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Preview: Dayton at VCU

Who: Dayton (10-4) at VCU (12-3)

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Siegel Center

TV/Radio: WHIO Ch. 7/WHIO 95.7, 1290

Dayton starters

  • Kevin Dillard, 6-0, Sr., G, 15.0 ppg.
  • Vee Sanford, 6-3, Jr., G, 12.9
  • Josh Benson, 6-9, Sr., F, 11.6
  • Devin Oliver, 6-7, Jr., F, 10.1
  • Dyshawn Pierre, 6-6, Fr., F, 6.7

VCU starters

  • Darius Theus, 6-3, Sr., G, 6.2
  • Briante Weber, 6-2, So., G, 6.0
  • Troy Daniels, 6-4, Sr., G, 13.9
  • Treveon Graham, 6-5, So., F, 14.8
  • Juvonte Reddic, 6-9, Jr., F, 13.6

About Dayton

The Flyers are opening the Atlantic 10 against two ranked teams, No. 24 VCU and No. 17 Butler. They’ve faced ranked foes in back-to-back games one other time in the last 19 years, beating Georgia Tech and losing to Villanova in the 2009 Puerto Rico Tipoff Classic. … The Flyers have been out-rebounded in their last four games. … They’re shooting fewer 3-pointers this season (16.8) than last year (22.7) but are making them at a higher clip (35.7 percent to 34.3). … Oliver is first in the A-10 in rebounding (8.6), Dillard is third in assists (4.9) and foul shooting (86.7), Sanford is fifth in free-throw accuracy (85.4) and Benson is eighth in field-goal percentage (54.9).

About VCU

The Rams are making the program’s first appearance in the USA Today coaches poll, which began in 1991. They beat Memphis in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament and then lost close games with No. 1 Duke (67-58) and No. 12 Missouri (68-65). … They lead the country in steals per game (13.5) and turnover margin (plus-8.8) and also are hoisting nearly 25 three-pointers per game. … They’re 8-1 at home, losing by two to Wichita State, which is ranked 23rd in the Associated Press poll. … In a win over East Tennessee State on Wednesday, Daniels set an A-10 record with 11 three-pointers. He had 20 attempts and finished with 33 points.

Miller time

“I think this is probably about as excited as people have felt about an Atlantic 10 season in a long time —and rightfully so,” UD coach Archie Miller said. “Playing our opener on the road with VCU is a difficult challenge. But at the same time, you want to be on this stage. I’ve always said that’s where our program wants to be — big games (where) big plays are going to be needed. It should be the most hostile environment we’ve seen so far. That place is going to be jacked.”

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