UD’s Sibert setting high bar for himself

Dayton basketball fans who follow the Flyers on Twitter may have seen a humorous exchange between junior guard Jordan Sibert and assistant coach Kevin Kuwik during the spring.

Sibert’s tweet: “Dear NCAA, I’m about to change the game, see you in a couple months.”

Kuwik’s re-tweet: “Walk the talk!!!”

As you can tell, the Ohio State transfer isn’t lacking in confidence, although he concedes Kuwik was right to put him in his place.

“If you ask him now, I think I’m walking the talk. I’ve done a lot of watching and done a lot of listening,” Sibert said. “A lot of people judged my game from what they saw at OSU, and that wasn’t my game. I want everyone to know, things are about to change, and you’ll see why. I’m putting my words behind it. People will see.”

Sibert, a product of Princeton High School in Cincinnati, has been drawing raves with how he’s looked in the offeason, and he could battle senior Vee Sanford, the Flyers’ leading returning scorer, for the starting 2 guard spot. Or, as coach Archie Miller said, “We’ve got to find a way to play those two together.”

He averaged 3.0 and 2.1 points in his two seasons at OSU and fell short when given a chance to seize a bigger role because of inconsistent shooting. But he put on an impressive long-range display at UD’s high school team camp Saturday when picked by the coaches to demonstrate some of the Flyers’ shooting drills, routinely going 8-for-10 on 3-pointers.

During a recent UD open gym, Memphis star guard Geron Johnson, a Dunbar product, showed up and competed against Sibert. According to onlookers, the two players — close friends from their AAU days — had a fierce duel with Sibert perhaps coming out on top.

“Coming off all these summer camps, he’s (known as) the best around the area, and I feel I’m the best around this area. He came to the gym, and I wanted to see,” Sibert said.

“It went well. We just competed.”

Sibert has seen a difference between the Flyers who struggled to a 17-14 record last season and the current edition. Closing out tight games was the problem. They lost six by a combined 10 points.

“It’s a lot more of a together team. It seems like we have more older guys who can mix well with younger guys,” Sibert said. “After having two seniors last year and a whole bunch of young guys, it’s almost even this year. The older guys are definitely looking out for the younger guys, and the younger guys are definitely listening, just taking all the advice they can.”

Sibert has liked what he’s seen in freshman Dayshon “Scoochie” Smith, the highly touted point guard from New York who enrolled in UD’s first summer school session. Fellow recruits Kyle Davis and Kendall Pollard began classes this week in the second summer session.

“He’s a great addition, a very humble guy,” Sibert said of Smith. “He’s willing to listen. His ball-handling skills are amazing. I can definitely see him come in and helping us out.”

Sibert said senior center Matt Kavanaugh, who was suspended last year, is making progress, too.

“You can tell he’s had a year off, but he’s an older guy, and you can see his leadership with the way he works out,” Sibert said. “He can’t do everything the way he wants to, but you can see he tries. You can see the leadership in him and the maturity in him, and we’re definitely going to need him this year.”

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