An NCAA tournament entrant in each of the past three seasons, the Dayton Flyers have re-established themselves as one of college basketball’s top mid-major powers under Archie Miller.
They have now beaten more established programs for the services of three-star point guard McKinley Wright. The rising 2017 senior has chosen to commit to the Ohio program, according to Travis Hines of College Basketball Talk, and he spurned interest from several schools in order to pledge allegiance to the Flyers.
Wright hails from Minnesota, and the home-state Golden Gophers joined Memphis and Xavier among the programs offering Wright scholarships. Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas State also expressed interest, but Iowa State was the only Big 12 school that landed in Wright’s top five, joining the aforementioned programs.
Wright visited the western Ohio-stationed campus last week and ended up choosing Dayton partially because of Minnesota’s recruiting situation. He’s the third player committed to join Dayton in the ’17 class, being set to accompany power forward Jordan Pierce and shooting guard Jordan Davis to the university.
“We kind of parted ways this past week,” Wright said about Minnesota during a commitment ceremony in his high school gym, via Marcus Fuller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “They got a commitment from a very good point guard Isaiah Washington. Congratulations to them on their end. Congratulations to him and their whole organization. But I feel like Dayton is the best spot for me. They talked about me and Isaiah playing together in the backcourt at Minnesota. But I just feel like Dayton is the best spot for me.”
Fuller points out Minnesota coach Richard Pitino is now 0-for-6 in offers to Minnesota-based standouts this year. For Dayton, conversely, this could represent a smooth handoff. Scoochie Smith will enter his senior season in 2016-17 as part of a senior class that will likely finish their careers as the winningest group in Flyers history. After Smith departs in 2017, the 6-foot Wright may be the next in line.