevelt Chapman.

“What an honor,” Oliver wrote. “To meet the last man who led the Flyers to the Elite Eight was a special moment for me. Roosevelt Chapman is a legend, and I’m honored to be in the same Flyer family as him.”

Good description: The Dayton Flyers wore new T-shirts in warmups. They read simply, “True Team,” reflecting the fact that the team lacked a true superstar and depends on depth and balance.

Celebration planned: Dayton flew home right after the game and was scheduled to land in Dayton at 1:30 a.m.

The university will celebrate the seasons of both the men’s and women’s basketball teams between 6 and 7 p.m. tonight at UD Arena. Fans can park in Lot A and enter through the south entrance that faces Interstate 75. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Seating is on the east side of the arena, facing the river.

Moving on: Florida will play in the Final Four for the fifth time and for the first time since it won the national championship in 2007. It will meet Michigan State or Connecticut, who play in the East Regional final at 2:20 p.m. today.

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