Nov. 6, 2006
Complete Release in PDF Format
The University of Dayton Flyers will have their final tuneup before the 2006-07 regular season tonight when the Georgetown College Tigers visit UD Arena. Georgetown will present quite a challenge to UD. The NAIA school will have played five games by the time they set foot on Tom Blackburn Court, and they feature seven players with Division I experience, including Dunbar product Donnovan Brown.
Dayton defeated Northwood 66-51 Thursday in the first of the Flyers' two exhibition games. Eleven players played at least 15 minutes for UD, whose top two scorers in the game came off the bench. Freshman Marcus Johnson scored 19 points, and junior Jimmy Binnie added 11. Production off the bench was not limited to the scoring column. Non-starters also led the team in rebounding (Nick Stafford, 10) and assists (London Warren, 6).
UD is an experienced team with a new look for 2006-07. That might seem a contradiction, but of the 11 scholarship players, more than one-third (4 to be exact) are new to the team. At the same time, the seven returning players have each started at least eight games in their careers. This is Dayton head coach Brian Gregory's fourth season on the Hilltop.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS Georgetown College has already started its regular season (NAIA teams can start much earlier than NCAA schools) and has a 3-1 record. But the game that would grab the attention of even a casual basketball fan is the Tigers' 94-92 exhibition loss at Louisville last Wednesday.
SERIES STUFF Georgetown owns a 1-0 series lead over UD in basketball. The Tigers beat the Flyers 18-13 in the season opener for the 1924-25 season.
UP NEXT The Flyers will open the regular season here at the Arena on Saturday, November 11 against Austin Peay. Game time is 2:00 p.m. EST. UD will also play North Carolina A&T on Wednesday, November 15 before heading to Dallas to play SMU on November 18.
EXHIBITION #1 --DAYTON 66, NORTHWOOD 51 Freshman guard Marcus Johnson scored 19 points while adding four rebounds and junior forward Jimmie Binnie added 11 points to lead the Dayton Flyers over the Northwood Timberwolves 66-51 on Thursday night at UD Arena. In the team's first exhibition game at UD Arena junior forward Nick Stafford grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds and freshman forward Kurt Huelsman added nine boards. The Flyers found themselves down 4-0 early to the Timberwolves, as they could not connect on their first seven shots of the game. Looking for a spark to the game, Dayton head coach Brian Gregory brought in Johnson and freshman London Warren just three minutes into the game. Johnson proved he was ready for the collegiate level as he knocked down the first bucket of the game for the Flyers on a three-pointer from the left corner at the 15:42 mark. Just moments later the speedy Johnson stole a Northwood outlet pass and raced down the court for a dunk, bringing the announced crowd of 10,308 to their feet. The Cleveland, Ohio native finished the half with eights points while going 4-for-5 from the field. The Flyers went on a 10-2 run over the next six minutes until Northwood's Aaron Simpson hit the three-pointer with 9:50 left in the first half, cutting the Flyer lead to one. The two teams traded baskets for the next eight minutes of play until Warren found Binnie open for a three-pointer in the right corner with a 1:30 left in the half. Warren stole the ensuing in-bound pass and found Binnie open once again for a lay-up, increasing the Dayton lead to seven. The Flyers would go up 32-19 on back-to-back three-pointers from Johnson and junior Andres Sandoval with just 30 seconds left in the half, concluding an 11-3 UD run to end the period up 32-22. In the second half, the Timberwolves tried to pull a comeback but the Flyer defense was just too much. UD exploded at the 15:22 mark, going on a 14-2 run over the next five-and-a-half minutes, making seven of those off of Northwood turnovers. Binnie scored eight points during that five-minute span. Johnson picked up where he left off, scoring 11 points in the second half to finish the game with 19. Johnson received a standing ovation from the Flyer Faithful as he came out of the game with six minutes left. Despite shooting only 38 percent from the field and committing 19 turnovers offensively, the Flyers defense looked strong on the defensive end grabbing nine steals and putting up six blocks. Sophomore forward Charles Little tallied four steals and two blocks to go with six rebounds and six points.
RED/BLUE GAME REPORT Five different Dayton Flyers scored in double figures in the Red & Blue Exhibition as UD Red edged UD Blue 47-46 in the annual Red/Blue Game on October 22. Junior Andres Sandoval led all scorers with 15 points, while junior Brian Roberts added 14 points shooting five for nine from the floor and two of three from three-point range. Freshman guard London Warren also had 14 points. "(The scrimmage) was (designed) to get the 11 guys out there playing and competing and I thought we did some really good things," head coach Brian Gregory said. "Our guard play was pretty good. I think everybody had a couple of pretty good moments there. I thought overall the guys played extremely hard, played well and we did some good things." Senior Monty Scott enjoyed a perfect game chipping with 11 points. Scott shot 4 for 4 from the field, including three from three-point range. Freshman guard Marcus Johnson added 11 points and a game-high six rebounds as members of the Flyers played for both squads running various offenses and defenses in preparation for the 2006-07 season. UD Blue won the first quarter battle 19-17 as Scott hit two shots from beyond the arc while Johnson added five points of his own. In the second quarter, UD Red bounced back to take a 12-11 win behind two three pointers from Sandoval. Junior Jimmy Binnie converted on two shots, while Johnson added four more in the frame. The veteran players raised their level of play in the second half as UD Red took the third period with an 18-16 victory. Sophomores Desmond Adedeji and Charles Little each had six points in the frame for UD Red. Roberts led UD Blue with six points while Scott added five. Little finished the game with eight points and four rebounds.
FLYERS GO 2-0 IN CANADA Dayton took a two-game international swing to Toronto over Labor Day, beating York University by the score of 76-67 on September 2, and Humber College 64-47 on September 3. Freshman Marcus Johnson led UD by scoring 23 points (11.5 avg.) in the two games. Also averaging double figures were Brian Roberts (11.0) and Desmond Adedeji (10.5). Roberts also led the team in assists (4.0) and rebounds (7.0, tied with Jimmy Binnie).
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. The A-10 was fifth as a conference.
DOING IT WITH DEFENSE Dayton held its opponent under 50 points six times in the 2005-06 season. That had happened a total of five times in Flyer coach Brian Gregory's first two seasons at UD.
NON-CONFERENCE NEWS UD's non-conference schedule features two top five teams from the first USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll. North Carolina is ranked second and Pittsburgh is tied for fifth in the rankings that was released on October 27. The Flyers will meet both of them on the road on consecutive games -- North Carolina on December 31 and Pitt on December 23. If the pre-season rankings hold, it will be the first time UD has played back-to-back games against top ten teams on the opponents' home court in school history. The poll's #23 team, Creighton will visit the Arena on December 6. Dayton also has six games among teams in the also receiving votes category. UD plays #28 Louisville at US Bank Arena on November 24, #31 Xavier on January 27 (at X) and February 24 (at home), #46 George Washington at home on January 31, and #49 Saint Louis on February 21 (at SLU) and March 3 (at home),
B-ROB B-GOOD Junior guard Brian Roberts was named Pre-Season All-Atlantic 10 Second team in a vote of the league's coaches and selected media. Last year, Roberts was the first Dayton basketball player to be named All-Atlantic 10 (Second Team) and Academic All-Atlantic 10 (first team) in the same season. UD's 2005-06 MVP led UD in scoring (16.0), minutes (33.4) and three-pointers (68) and was seventh in the league in scoring. He was the only A-10 player among the conference's top dozen players in scoring, assists, three-pointers, FG% and 3-pt. FG%.
THE TOLEDO RIFLE Brian Roberts is 29 FTM away from becoming the only UD player to be in the school's top five in career 3-pt. FG% and FT%. Roberts is already there in 3-pt. %. His .417 (111-266) is third. His .791 FT% (121-153) would be fifth if he were not 29 FTM short of the minimum needed to be ranked.
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 18 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 Senior forward Monty Scott is poised to finish his UD career with a flourish. The team's only senior, Scott was UD's second-leading scorer (11.2) and rebounder (4.3) in 2005-06, despite missing six games and being limited in practices and games for much more than that with a stress fracture in his left foot. Dayton's MVP and an all-conference selection two years ago, there is little coincidence that the Flyers fast 8-3 start in 2005-06 came with a healthy Scott starting at forward, and UD's struggles came after the injury.
LIVING UP TO HIS INITIALS, NUMBER AND TEAMMATE Freshman Marcus Johnson's "basketball karma" has to be high. He has ties to the last three generations of great NBA players. His number is the same as another famous Johnson, who was simply known as "Magic." His initials call to mind one of the greatest winners in the history of the league. And in high school, Marcus Johnson had the pressure of becoming the next star at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary's after LeBron James took his game to the NBA. And none of this matters unless you can play. Luckily for the Flyer Faithful, it appears that Johnson can indeed play. In UD's first exhibition game, he led all scorers with 19 points, while playing a game-high 29 minutes. Johnson was also the Flyers' top scorer in their two-game Canada trip (11.5 ppg.).
STORMIN' NORMAN Norman Plummer is out until the SMU game for disciplinary reasons. Last season, he was UD's leading rebounder (6.5), was third in scoring (10.0) and second in minutes (26.5).
EYE 75 ON THE SCOREBOARD The Flyers are 15-2 under head coach Brian Gregory when they score at least 75 points.
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 76 sellouts in its 34-year history. UD's last 104 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 (343 of 345), including the last 140 regular season games. For the entire 2004-05 season, Dayton averaged 12,569 fans per game, which was ranked 18th nationally. UD averaged 12,422 this season, 2,500 higher than any other A-10 team.
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.