Jan. 24, 2006
The University of Dayton Flyers will finish their longest home stretch of the Atlantic 10 Conference season Wednesday when the St. Bonaventure Bonnies visit Tom Blackburn Court. Game time at UD Arena is 7:00 p.m. EST. Wednesday's game will be the 100th straight Dayton regular season game with an attendance of more than 11,000. Dayton comes into the game 9-10 overall and 1-4 in the A-10. SBU is 6-10 on the season, and is 0-5 in the Atlantic 10.
Three of the Flyers' next four games are on the road at the three A-10 teams with the most wins this season -- George Washington (14), Xavier (12) and Charlotte (11). After St. Bonaventure, Dayton plays at Xavier on Saturday, January 28 at 12:00 noon EST. UD's next home game is Wednesday, February 1 against Saint Joseph's at 7:00 p.m. EST. Then the Flyers play at Charlotte (February 4) and George Washington (February 8).
Dayton is led by sophomore guard Brian Roberts and junior forward Monty Scott, who give the team a potent 1-2 punch (or if you go by their uniform numbers, a 2-1 punch). Roberts averages 16.7 points a game, and Scott 11.7. One of them has been UD's high scorer in every game but three this season. Combined, they have made 71 of UD's 109 three-pointers this year. Roberts is the Atlantic 10's third-leading scorer, and is also ranked in the league's top ten in three-pointers, 3-pt. FG%, overall FG% and FT%. He is also 11th in assists. Scott is listed as day-to-day while with dealing plantar fasciitis in his right foot. He scored 16 points against Temple and 11 points vs. Duquesne, after missing an entire week of practice and the Richmond game on January 14.
SBU brings a six-game losing streak to the Arena, but included in that are a two-point loss at Saint Louis to open A-10 play, and a double-overtime setback at Fordham in the Bonnies' last game on Saturday. St. Bonaventure is led by senior Ahmad Smith, who is first on the team in scoring (16.1). SBU is the only team in the A-10 to have three players among the league's top 20 in rebounding -- Michael Lee (7.4), Paul Williams (7.1) and Smith (6.3).
Dayton is coming off a 10-6 Atlantic 10 season in 2004-05, where the Flyers finished tied for second in the league's West Division (one game back of A-10 champion George Washington). UD is 38-13 in conference play since 2002-03. In ten A-10 campaigns, UD has posted six winning records, including each of the last five seasons.
SERIES STUFF Dayton leads the series 9-6, and has won the last three contests. Last season, UD won in Olean 68-61 on February 22, and in the first round of the Atlantic 10 tournament 78-48 on March 9. Dayton has won five of the six meetings at the Arena. The first meeting was at the Olean Armory on December 18, 1948.
GRAD RATES GREAT IN DAYTON Dayton was listed as one of the nation's leaders in the 2005 NCAA Division I Graduation Rates Report. The Flyers were one of 28 schools (out of 327) with a GSR of 94. UD's 91 percent graduation rate for its men's basketball program is the sixth-best percentage in the nation and the best in the A-10 (tied with Richmond). Overall, 11 Flyer athletics programs had a GSR of 90 percent or higher including six men's programs. Last year's report also noted that every one of the 229 scholarship student-athletes that entered UD from 1988-89 to 1997-98 and completed their eligibility at UD graduated.
HEAD COACH Brian Gregory Third-year head coach Brian Gregory (51-30 overall) is off to one of the best coaching starts in UD history. He reached 50 wins faster than all but one coach at Dayton. Only Flyer Hall of Famer Don Donoher (63 games) got to 50 faster than Gregory (73) at UD. He led a veteran team to a 24-9 record and the 2004 Atlantic 10 West Division Championship in his first season. Last year, with one of the youngest teams in the country (six freshmen averaged at least 11 minutes a game), he guided the team to an 18-11 record, and was in the race for their second straight division title right up to the last weekend of the regular season. For his performance in 2004-05, he was named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year by CBS SportsLine and collegeinsider.com. Gregory is the only coach to lead his team to the Maui Invitational championship in his first season as a head coach.
MEET THE STAFF Brian Gregory has a tremendous staff working with the Flyers again in 2005-06. Billy Schmidt has been with Gregory since he came to UD three years ago, joining the Flyers from the University of Michigan. Schmidt has also coached in the SEC and Big East. The other two coaches on the staff are new to UD, but hardly new to the profession. Reggie Rankin comes to Dayton from Nebraska, with previous experience in the SEC, WAC and MAC. Bob Beyer's last coaching stop was with the Toronto Raptors, and his stops before that included the Big 12 and the SEC.
COMMITMENT EQUALS CONTRACT Just after practice began in October, UD Vice-President and Director of Athletics Ted Kissell announced that the University and head men's basketball coach Brian Gregory agreed to a new contract that will run through the 2012-13 season. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed, but it reflects increases in length and compensation. "This new contract includes incentives for performance and longevity. It is not just based on what Brian has accomplished in his first two years as our coach, but also for what we believe is to come," Kissell said at the announcement of the new contract. "Brian Gregory is the right man to move our men's basketball program to a position among the nation's best."
DOING IT WITH DEFENSE Dayton has held its opponent under 50 points five times already this season. That had happened a total of five times in Flyer coach Brian Gregory's first two seasons at UD.
NON-CONFERENCE NEWS Before conference play began, UD had six games against teams in the top 30 of the RPI. Only Memphis, also with six, played as many. The Flyers' 14 non-conference games this year were the most in school history before January 1. The previous high was 12, which had happened five times.
B-ROB B-GOOD Flyer sophomore guard Brian Roberts has led the Flyers in scoring 12 of the 19 games this season, including a career-high 34 points at Creighton, and 24 at UC. He scored a then-career-high 28 points in UD's 81-60 win over Tennessee Tech in the season opener and was named this year's first Atlantic 10 Player of the Week. He actually had scored more than his previous career best of 17 by halftime, with 18 points. He scored 28 of UD's 50 points at Richmond. On the year, he leads UD in scoring (16.7) and minutes (32.5), and is second in assists (3.5). He is third in the A-10 in scoring, and is the only player in the top five who is also in the A-10's top ten in three-pointers, 3-pt. FG%, FG% and FT%. He is also 11th in assists.
B-ROB LIKES TO B-GONE Brian Roberts has played in 20 games away from UD Arena in his career and has scored in double figures in 14 of them. He averages 13.9 points a game away from UD Arena, and 10.6 at home. In seven games away from home this season, he is averaging 21.1.
BRIAN'S BURSTS Brian Roberts has demonstrated a knack for scoring his points in short amounts of time. He has scored at least ten points in 12 halves this season. He scored all nine of UD's points in the second overtime at Creighton, and has had at least seven points in less than a four-minute stretch nine times this season, including seven in 2:07 vs. Tennessee Tech, seven in 2:46 vs. CMU, ten in 2:50 vs. Arkansas-Monticello, ten in 2:52 vs. Northern Iowa, seven in 2:59 vs. Vanderbilt and eight in 3:23 at Richmond.
GREAT SCOTT Junior forward Monty Scott is suffering from plantar fasciitis and is listed as day-to-day. After missing the Richmond game and a full week of practice, he scored 16 points against Temple and 11 points in just 22 minutes in the Duquesne win. He was named First Team All-Atlantic 10 at the league's pre-season media day on November 3. Scott, UD's 2004-05 MVP, led the Flyers in scoring (11.1) and rebounding (4.6) last season. This season, he is second on the team in scoring (11.7) minutes (26.3) and FT% (.813, 26-32), and is third in rebounding (4.6). He had his first double-double of the year (and second of his career) with 21 points and 10 rebounds at Creighton. He opened A-10 play with 17 points at Fordham. He has scored double figures in 12 of this season's 19 games.
STORMIN' NORMAN Norman Plummer is UD's leading rebounder (6.7) and field goal shooter (.524, 66-126), and is third in scoring (9.5). Despite battling strep throat, he had 18 points and eight rebounds against Duquesne. Earlier in the season, he was limited to just 17 minutes, three rebounds and a season-low four points in the Vanderbilt loss after being bedridden for three days after Christmas. He bounced back with 11 points (3-5 FG, 5-6 FT) and nine rebounds in a season-high 35 minutes at Fordham, and led UD with 14 points against Charlotte. He also had 10 points and eight rebounds versus Temple. Before getting sick, he turned in three double-doubles in the four-game Las Vegas Holiday Classic and was named to the all-tournament team. He had his first double-double this season (and second of his career) with 11 points and 10 rebounds in the Arkansas-Monticello win, and came back with 13 and 10 vs. FAMU. He has at least eight rebounds in nine games this year, including a career-high 11 twice. Sixty of his 127 rebounds this season are off the offensive glass. He averages 3.2 offensive boards a game.
VIVA.... Sophomores Brian Roberts and Norman Plummer were named to the Las Vegas Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team for their performances in the event. Roberts started all four games at point guard, leading the Flyers in scoring (18.3) assists (5.5) and minutes (34.8). Plummer had double-doubles in three of the four games, averaging 11.0 points (second on the team) and 9.3 rebounds (first on the team). UD went 2-2 in the tournament, with both losses in Vegas to the tournament co-champs, Cincinnati and Northern Iowa.
THE MAYOR Sophomore center Chris Alvarez's outgoing personality may get him elected to office someday (if he decides to run for office, that is), but for now he is campaigning for votes as the team's hardest-working player. He grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds in the Grambling win. In the season-opening TTU win, the number three came up big in his performance. Alvarez scored three points, had three assists, had a career-high three blocked shots and showed his versatility by guarding all three frontcourt positions at different times during the game. Versus Morehead, he had eight points (4-5 FG) and six rebounds. Against DePaul, he had a season-high nine points and four rebounds (three offensive). He had five rebounds in 11 minutes at Fordham, and had eight points and six rebounds in a career-high 30 minutes. He is second on the team in rebounding (4.9) and fourth in scoring (4.0).
DUBYA-DUBYA'S DOUBLE-DOUBLE UD point guard Warren Williams scored 12 points (4-6 3-pt.) in the Charlotte game. That matched what he had scored in the previous seven games combined. He opened the year with his first career double-double in the Tennessee Tech win, scoring 10 points and passing for a career-high 11 assists. Most importantly, he had just two turnovers in 32 minutes. He had five assists against one turnover in 12 minutes vs. Vanderbilt. In the Duquesne win, he had seven assists against no turnovers.
BINNIE OFF THE BENCH Sophomore forward Jimmy Binnie came off the bench to score a season-high 12 points, all in the second half, in the FAMU win. He was the spark that ignited UD's 25-5 closing run in the CMU win. He had seven points, four rebounds and a career-high three steals in 16 minutes of action. He's been doing a little bit of everything this season. In 21 minutes in the win over Tennessee Tech, he scored seven points, grabbed five rebounds and had two assists. In Vegas, Binnie had five points, five rebounds and a career-high four assists in the Cincinnati game, and he played a career-high 30 minutes (two points, four rebounds and two assists) against Northern Iowa. He had nine points (3-5 from 3-pt.) against Duquesne. Binnie is one of nine Flyers averaging 3.5 points or better a game.
LOGAN'S RUN After playing in just six games and a total of 18 minutes a year ago, Logan White has already seen action in all 19 games (with seven starts) and logged 291 minutes in 2005-06. He's actually had seven games where he played more than the 18 minutes he played all season in 2004-05. He scored a career-high 11 points (5-7 FG) in a career-high 28 minutes at Fordham. He began his move from garbage time to prime time when he was one of the few bright spots at Miami. He came off the bench to score five points and hand out two assists in seven minutes at Miami. Since then, he has played at least 14 minutes in all but one game.
THE CINCINNATI KID Junior center James Cripe returned to his hometown (he's from the Cincinnati suburb of Loveland) was a key component of Dayton's win at UC. Cripe scored a career-high 14 points (5-7 FG, 4-4 FG). He's started nine games at center for UD this season. He came off the bench for 12 points (5-6 FG) against Vanderbilt.
ADEDIESEL Freshman center Desmond Adedeji took a big step forward in the Northern Iowa game, playing a season-high 16 minutes and getting 10 points (4-4 FT) and a career-high six rebounds. He also had 13 (6-6 FG) vs. Morehead State. He made his first career start vs. Vanderbilt. In his first road start at Fordham, he had seven points (all in the second half) and three rebounds in 16 minutes of play. In the Duquesne win, he had 10 points (4-4 FG, two dunks) in 14 minutes.
NO LITTLE THING Freshman forward Charles Little had his best game in a Flyer uniform to date in the CMU win, with ten points (4-6 FG) and four rebounds, and two blocked shots. He also had a strong effort against Charlotte, with six points (3-5 FG) and three rebounds in 13 minutes. He added nine points (4-5 FG, three dunks) against Duquesne.
YOUNG STUFF UD had six dunks in the Duquesne win, and five were by Flyer freshmen Charles Little and Desmond Adedeji. Little had three, and Adedeji had two.
SPEAKING OF NEW GUYS An unfamiliar face with a familiar name to long-time Flyer fans can be found on UD's bench. Monroe Douglass, Jr., son of SLU star Monroe Douglass, is now with the team as a practice player. Douglass, who is attending the University on an academic scholarship, is not practicing full-time or dressing for games to allow him some academic flexibility.
FLYERS SIGN FOUR IN EARLY SIGNING PERIOD Flyer coach Brian Gregory and his staff landed another impressive group of recruits during the early signing period. The four players who signed are another highly-touted class. The newest official members of the Flyer family - 6-9 center/forward Kurt Huelsman of St. Henry (OH) High School, 6-3 guard Marcus Johnson of Akron (OH) St. Vincent/St. Mary's High School, 6-4 guard Andres Sandoval of Winchendon High School (Milford, MA)/Santa Fe (FL) Community College and 6-2 guard London Warren of Jacksonville (FL) Raines High School - are collectively ranked tied for the nation's 33rd-best, according to HoopScoop Online. All four committed verbally to UD this summer after getting scholarship offers from schools that included members of the Big East, Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC. Sandoval played his first two years at Richmond before going to Santa Fe.
NOW THAT'S A PEER GROUP HoopScoop Online ranks seven Atlantic 10 schools in its Top 50 rankings of early recruiting classes. In addition to UD, they are Charlotte, Duquesne, La Salle, Rhode Island, Richmond and Saint Joseph's.
A DIVERSE DAYTON ROSTER The Flyer basketball program boasts (counting the fall signees) 19 players from nine different states. Eight UD players hail from Ohio, and two each are from Florida, Maryland and Massachusetts. Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Tennessee have one.
...THEY BECOME SOPHOMORES UD's 2004-05 freshmen were the most productive freshman class in school history. They scored 51.4% of the team's points, grabbed 50.3% of the rebounds and shot 55.5% of the free throws.
EYE 75 ON THE SCOREBOARD The Flyers are 14-2 under head coach Brian Gregory when they score at least 75 points. The only losses are both in overtime.
TOURNEY TOWN The NCAA Division I Tournament will make its start at UD Arena this season for the fifth year in a row. The NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee has announced that the University of Dayton Arena will host the NCAA Opening Round Game in 2006. UD has hosted the game since its inception in its current form in 2002. Dayton will also be a First and Second Round site for the 2006 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. When the 2006 NCAA Tournament is over, UD Arena will have been an NCAA site in 20 of the last 37 years and will have hosted 72 NCAA Tournament games. That will make UD Arena the third-most prolific NCAA Tournament venue behind Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City (83) and the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City (81). The Arena is also one of four 2008 NCAA Division I NCAA Women's Regional tournament sites.
FLYER FAITHFUL For years, UD has claimed it has had the best fans in the nation. In 2001, The Sporting News conducted an unscientific poll of college basketball coaches, media and SIDs. In the January 8, 2001 issue of the magazine, UD's fans were tabbed as college basketball's best. And they prove it to everyone the Flyers play. The approximately 600 Flyer fans at the final rounds of the Las Vegas Holiday Classic were more than the other teams in the tournament combined. Close to 300 of the "Flyer Faithful" made the trip to Maui in 2003-04 to watch UD win the Maui Invitational. Duke's Cameron Crazies got a taste in 2002-03 when about 500 Flyer fanatics followed the team to Durham, the most visiting fans at Duke in over 20 years. At Duquesne last year, UD easily had half the crowd as Pittsburgh was turning its attention to a Steelers-Jets playoff game later in the day. UD Arena has 75 sellouts in its 34-year history. UD's last 99 regular season home games have had attendance of at least 11,000 fans. In the last 13 years, 99% of UD's home games have drawn at least 10,000 (337 of 340), including the last 136 regular season games. For the entire 2004-05 season, Dayton averaged 12,569 fans per game, which was ranked 18th nationally. This year's opening night attendance of 13,040 was UD's largest first-game crowd in five years.
DID YOU KNOW ? UD won more games than any other school in both the 1950s and `60s. UD won 435 games between 1950 and 1969 and ranks among the top teams of the 1950s and 1960s in Division I history. The Flyers' .763 (228-71) winning percentage in the 1950s ranks fifth in the decade. Their .729 (207-77) winning percentage ranks eighth in the 1960s.
LAST GAME -- DAYTON 85, DUQUESNE 63 Four Flyers finished in double figures as the Dayton men's basketball team recorded its first Atlantic 10 win of the year, 85-63 over Duquesne Saturday night at UD Arena to end a seven-game skid. Norman Plummer led the Flyers with a season-high 18 points as the front court for Dayton dominated inside all night. The Flyers' frontcourt combined for 61 of UD's 85 points. After Plummer's 18, forward Monty Scott added 11, center Desmond Adedeji added the third double-figure scoring night of his career with 10, and forwards Charles Little and Jimmy Binnie each added nine points. Brian Roberts added 11 for UD with three assists and no turnovers. Warren Williams added seven assists against no turnovers and scored six points. The Flyers committed a season-low six turnovers and scored 21 points off of 14 Duquesne turnovers. No Flyer player had multiple turnovers. Bryant McAllister led the Dukes with 19 points while Keith Gayden chipped in 17 and Chauncey Duke added 12. No other Duquesne player had more than five, however, as the under-manned Dukes' bench was out-scored 37-9 by the Flyer non-starters. Dayton held McAllister - who entered the game second in the Atlantic 10 in scoring with 17.7 per game - to just one second half field goal. Plummer paced UD with eight boards. Dayton shot 45.9 percent for the game (28-of-61), including 42.9 percent from three-point range (9-of-21). The Flyers were also 20-of-24 from the free throw line.