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November 2017
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Ball State begins 97th season of Men’s Basketball begins at Dayton tonight

 

Game 1
Ball State (0-0, 0-0 MAC) at Dayton (0-0, 0-0 A-10)
Friday, Nov. 10 (7 p.m.)
Dayton, Ohio (UD Arena)
Watch: Spectrum Sports Ohio / A-10 Network (Free)
Listen (WLBC)Live Stats

 

James Whitford head coach

A Look at the Cardinals
• Ball State begins its 97th season of basketball and its fifth under head coach James Whitford with a short trip to play defending Atlantic 10 regular season champion Dayton.

• The Cardinals are coming off back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 1991-92 and 1992-93. BSU shared the MAC West Division title in each of the past two seasons, winning the division in consecutive years for the first time since the league implemented divisions in 1998.

• Ball State was picked to finish second in this year’s MAC West Division preseason poll behind Western Michigan, and the Cardinals received the third-most votes as MAC Tournament favorite behind WMU and Buffalo. Junior point guard Tayler Persons, an All-MAC Second Team selection last season, was a preseason All-MAC West pick.

• Ball State defeated Saint Francis (Ind.) 91-67 Monday night in its lone exhibition. Seven different Cardinals scored at least eight points in the game, led by junior guard Jontrell Walker with 14. Sophomore forward Tahjai Teague (13 points, 12 rebounds) and freshman forward Zach Gunn (12 points, 11 rebounds) both registered double-doubles.

• Ball State and Dayton will be meeting for the first time since Jan. 5, 2010. Despite being separated by fewer than 100 miles, the teams have played only twice since 1958.

• The Cardinals will play five of their first six games away from home. The opening stretch also includes road games at Oklahoma, Oregon, Bucknell and Indiana State. The only home game during that stretch comes Nov. 17 against Stony Brook.

 

Season Openers
• Ball State is 55-41 all-time in season-opening games.

• The Cardinals will be opening on the road for the fifth consecutive season and opening against an Atlantic 10 opponent for the second year in a row.

• BSU won 85-64 at Saint Louis in last year’s season opener. Franko House, a senior last year, led the way with 23 points, while returning point guard Tayler Persons dropped 21 in his Ball State debut.

 

Scouting Dayton
• Dayton is entering its first season under head coach Anthony Grant, a 1997 UD graduate and former player for the Flyers.

• The former Alabama and VCU head coach takes over for Archie Miller, who moved on to take the head coaching job at Indiana.

• Dayton won the Atlantic 10 Conference regular season championship a year ago, finishing 24-8 overall and 15-3 in the league.

• The Flyers reached the NCAA tournament for the fourth consecutive season and ended the year at No. 36 in the RPI.

• Dayton must replace four of its top five scorers from a year ago. Junior forward Xeyrius Williams is the team’s top returning player after averaging 8.2 points and 4.8 rebounds last season.

• The Flyers defeated Ohio Dominican 79-61 in their exhibition game behind 22 points and nine rebounds from Josh Cunningham.

Tayler Persons

Jontrell Walker

Tahjai Teague

 

GAME PREVIEW WRITTEN BY & A COURTESY OF BALL STATE ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS