Archie Miller’s message to the fans at UD Arena on Saturday was short and sweet. He took the microphone after a scrimmage and peeked into the future.
“Hopefully, by the end of the season,” he said, “this is a group that makes you proud.”
The Flyers have a long way to go before they write the final chapter on this season. Saturday’s scrimmage was the first sentence of the first paragraph. It was the first chance for a crowd of 3,500 to see the old and new playing together.
Returning players Devon Scott and Vee Sanford each scored 14, and Devin Oliver had 12. The top scoring newcomer was freshman guard Scoochie Smith, who scored 12 points to help lead UD Red to a 49-37 victory over UD Blue. A couple players switched teams, so take that final score for what it’s worth.
“It never looks good (in scrimmages), but I was happy to watch our guys come off 13 practices and try to do what we asked them to do,” Miller said. “That’s been a big, big thing for our team this year: the camaraderie, the togetherness, the flow of what we’re trying to do. I think we have a lot of different guys who can do things.
“It was good to get out here. They need to get out in front of some people. They need to get winded. So we can show the film and take the next step.”
Three freshmen played in front of UD fans for the first time: guard Kyle Davis and forward Kendall Pollard, both of Chicago, and Smith, a New York City native. Pollard and Davis each scored three points.
“I was happy for all three of them,” Miller said. “They continue to get better every day. The biggest thing about them is their attitudes. They’re winners. They’ve come in here competing. They’re great guys. All three guys can play. It’s up to them to learn our system.”
Smith also had five rebounds and two assists in 22 minutes.
“I know how good Scooch is,” Oliver said. “Just to see him do it in front of some people is really exciting.”
Women’s game: Andrea Hoover and Morgan Berry each scored 13 points in the UD women’s scrimmage. The Blue Team won 41-40 on Andrijana Cvitkovic’s free throw with no time remaining.
The most impressive thing about the Flyers’ performance was their shooting from long range. The teams combined to make 13-of-24 3-pointers. Berry, Hoover and Christy Macioce each hit three each. Celeste Edwards made two.
A member of the men’s team passed Hoover as she was giving an interview near the court after the game and said, “Way to shoot the rock, Hoover.”
Coach Jim Jabir, whose team finished 28-3 a year ago and reached the NCAA tournament for the fourth straight season, was just as impressed.
“I know we can shoot it, but you never know from day to day how it’s going to go,” he said. “But I was really happy with it, the way we distributed it. Everyone was a threat. We have an inside game, too.”
Notes: Sophomore forward Jalen Robinson didn’t play because of an illness. … The UD men return to action Oct. 26 for their first exhibition game against Ryerson. They play another exhibition game Nov. 2 against Findlay before opening the season against IPFW at home on Nov. 9. … The UD women play an exhibition game at home at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 against Indianapolis and open the season at the Hawkeye Challenge against UC Riverside and Iowa on Nov. 9-10 in Iowa City, Iowa.