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Dayton and Syracuse got a sneak peek of each other in Hawaii

By Tim Graham

The Dayton Flyers came one putback away from playing the Syracuse Orange already this season.

Both participated in the Maui Invitational, the annual November mini-tournament. Dayton would've advanced to the title game with a victory over Baylor.

Dayton hadn't trailed since it was down 1-0 and led by 10 in the second half. But Baylor followed its own miss and scored with 16 seconds left to win, 67-66. Syracuse beat Baylor, 74-67, in the final.

What did Dayton glean from Syracuse to help them scout for tonight's NCAA Tournament game in First Niagara Center?

"We didn't spend a ton of time watching them, just the eye test because the Maui games are back-to-back," Dayton coach Archie Miller said. "Saw them really one time because we played Cal and they did, as well.

"Obviously, the size and the length and the zone can consume you if you let it. I think offensively they have a lot of guys individually they can isolate on you, really talented. But it's a typical Syracuse team. They're very good, and they're very big. You're going to have to be organized. They thrive on the steals. They thrive on the defense creating offense.

"Down the other end, they really have some game changers in terms of [Trevor] Cooney and [C.J.] Fair, and they're really good off the glass at times as well with [Jerami] Grant. We have our work cut out for us."

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim was impressed by watching Miller coach in Maui.

"You can't scout people anymore, but we watched him over there because of the tournament," Boeheim said. "I'm just impressed with how hard his team plays, how they play together. Just a really, really well‑coached team. He's done a tremendous job coaching that team."

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