By Tim Graham
Few college basketball teams are more balanced than the Dayton Flyers.
The Flyers are 23-3 when three or more players score in double figures, just 1-7 when they don't. But their leading scorer, Jordan Sibert, averages only 12.4 points a game.
Their next NCAA Tournament opponent, the Syracuse Orange, have three players who average at least as many points as Sibert does. A fourth Orange player is one-tenth of a point behind.
"They have their style. We have our style," said Syracuse forward C.J. Fair, who averages a team-high 16.6 points. "They rotate a lot of guys in and out frequently.
"For us, we play our starters the majority of the game. But it's been effective that way. So I don't see no problem with it."
Thursday at First Niagara Center, the Flyers played the Ohio State Buckeyes to the final buzzer and had nine players with at least 13 minutes. Only two other Flyers got into the game.
"Our depth has been basically a quest to keep our team together," Dayton coach Archie Miller said. "The camaraderie we have is a big deal. Why we've gotten to this point is because our guys like one another. They're together. They're tough."
Orange coach Jim Boeheim cleared his bench in a blowout victory over the Western Michigan Broncos. Thirteen players got into the game. Even so, nine Orange players went at least 13 minutes.
"I think that doesn't make a difference because we're just going to go ahead and play our game," Syracuse center Baye Moussa Keita said. "It doesn't matter if they play nine, 10, guys and we play seven or six. I think everyone is going to play their game, play the hardest we can."