Three points: Takeaways from Dayton’s victory over Alabama

The St. Henry graduate Mikesell scored 21 points in his debut Friday against Southeast Missouri State. He had three points in his second game. The Flyers still won both by more than 30 points.

Dayton’s 80-48 victory over Alabama showed again how deep the bench is this year. The Flyers won 27 games with seven players in the rotation for the majority of last year. They are 2-0 this year with 11 players receiving time.

“It’s a good win for our team,” Dayton coach Archie Miller said. “We had a lot of guys contribute and get in there.”

Here are three points to take away from Dayton’s 24th straight victory at UD Arena:

1. National exposure: The three junior captains — Scoochie Smith, Kyle Davis and Kendall Pollard — are used to playing on national television. Darrell Davis and Bobby Wehrli also got plenty of TV time last year. Charles Cooke, the transfer from James Madison, played in the First Four at UD Arena earlier in his career.

But for four freshmen and redshirt freshman Steve McElvene, playing on ESPN in the Tip-Off Marathon was a new experience. They handled it well. The Flyers broke open a 18-18 game with a 22-6 run in the final 10 minutes of the first half.

“With the starting five leading the way, we gave the bench confidence,” Smith said. “They saw us doing it. They thought, ‘We can do it, too.’ ”

2. Strong start: The Flyers are 2-0 for the third straight season, but this is the first time since 1956-57 they have opened the season with two straight victories of 30 points or more.

Dayton beat Gustavus Adolphus 84-48 and Miami (Fla.) 87-48 to start the 1956-57 season. They finished 19-9 that season. Al Sicking led the team with 13.8 points. Bucky Bockhorn, a junior, averaged 11.8.

Asked to compare where the team is now with where the team was through two games in his first two seasons, Smith said, “I think we’re the most talented with a lot of depth. We learned how to win the last two years. The juniors know how to win. We’ve brought leadership to this type of depth and talent.”

3. Call him Steve: Redshirt freshman center Steve McElvene recorded the first double-double of his career (13 points, 11 rebounds) in his second game. McElvene said he likes the student section’s chant, “Steve says no,” which he hears after every block.

As for the nickname, fans have given him, “Big Steve,” here’s what he said: “It’s kind of catchy. But my name’s Steve McElvene. All my real friends know me as Steve. My fans know me as Big Steve.”

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