By Adam Brown
The Ole Miss men’s basketball program announced Monday a home-and-home series against the Dayton Flyers on the hardwood for the next two seasons. The Rebels will travel to Dayton Dec. 19 this season and the Flyers will come to the Pavilion the next season.
“We look forward to our home-and-home series with Dayton,” head coach Kermit Davis said. “The Flyers had an unbelievable year this past season, and they have one of the very best home courts in college basketball. This is another great challenge but also an excellent opportunity for us in the non-conference schedule.”
This season, Ole Miss will have a veteran squad on the court including four starters—KJ Buffen, Blake Hinson, Devontae Shuler, and Khadim Sy—from last year’s squad along with two of the top graduate transfers (Dimencio Vaughn, Romello White) in the country. Dayton is coming off a 29-2 campaign, a school record for wins despite the season getting cut short. The Flyers finished No. 3 in the national polls, and Anthony Grant was named the consensus national coach of the year.
With the first matchup in Dayton, the Rebels return to the site of their memorable comeback win over BYU in the First Four round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament (March 17, 2015). Down 17 at the half, Ole Miss 62 second-half points to rally past the Cougars 94-90 and stay alive in March Madness. The Rebels played in University of Dayton Arena twice during that 2014-15 season, having dropped a close 78-74 battle to the Flyers (Dec. 30, 2014). That encounter concluded the last home-and-home series between the two programs after Dayton escaped Tad Smith Coliseum with an 83-80 overtime win earlier in the calendar year (Jan. 4, 2014).
Ole Miss is seeking its first victory against the Flyers as Dayton leads the all-time series 6-0, with five of the six matchups occurring this century. The two teams first met on the hardwood during the 1980 University of Dayton Invitational. Three decades later, the Rebels and Flyers battled in the 2010 NIT Final Four at Madison Square Garden. The following season, the schools agreed to their first home-and-home series.
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