BamaInsider - Tide looks to bounce back at Dayton
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Tide looks to bounce back at Dayton

TUSCALOOSA | Anthony Grant says his trip down Memory Lane will not extend back to his playing days at the University of Dayton, even if his University of Alabama basketball team is in Ohio to face Grant's alma mater in a 6 p.m. basketball game tonight.
In fact, Grant says he won't be reminiscing about anything in the past at all - not even the No. 16 Crimson Tide's loss to Georgetown in its last outing.
"We've got to move on and understand we've got to get ready for a tough opponent in Dayton," Grant said when asked how the Crimson Tide was responding to last week's home loss to the Hoyas. "Like any game, you take away what you can as a learning lesson. We struggled versus the Georgetown zone (defense), and we need to look at the way we attack zones. Obviously, we have struggled against zones this year. If you look at the VCU game, we struggled there, so, we need to do a better job. But we are facing our first true road game, and I have been concentrating on that opponent."
The Crimson Tide (7-1) could have picked an easier place to bounce back than UD Arena, where the Flyers are traditionally a difficult opponent. This year's Dayton team, however, has been difficult to figure. The Flyers are 5-3, with an impressive win over Minnesota in the championship game of the Old Spice Classic highlighting their resume.
But in the past two games, Dayton has been blown out, at home by Buffalo (84-55) and on the road by Murray State, 75-58, on Sunday night.
The Flyers are a balanced team with four players averaging more than 10 points per game, led by junior guard Kevin Dillard (12.8 ppg).
Despite the two recent setbacks, first-year Dayton coach Archie Miller said his team is excited about the opportunity to host the Crimson Tide.
"They're one of the marquee teams in college basketball with the way they defend," Miller told the Dayton Daily News. "Defensively, who they are right now, their numbers and how they're built defensively, it's going to pose a lot of challenges for us offensively."
However, Miller said the chance to host a team from a BCS conference - the first to play at Dayton since 2007 - is critical for the Flyers this season.
"To play a team like Alabama, whether you're feeling good or bad about yourself - regardless - this is what our program has to have," he said. "From a nonconference scheduling standpoint, (this is how) you put yourself in position to make the NCAA Tournament, how you get exposure and how you put yourself on a (high) level with recruiting."
None of that sounds like it will make for a particularly warm and welcoming crowd at Grant's homecoming, though he doesn't seem overly sentimental about it, either.
"I had a speaking engagement in Dayton last year," Grant said. "I am sure I have been back to the arena at some point, but I am not really sure of the last time I was in there.
"As always, it's not about me. It's about our coaching staff trying to prepare our team for a very good opponent."
Grant said he does not expect any changes in the UA starting lineup tonight.
Reach Cecil Hurt at or 205-722-0225.