Feb. 28, 2006
Complete Release in PDF Format
For ten years the University of Dayton Flyers were at the western edge of the Atlantic 10 footprint, but with the addition of the Saint Louis University Billikens to the league, the Flyers now have a conference rival to their west. UD and SLU have met 34 times since 1952, but on Wednesday, March 1, they will square off for the first time in the shadow of the Gateway Arch as Atlantic 10 foes. Game time is 8:00 p.m. EST.
The Flyers are 13-15 on the season, and 5-9 in the Atlantic 10. Saint Louis comes into the game 16-10 overall and 10-4 in the A-10. The Billikens enter the last week of the regular season tied for second in the A-10, while Dayton is 11th. UD will host Rhode Island on Saturday, March 4 before playing in the Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Championship the following week. Saturday's Senior Day showdown begins at 12 noon EST.
Dayton is led by sophomore guard Brian Roberts, who is fifth in the Atlantic 10 in scoring with a 16.4 average. He is the only player in the A-10 among the conference's top five in scoring, who is also in the conference's top dozen players in assists, three-pointers, FG%, FT% and 3-pt. FG%. Roberts is also the only sophomore in the league's top five scorers. His 11 games of 20 or more points this season are second only to 2004-05 A-10 Player of the Year Steven Smith's 12.
UD's second-leading scorer, junior forward Monty Scott, missed five straight games with a stress fracture in his left foot. He returned to action in a limited basis (16 minutes off the bench at La Salle) and started for the first time in three weeks in the Xavier win. Even though he returned to the starting lineup ahead of schedule (thanks to a broken hand suffered by Jimmy Binnie), Scott has not played more than 18 minutes in any of the three games since his return. In the six contests Scott was out of the lineup due to his injuries, Roberts averaged 20.3 points a game. Another player picking up his game has been freshman forward Charles Little. Once conference play began, Little has all but doubled his scoring, rebounding and playing time from the non-conference season. Inserted into the starting lineup at GW, he has averaged 8.4 points a game as a starter.
Saint Louis has won eight of its last nine games, the lone loss being a 46-44 Dayton win at UD Arena on February 11. Junior center Ian Vouyoukas leads the Billikens in scoring (13.8) and rebounding (7.5), but the team's latest surge also comes from freshman guards Kevin Lisch and Tommie Liddell. Between them, Lisch and Liddell have earned eight A-10 Rookie of the Week awards, including the last four.
SERIES STUFF The series is tied 17-17. Dayton has won four of the last six meetings, including earlier this season, 46-44, on February 11 at UD Arena. The series began in the 1952 NIT, and since then, UD and the Bills have met as non-conference foes, and members of the Midwestern Collegiate, Great Midwest and Atlantic 10 Conferences. Dayton is 2-3 at Saavis Center.
STORIES THE STATS TELL UD leads the Atlantic 10 in 3-pt. FG% defense (.301, 157-521) and is third in 3-pt. FG% (.371, 162-437) and rebound margin (+4.0)...Included in Dayton's 15 losses are nine that have been by eight points or less. Five of the eight (Creighton, Vanderbilt, Richmond, Temple and Xavier) were a two-point game, or closer, in the final minute...UD's 77 points against Saint Joseph's was just the fifth time this year the Hawks have allowed more than 70 points in regulation. The others were Gonzaga, GW, Ohio State and Villanova...Brian Roberts leads UD in scoring (16.4), minutes (32.9), starts (27), three-pointers made (61) and FTM (71)...11 Flyers average at least ten minutes a game...Chris Alvarez leads UD in steals (28) and blocked shots (17)...Six different Flyers have led the team in scoring this season (Roberts, Monty Scott, Norman Plummer, Desmond Adedeji, Charles Little and Warren Williams).
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 at least 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 teams had a GSR of 90 or higher including six men's programs. Last year's report also noted that every one of the 229 scholarship student-athletes who 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 (55-35 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. 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.
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. "This new contract includes incentives for performance and longevity." Kissell said at the contract's announcement.
DOING IT WITH DEFENSE Dayton has held its opponent under 50 points six 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.
B-ROB B-GOOD Flyer sophomore guard Brian Roberts has led the Flyers in scoring 17 of the 28 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. At Xavier, he played all 40 minutes and led all scorers with 20 points. In the St. Joe's win, he scored 20 of his 22 in game's last 20:03 (including 15 straight UD points in the second half). SJU held him without a field goal until a long trey just before the halftime horn, and he simply exploded in the second half. He scored 22 points at Charlotte. In the Saint Louis win, his 12-footer with 3.6 seconds left won the game. He scored 24 points (21 in the second half) at La Salle. On the year, he leads UD in scoring (16.4), minutes (32.9) and is second in assists (3.3). He is fifth in the A-10 in scoring, and is the only player in the top five who is also in the A-10's top dozen in assists, three-pointers, FG%, 3-pt. FG%, and FT%.
RISING TO THE OCCASION In the seven games pre-season First Team All-Atlantic 10 performer Monty Scott did not start due to injury (six DNP's and one game off the bench), sophomore guard Brian Roberts elevated his game to an all-league level. Despite being a marked man, and the target of box-and-one and triangle-and-two defenses, Roberts averaged 20.3 points a game in Scott's absence.
B-ROB LIKES TO B-GONE Brian Roberts has played in 25 games away from UD Arena in his career and has scored in double figures in 18 of them. He averages 14.5 points a game away from UD Arena, and 10.8 at home. In 12 games away from home this season, he is averaging 19.5.
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 17 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 14 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, eight in 3:23 at Richmond, seven in 2:57 at Xavier, 12 in 3:46 vs. St. Joe's, nine in 3:59 at Charlotte, and seven in 2:45 and eight in 1:42 at La Salle. He actually scored 15 straight points for UD in the win over Saint Joseph's, taking UD from one down to nine up in just under five minutes.
MONTY, MONTY, MONTY Junior forward Monty Scott had been out since January 25 with a stress fracture in his left foot, before returning for 16 minutes at La Salle. He returned to the starting lineup for the Xavier win. He had already missed time due to plantar fasciitis. 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.
GREAT SCOTT Junior forward Monty Scott is second on the team in scoring (10.5) and rebounding (4.4, tied with Chris Alvarez) and leads in FT% (.813, 26-32). 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 his 22 games.
STORMIN' NORMAN Norman Plummer is UD's leading rebounder (6.8) and is third in scoring (10.2). Over the last ten games, he is averaging 12.2 points and 7.3 rebounds. He was named the Blackburn/McCafferty MVP in the Xavier win after leading UD with 15 points and seven rebounds, and scoring UD's last five points in the final minute. In the Saint Louis win, he had his fourth double-double of the season with 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Against Duquesne, despite battling strep throat, he had 18 points and eight rebounds. He bettered that in the first half alone in the SBU win, scoring a season-high 23 points (19 in the first half). He made 10 of 12 shots from the field. He had 15 points in the St. Joe win, and 11 at Charlotte. He turned in three double-doubles in the four-game Las Vegas Holiday Classic and was named to the all-tournament team. He has at least eight rebounds in 11 games this year. Eighty-eight of his 191 rebounds this season are off the offensive glass. He averages 3.1 offensive boards a game.
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 led the Flyers with eight rebounds vs. SJU. He had a season-high ten points (4-4 FG, 2-2 FT) in the Bona win. 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. He had eight points and six rebounds in a career-high 30 minutes at Richmond. He was a big part of the Saint Louis win, coming off the bench to get eight points and six rebounds, including a driving finger roll with 1:03 left in the game as the shot clock expired to put UD up by three. In the last four games, he has 22 points and 15 rebounds, and has shot .545 (10-18) FG. He is second on the team in rebounding (4.4, tied with Monty Scott) and leads in steals (29) and blocked shots (17).
DUBYA-DUBYA'S DOUBLE-DOUBLE UD point guard Warren Williams is fifth in the A-10 in assists (4.5). He has 57 assists against 25 turnovers in UD's last ten games. He scored a career-high 19 points (5-6 FG, 8-11 FT) in the win over Saint Joseph's. At UMass, he led the Flyers with 13 points (5-7 FG, 3-3 3-pt.) At Xavier, he scored nine points and dished six assists. He established a career high in minutes (36) at X, and then played 38 four days later vs. St. Joe's. 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. BINNIE ON THE SHELF Sophomore forward Jimmy Binnie is out 2-4 weeks after fracturing the fifth metacarpal on his left hand during the team workout the morning of the Xavier win. game. After shooting .250 (7-28) from beyond the arc in the first 18 games, he had shot .378 (17-45) in the last eight games. Binnie scored all ten of his points at Xavier in the game's last 4:38, leading UD back from 13 down to a one-point deficit. He came off the bench to score a season-high 12 points, all in the second half, in the FAMU win.
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 25 games (with eight starts) and logged 370 minutes in 2005-06. He's actually had nine 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, which began his move from garbage time to prime time.
ADEDIESEL Freshman center Desmond Adedeji came up huge in his first college game in his hometown, coming off the bench to score 10 points (5-6 FG) in a career-high 18 minutes at GW. He took a big step forward in the Northern Iowa game, with 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 the Duquesne win, he had 10 points (4-4 FG, two dunks) in 14 minutes.
NO LITTLE THING After averaging just 7.9 minutes, 2.7 points and 1.7 rebounds a game in non-conference action, freshman forward Charles Little has picked it up to the tune of 16.8 minutes, 6.3 points and 2.8 rebounds in A-10 action. Healthy after suffering a hamstring injury during pre-season practice, he has played career-high minutes in five of the last seven games. He made his first start at George Washington, and scored a career-high 13 points to lead UD. He had 12 points (5-6 FG) in the Xavier win. Defensively, he has been UD's primary (and most effective) defender in A-10 play against players like Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Steven Smith and Brian Thornton
YOUNG STUFF UD has had 19 dunks in the last ten games, and 17 were by Flyer freshmen 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 15-2 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 103 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 (342 of 344), including the last 139 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 -- MASSACHUSETTS 66, DAYTON 47 Norman Massachusetts used a 12-0 run early in the second half to spark a 66-47 win over Dayton on Saturday. Warren Williams led UD with 13 points. Memphis coach John Calipari, who led the Minutemen to the 1996 Final Four, was a surprise visitor for a ceremony naming "Jack Lehman Court" for the well-liked former coach and broadcaster. Calipari, who took a private plane to the event, left after halftime to coach his team against Tulsa on Saturday night in Memphis. He missed a dominant second half for Minuteman, who outscored the Flyers 40-18 after the break. Rashaun Freeman scored 15 of his 19 points and grabbed nine of his 12 rebounds after intermission for UMass (12-13, 7-7 Atlantic 10). James Life led all scorers with 25. Warren Williams was Dayton's only double-digit scorer. He shot 5-7 from the field, including three-for-three from three-point range. Brian Roberts added nine points, while Norman Plummer and Desmond Adedeji added eight. Plummer was UD's leading rebounder with eight boards. Dayton led 29-26 at the break.