Pollard, who was part of three Wolverines state championships, scored 17 points in rallying 11 seed Dayton to a 56-55 win over 11 seed Boise in Wednesday's play-in game on the Flyers' home court. It was Pollard's fourth NCAA tourney conquest in two seasons after Dayton reached the Elite Eight in 2014.
"I'm just having the most fun I've ever had playing basketball," said Pollard, whose club (26-8) faces 6 seed Providence (22-11) on Friday in Columbus, Ohio, just an 80-mile drive from Dayton. "Our fans will definitely travel here [to Columbus] to watch the game. Hopefully it's the same environment as last night."
After Dayton prevailed Wednesday, Pollard said he received text messages from former Wolverines Jaylon Tate and Kendrick Nunn — both players at the University of Illinois — plus Darien Walker, whose Valparaiso squad meets Maryland in a second-round game Friday. He also talked to former Simeon/Duke star and current NBA player Jabari Parker, who told Pollard to "survive and keep advancing."
Pollard, of Auburn Gresham, said he's proud to represent Chicago in the NCAAs, along with his teammate, ex-Morgan Park standout and Flyers guard Kyle Davis.
He said the key to Dayton's success the last two seasons has been its complete team-oriented philosophy.
"We're a true team," Pollard said. "Our coaching staff does a good job of preparing us. We're having a lot of fun, and we're just ready to go out and play, and hopefully advance to the round of 32."
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