Remember this article I did awhile back? Looks like it’s getting a sequel, as the Dayton Air Strikers are now playing in the International Basketball League.
The Air Strikers will play eight games (all at home) as a branding team of the IBL. The schedule begins May 8th against the Gary Splash at 5:00pm. Overall, Dayton will see four opponents twice in the short season. The Air Strikers will play the Lansing Capitals, the Splash, the Kankakee County Soldiers, and the Ohio Hidden Gems from Columbus. Six games will be held on Sunday, whereas the two meetings with the Hidden Gems will be on Friday Nights.
Instead of calling the James S. Trent Arena in Kettering home, Dayton will now play the eight home matches in the McLin Gym at Wright State University’s Nutter Center. The Air Strikers had a home contest with the Rochester Razor Sharks of the PBL earlier in the year. In my own personal opinion, I like this move (and not just because I am a graduate of Wright State.) While Trent Arena is nice, the McLin Gym has that feeling where you are close to the players and refs. Granted, the set up of the floor could be confusing in the Gym because of where the volleyball lines are (yes, where the Raiders play volleyball.)
Also new to the organization are two new coaches, in Chris McGuire and Darnell Hoskins. Both have coached and/or played locally in the Miami Valley.
Finishing 3-18 in the Premier Basketball League, the Air Strikers had the fifth best offense in the league (out of eight teams.) While the record doesn’t show it, the team was playing better together as the season went on (or at least I thought they did as a stats intern.)
One of the main differences of the IBL is the pace. While the PBL tried to instill a faster pace, the IBL limits each coach one timeout per quarter and has a 22-second shot clock (compared to 24 in the PBL and NBA.) Also in the IBL is the immediate inbound rule. Everything else falls into the NBA rulebook, much like the PBL.
I think people should give this team a try. The home games are now Sundays and Fridays, and there’s no other teams playing basketball around the area. While the Dayton Silverbacks and the Dayton Dragons do play during this time, I believe that the schedules are parallel to each other.
Dayton takes off once again on May 8th, against the Splash of Gary, Indiana in the McLin Gym. If you’re looking for some fast-paced basketball, along with a family-friendly environment, the Air Strikers are your answer for the summer.
Sources of information from iblhoopsonline.com, daytonairstrikers.com, and thepbl.com.
Until next time,