IOWA CITY — Dayton Coach Archie Miller has experience coaching against Iowa, coaching at Carver-Hawkeye Arena and coaching against Fran McCaffery. But he has no experience coaching against Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Miller, 33, was an assistant for two seasons at Ohio State, and the Buckeyes lost to McCaffery’s Siena squad 74-72 in the 2009 NCAA tournament. Miller also was part of a staff at Ohio State that finished 1-1 against Iowa at Iowa City in two seasons. In 2008, Iowa beat Ohio State 53-48. In 2009, Ohio State outlasted the Hawkeyes 60-58.
“Obviously I’m very familiar with playing at Carver-Hawkeye,” said Miller, who is in his first season as Dayton’s head coach. “We’ve got our work cut out for us. (McCaffery is) a terrific coach, and I know they’ll probably have a lot of momentum moving forward as he moves not only into this postseason but next year.”
Second-seeded Dayton (20-12) faces seventh-seeded Iowa (17-16) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in a first-round National Invitation Tournament game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The game was moved to Iowa City because Dayton’s arena hosts the NCAA’s First Four matchups on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Miller just shrugged when asked if playing on the road despite being the higher seed.
“It’s reality,” he said. “When you become the head coach at Dayton, one of the things that’s discussed is postseason aspirations. The NCAA’s First Four being hosted in Dayton is a very, very big deal, not only for our program, our school and our city, it’s really for the NCAA. It’s a great place.
“You never know where you’re going to be at the end of the season. So for us, to be recognized as a two seed in the NIT gives us a little bit of credibility for the season that we’ve had and how we’ve played lately.
“The fact that we have to go to Iowa is what it is. It’s just reality. Our kids are are going to get on an airplane today. We’re going to go practice, prepare and we’re going to go play Iowa at Iowa. If we’re fortunate to be move on, as a two seed we’ll be hosting another home game.
“It’s hard, obviously, a little bit ironic that you can get a seed at that level in the NIT and go on the road but that’s reality. Everybody understands that here at Dayton.”
One Dayton player also has a connection to Iowa. Senior guard Josh Parker, who averages 8.7 points a game, played two seasons at Drake before transferring to Dayton. Parker was a member of the 2008 Drake squad that won the Missouri Valley Conference and was a No. 5 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Dayton is 18-3 the last two seasons when Parker scores in double figures. Miller called Parker “a winner” Monday morning.
“I’ve had Josh for one year, and I can’t really say there’s a guy that I’ve been around that’s more coachable, that’s real positive,” Miller said.
“There’s no mistake about it: in our wins, he’s really played a big role in a lot of them.”