Dayton-Vanderbilt Preview

Dayton won't be intimidated by facing an SEC opponent next, though going on the road will be a new experience.

The Flyers can start 7-1 for the third straight season Wednesday night when they try to hand No. 21 Vanderbilt its first home loss.

Dayton has taken 11 of its last 14 games against SEC foes, crushing Alabama 80-48 on Nov. 17 in its lone such contest this season. Last season, the Flyers knocked off Texas A&M and Mississippi, though it fell at Arkansas.

Playing in a hostile environment for Dayton will be different for newcomers Steve McElvene and James Madison transfer Charles Cooke. Cooke is averaging a team-high 16.0 points for the Flyers, who have won 26 straight at home.

“It's good for us,” coach Archie Miller said. “We're going to be on the road in conference play a lot. This is something that gives us a chance to sort of go on the road and prepare.”

Vanderbilt (6-2) has won nine straight at home against nonconference foes, including a 4-0 mark this season.

The Commodores will try to bounce back from Sunday's 69-67 defeat at then-No. 25 Baylor. Wade Baldwin IV scored 19 points as Vanderbilt was undone by allowing 19 points on 20 offensive rebounds despite using three 7-footers in Luke Kornet, Damian Jones and Josh Henderson.

''It felt like pulling teeth the whole night. I felt like I was asking for things the entire night that I wasn't getting,'' coach Kevin Stallings said. ''We kind of got what we deserved. We should have won the game, but we didn't deserve to.”

The Commodores committed a season-high 17 turnovers. They average 10.5.

“We turned the ball over like crazy and just didn't play like we needed to play,” Stallings said.

Jones scored nine points and had six assists after entering with 10 assists in the first seven games. He had a pair of 17-point, 10-rebound efforts in games against Wake Forest and Kansas in the Maui Invitational.

“Jones inside is a load, he's a high-major big guy who can score the ball,” Miller said.

Jones figures to match up with the 6-11 McElvene, who scored 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting to go with 16 rebounds in Saturday's 86-71 win over North Florida. Cooke had a season-high 24 points.

Whether McElvene can stay on the court is an issue. He picked up four fouls in 13 scoreless minutes in a 73-70 win over Monmouth on Nov. 27, and fouled out in six scoreless minutes two days later in a 90-61 loss to then-No. 23 Xavier.

When McElvene plays at least 23 minutes, he's averaged 13.0 points on 19-of-25 shooting and 12.0 rebounds. He averages 2.3 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting 4 of 11 when he fails to reach that mark.

Vanderbilt is allowing opponents to shoot an SEC-best 34.6 percent while Dayton is also solid at 39.6. The Commodores shoot 49.3 percent and Flyers connect at 47.8.

“Getting a chance to watch them a little bit versus Baylor and watching them versus Kansas, and seeing them in Maui, it's certainly one of the best teams in the country so we're going to have to be ready to go and it's going to give us another opportunity to test ourselves,” Miller said.

Vanderbilt is 4-0 in the series. These teams last met in 2005-06.