One of the qualities that helped Dayton go on the late-season run that culminated with an appearance in the Elite Eight was the team’s depth, with head coach Archie Miller was able to play as many as 11 players in any given game. For the season nine players finished the season playing at least 12.6 minutes per game.
One of the players in the rotation was sophomore guard Khari Price, who started all 37 games and played just over 22 minutes per contest. Price, a native of Slidell, La., posted averages of 6.4 points and 1.8 assists per game for the Flyers last season, managing to remain in the starting lineup even with the arrival of talented point guard Dayshon “Scoochie” Smith. Price’s time at Dayton has come to an end however, with Miller announcing the player’s decision Sunday afternoon.
“Today we want to wish Khari Price the best of luck on his decision to transfer and be closer to home and his family,” Miller stated on his Twitter account. “This was a long and well thought out process on his behalf. After numerous conversations with he and his family, it’s the best decision. I’m proud of Khari for how he represented us the last two years on and off the floor.
“He is a great kid and his contributions helped us grow. He will be successful wherever he chooses, and we wish him the best of luck.”
Price reached double figures in ten of Dayton’s 37 games last season, with four of those outings coming in the Flyers’ first five games. Included in that early season stretch was a 17-point performance in Dayton’s season-opening win over IPFW. Price scored ten points or more in three Atlantic 10 games, accounting for 15 points in a win at Fordham in mid-January. Price’s best game assist-wise came in Dayton’s home win over UMass on March 1, as he dished out five assists to go along with ten points.
With an 11-member setup the Sun Belt Conference has played a 20-game conference schedule the last couple of years, which may be seen as a positive when it comes to determining the regular season champion (home-and-home between every team). But for a conference that spans from North Carolina (Appalachian State) to Texas (UT-Arlington, Texas State) travel was far from easy in that setup.
And with Coastal Carolina joining next season, it was clear that the league needed to do something with its scheduling.
Thursday the Sun Belt members approved an 18-game conference schedule, which will begin with the 2016-17 season when the league consists of 12 members. Included in the agreement is the assignment of travel partners (similar to setups in the Pac-12 and Ivy League), and teams playing no more than three consecutive conference games on the road.
Schools will also be guaranteed at least five weekend home games during conference play, and there will be no more weekends in which teams play conference games both home and away (thus cutting down on travel). Obviously with the addition of Coastal Carolina the Sun Belt needed to make some changes in their scheduling, and this week the conference made the moves they needed to make.
Prior to a one-year stint as the head coach coach at Bowling Green that came to an end in early April as a result of an incident at a Bowling Green restaurant, Chris Jans was a member of Gregg Marshall’s coaching staff at Wichita State from 2007-14. During those seven seasons Jans was a key figure as the Shockers made the progression to a respected national power.
Jans is back in Wichita, with Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle reporting Thursday that he’s serving as a consultant to the program. Jans’ consulting agreement runs for 45 days, which the school can renew, and he’ll be paid $10,000 for the work. While Jans isn’t allowed to do any coaching, he can watch practices and provide Marshall and the coaching staff with his observations.
“He will be able to consult with the coaching staff, only on what he observes in practice,” said Darron Boatright, WSU deputy athletics director. “By NCAA rule, a consultant is not allowed to have communication with student-athletes … not about basketball-related activities or performance.”
While Jans (who according to the story has served in a similar role for another school) can’t do any coaching in this role, his return does give Marshall another trusted voice to call upon when needed. Wichita State bid farewell to an assistant coach this spring with Steve Forbes being hired as the head coach at East Tennessee State, with his position being filled by former Sunrise Christian Academy coach Kyle Lindsted.