Game Notes In PDF Format
FLYERS EMBARK ON A TWO-GAME ROAD SWING STARTING AT AKRON
Looking for their eighth consecutive victory, the University of Dayton Flyers begin a two-game road swing starting Saturday with a clash against the Akron Zips at 7 p.m. ET. The game will be televised locally on digitial cable on WHIO 7.2 or 708, carried by WHIO Radio and available with live stats on Gametracker and streaming audio at www.DaytonFlyers.com.
Dayton enters the contest 7-0 and is off to its best start since coach Brian Gregory's first season in 2003-04 when UD was 9-0 out of the gate. The Flyers have won thanks in part to their smothering defense and ability to control the glass. Dayton leads the Atlantic 10 in scoring defense at 55.1 points per game and rebounds per game with 42.6. Dayton won two games on a neutral site in the Chicago Invitational Challenge, but this will be the Flyers' first true road game of the season. Last year, UD went 7-7 on the road.
Akron enters the contest 5-2 and is 3-0 at Rhodes Arena. Led by senior forward Nate Linhart, the Zips showcase a high-scoring attack averaging close to 70 points per game. The Akron bench, has accounted for half of the team's scoring thus far this season and has topped the 30-point mark in all but two games.
WRIGHT NAMED THE ATLANTIC 10 CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK
University of Dayton sophomore forward Chris Wright has been named Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Week for his efforts this week in leading the Flyers to the championship of the Chicago Invitational Challenge. Wright averaged a double-double (12.0 ppg., 10.5 rpg.) and was named tournament Most Valuable Player. This is Wright's first A-10 Player of the Week Award. He shared the weekly recognition with Duquesne forward Damian Sanders. In the championship game against No. 15/15 Marquette, Wright had 13 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, two steals and a blocked shot. The Trotwood-Madison High School product had a career-high 14 rebounds with 10 points against Auburn. Wright had double-doubles in the final three games of the tournament, and also had eight dunks in those three games.
UD leads the all-time series 9-2 and makes its first-ever visit to Akron. Last year UD won 83-81 in double overtime, led by a career-high 18 points from Kurt Huelsman and 16 points from Marcus Johnson, a 2006 Akron-St. Vincent/St. Mary's grad.
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Dayton leads the Atlantic 10 in scoring defense allowing a paltry 55.1 points per game and have held every team they've played under their scoring average by a margin of 19.1 points a game. The Flyers not only held Wofford to 49 points, but also forced 23 turnovers. They followed that up with 15 steals against Delaware State, two swipes shy of the program's single-game record. Dayton forced 21 turnovers and held Bethune-Cookman to 24 percent shooting from the floor. The Flyer defense smothered the Auburn attack by forcing 20 turnovers. In the win over No. 15 Marquette, UD forced the Golden Eagles to shoot 39 percent from the field.
LOCK IT UP
No team has shot better than 40 percent from the field this year against UD. That's the first time in coach Brian Gregory's tenure the Flyers have accomplished that feat in his first six seasons.
In recent years the Flyers have proved they can handle the big-name programs. The Flyers are 5-2 in the last three years against BCS programs and have won three consecutive games against Big East opponents.
LITTLE BIG MAN
At 6-foot-6, 247 pounds, Charles Little might be one of the most inaccurately named players in the country. Little got going offensively with 10 points and three rebounds over Bethune-Cookman. In the win over Mercer Little tallied 11 points and five rebounds. He added a season-high nine rebounds against Auburn. Little tallied seven points and three rebounds versus No. 15 Marquette and was named to the Chicago Invitational Challenge All-Tournament Team. In his 100th career game in a Flyer uniform, Little tallied his first double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 boards against Troy. In his last five games Little averages 10.4 points and 6.0 rebounds.
CHARLES IN CHARGE
In his last 33 games against Atlantic 10 competition, Charles Little has averaged 10.6 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 147-of-282, (.525) from the floor. Last season against the A-10, Little averages 9.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game while shooting .527 from the field. In UD basketball history, Little ranks 61st on the all-time scoring list with 774 career points. Little needs eight points to reach Edwin Young for 60th.
THE WRIGHT STUFF
Displaying an NBA-like level of athleticism, Chris Wright looks to lead the Flyers back to the postseason and continue his progression as a dynamic all-around player. The sophomore forward is a Preseason All-Atlantic 10 Second Team selection heading into 2008-09. In the season opener Wright tied for a game-high 17 points to go with four rebounds and a block in UD's win over Wofford. Wright shot 7-of-12 from the field including a couple of thunderous dunks. He came back to score a game-high 18 points and haul in seven rebounds over Delaware State. Wright recorded his first double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 boards against Mercer. He added his second straight double-double with a career-best 14 rebounds and 10 points against Auburn. Wright then posted his third double-double in as many games with 13 points and 13 boards. The Flyers are 20-2 overall and 4-0 against ranked opponents with Wright in the lineup during his UD career.
FIGHT FOR YOUR WRIGHT
On March 10, sophomore Chris Wright earned a spot on the A-10 All-Rookie team. The 6-8 forward from Trotwood, Ohio was the fifth Dayton player to be selected to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team. Tony Stanley (1998), Brooks Hall (2000), Keith Waleskowski (2001) and Brian Roberts (2005) are the previous Flyer A-10 Rookies. He played eight minutes in the A-10 opener against Rhode Island before fracturing a bone in his ankle that required surgery on January 14. But before that, he was chosen A-10 Rookie of the Week four times in the first six weeks of the season (the last player to do that was Jameer Nelson).
TAKING FLIGHT WITH WRIGHT
Sophomore Chris Wright leads the Flyers this year in several statistical categories including points (13.0), field goals made (4.9), rebounding (8.0), offensive rebounds (19), defensive rebounds (37), double-doubles (3) and blocks (7, tied). Wright was named the Chicago Invitational Challenge Most Valuable Player and selected to the All-Tournament team.
An athletic wing with shutdown defender talent, Marcus Johnson began the 2008-09 season right where he left off. He tied for a game-high 17 points to go with four rebounds in a season opening win over Wofford. Johnson shot 7-of-11 from the field and hit 3-of-5 shots from beyond the arc. Johnson then scored 15 of his team-high 16 points in the first half over Bethune-Cookman. He scored all 10 points against Mercer in the first half. Against Auburn he sank all eight free throw attempts with six of them in overtime en route to 16 points. Johnson added 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor against Troy. The 6-3 guard has scored in double figures 22 times in his 71-game career, with 20 in his last 31 games.
MORE ON MJ
Getting off to a fast start is nothing new for Marcus Johnson this season. He has scored 45 of his season's 82 points in the first half. Johnson is shooting 17-of-30 from the floor and 7-for-14 from three-point range in the first half. Johnson has also converted 20-of-22 free throws this season and 17 in a row. Johnson's early-game success mirrors UD as a team. The Flyers have out-scored opponents 240-176 in the first half this year.
BEING `KURT' TO THE OPPOSITION
As one of the most team-oriented players to wear a Flyer uniform, Kurt Huelsman looks to be counted upon more as a leader on both ends of the floor. Huelsman opened the 2008-09 campaign with five points, five rebounds and a steal versus Wofford. He came back to snag seven rebounds in a victory against Delaware State. Huelsman added a team-high seven rebounds over Bethune-Cookman. He tallied season-highs of eight rebounds and three blocks versus Auburn. Huelsman came back with eight points versus No. 15 Marquette. In the Troy win he tallied six boards and a block. He is second on the team in rebounding at 5.3 per game.
THE IRON MAN
Junior Kurt Huelsman was the only player to start every game in 2006-07 for UD, all 34 games in 2007-08 and the first seven in 2008-09. Huelsman has the second-longest active streak of consecutive starts in the Atlantic 10 Conference with 72 games.
THE JACKSONVILLE JET
Known as the "Jacksonville Jet," London Warren is an explosive point guard who has outstanding quickness on the offensive and defensive ends. Warren's energy, enthusiasm and creativity made him a favorite among the Flyer Faithful. Last season Warren earned the Flyers' Defensive Player of the Year award after leading the team with 45 steals. Warren opened the 2008-09 season with three points, four assists and a steal in the season opener over Wofford. He followed up with four points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals in a win over Delaware State. He dished out six assists, had three steals and a block over Mercer. In 14 minutes against Bethune-Cookman Warren had five assists to only one turnover and added three steals. Against Auburn he picked up four points and three assists. In the triumph over No. 15 Marquette, Warren added seven points and two assists. Warren came back with 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting and six assists versus Troy. This year Warren leads UD in steals (13) and assists (30). Warren has 26 assists and only nine turnovers in his last six contests.
Known as a strong outside shooter, team-first player and a quality individual, Phillip "Mickey" Perry looks to build upon a sophomore season in which he made strong strides on-and-off the court. He began the 2008-09 season with three points over Wofford and added another three points and two steals versus Delaware State. Perry was flawless against Bethune-Cookman knocking down both three-point attempts. Perry added three points against Mercer and two against Auburn. Perry knocked down 3-of-4 shots and added a steal versus No. 15 Marquette. Perry reached double figures for the first time with 10 points against Troy. The Flyers are 12-1 when Perry knocks down a three-pointer in his career.
BIG SHOT ROB
Junior Rob Lowery, a 6-2, 165 pound guard from Cecil College in North East, Maryland, has quickly made a name for himself as a clutch performer. In the win over No. 15 Marquette, Lowery scored 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the floor. With UD proteciting a four-point lead, Lowery, who missed his first five shots in his debut with the Flyers, drilled a 15-foot field goal with 48 seconds to go to push the lead back to four and swished two free throws with 15 ticks left to seal the decision versus Wofford. Against Delaware State, he had nine points, four steals and three assists. Lowery then dished out four assists against Bethune-Cookman. He had five points and four rebounds in a win against Mercer. Lowery added four assists against Troy.
A heady player with a classic Hoosier-guard game, Stephen Thomas is a quick, shifty point guard who can also play at the two spot as well. In 23 games last season Thomas averaged 0.7 points and 0.5 rebounds. Thomas broke out against Delaware State with four points and three rebounds in the Flyer victory. He recorded his first career block and a career-high five rebounds against Bethune-Cookman. He added a rebound and a steal against Mercer. Against Auburn Thomas netted a career-high eight points. He came back and recorded five points and a steal versus No. 15 Marquette. Thomas matched last year's point total by the sixth game of this season and assists in the third game of the year.
DIAL IN WITH DEVIN
Devin Searcy is back to patrol the paint and provide UD with solid post depth, defense and length on the floor. Searcy averaged 1.0 points and 1.2 rebounds in 25 games last season. In nine minutes against Wofford, Searcy recorded two rebounds and two assists. The two assists against Wofford equaled his total from all of last year. Searcy then added two points and two boards over Delaware State. Searcy broke free with eight points and three rebounds on 4-of-6 shooting against Bethune-Cookman. Searcy had three points and an assist in 12 minutes against Mercer. He chipped in with six points and four rebounds in a win over Auburn. Searcy then enjoyed a strong defensive performance versus No. 15 Marquette with four rebounds and two blocks. In the Troy win Searcy had five rebounds. Searcy leads the UD in field goal percentage at .625 and in the last five games he is shooting 9-of-12 (.750).
Freshman Chris Johnson joined the Flyers with a reputation as a high-flying, explosive scorer endowed with the ability to take over a game. He displayed that ability versus No. 15 Marquette with his first career double-double adding 12 points and 11 rebounds. Against Delaware State he had eight points and five rebounds while hitting 3-of-6 shots from beyond the arc. Johnson scored in double-figures for the first time in a UD uniform with 14 points over Bethune-Cookman. Johnson then came up with eight points and eight rebounds versus Mercer. Johnson is tied for third on the team in rebounding and has 35 rebounds in his last six games.
COOL HAND LUKE
Although it didn't show up on the box score, freshman Luke Fabrizius had a memorable Flyer debut. His mom, Julie Fabrizius, is a breast cancer survivor for five years and, thanks to her son, she was honored at halftime of the Flyers' home opener against Wofford. It was a part of UD and National City teamming up to fight breast cancer with the "Real Men Wear Pink" campaign. To honor survivors, nominations from the public were taken -- Fabrizius submitted his mom's story -- and from a pool of 200 people, eight were selected to take the court. He converted his first collegiate field goal against Delaware State with a three-point bucket. Fabrizius then started to find his stroke against Bethune-Cookman hitting 3-of-4 shots from beyond the arc en route to nine points. Fabrizius then connected on three, 3-pointers to finish with nine points and four rebounds against Mercer. Fabrizius then had eight points against Troy.
Freshman Paul Williams, one of the top prep recruits out of Michigan, brings a reputation as a clutch shooter and lockdown defender to this year's Flyer backcourt. An athletic 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Detroit's Renaissance High School, Williams was one of four finalists for the title of Michigan's "Mr. Basketball" his senior year. Williams was also a Preseason Atlantic 10 All-Rookie selection. He added two rebounds against Delaware State and one versus No. 15 Marquette. Williams broke out in a big way with three 3-pointers en route to nine points against Troy.
GIVEN THE COLD SHOULDER
Freshman Josh Benson, the second in a line of highly-anticipated local talents, will be out 3-to-6 months following shoulder surgery performed on Nov. 3. The 6-foot-10 big man was an ESPN Top 150 recruit where he averaged of 18.9 points, 11 boards and four blocks during his senior year.
The month of December has been kind for Flyer head coach Brian Gregory. Gregory has never had a losing month of December going 29-11 (.725) in six seasons. Last year Dayton went 7-0 in December with wins over Pittsburgh and Louisville.
EYE 75 ON THE SCOREBOARD
The Flyers are 32-4 under head coach Brian Gregory when they score at least 75 points.
STEAL OF A DEAL
With 50 steals in seven games, the Flyers rank sixth in the Atlantic 10. Six different Flyers recorded a steal in the season opener against Wofford. Dayton followed that with seven different players tallying a steal over Delaware State. In the Bethune-Cookman game, Dayton had eight steals. Dayton had four steals over Mercer and eight versus Auburn. UD tallied six swipes against No. 15 Marquette. In fact, London Warren is the only Flyer with a steal in all seven games this year.
CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARDS
UD leads the Atlantic 10 in rebound magin at plus 9.3. Against Mercer, a team that had upset Alabama and Auburn by pounding the boards, the Flyers out-boarded Mercer 48-31. UD followed that up corralling 60 rebounds in an overtime win over Auburn. In the Troy win Dayton dominated the glass with a 43-29 advantage. Since being out-rebounded by a much smaller Wofford squad in the opener, UD has gotten at least ten more rebounds than five of its last six opponents.
SPREADING THE WEALTH AROUND
The Flyers have nine players who are averaging three points or more and 11 who average 10 minutes or more this season. This balance has helped UD not only dish out 99 assists, but provide consistent pressure on defense. The Flyers force an average of 18 turnovers per game. UD also leads the A-10 in scoring margin at plus 16.2.
STARTING OFF STRONG
Dayton is 7-0 for the second time in Brian Gregory's tenure at UD. Gregory began his career 9-0 in 2003-04. That season the Flyers went to the NCAA Tournament and finished 24-9.
FLYERS PICKED TO FINISH THIRD IN A-10 POLL
After a 23-11 season in 2007-08, the Dayton Flyers were picked to finish third in the league according to a poll of the Atlantic 10's head coaches and media. Xavier was named the preseason favorite, with 44 of the 61 first-place votes. Temple garnered 12 first-place votes and placed second in the preseason poll. Dayton garnered three first-place votes and was tabbed third. Saint Joseph's was tabbed fourth, while Charlotte earned a pair of first-place votes and was chosen fifth. Massachusetts was selected sixth in the poll, while Saint Louis was picked seventh. Richmond was selected eighth followed by Rhode Island, La Salle, George Washington, Duquesne, Fordham and St. Bonaventure.
WANT THE GOOD NEWS, OR THE BAD NEWS?
The bad news was that UD set an NCAA record in the Auburn game with 24 three-point attempts without a make. The good news was that UD won the game, relying on defense, rebounding and clutch free throw shooting. The bad news early in that game was that the Flyers made just five of 16 FTA's in the first 32 minutes of the contest, but finished with 15 straight made free throws, including seven for seven in OT.
The odds a team that was making 39.5 percent of its three-pointers going 0-for-24 in a game are six-in-one-million, according to Texas Tech professor Dr. Alan Reifman, on his website: http://thehothand.blogspot.com/.
FLYERS SIGN KAVANAUGH TO 2008 CLASS
With only one scholarship available, University of Dayton men's basketball coach Brian Gregory and his staff landed their third top local product in as many years when Centerville High School star Matt Kavanaugh signed his letter of intent to attend UD and play basketball for the Flyers. As the newest official member of the Flyers family, the 6-foot-9, 225 pound power forward, follows in the footsteps two other local standouts who will be his teammates in 2009-10. Chris Wright of Trotwood-Madison High School was the first as he signed with the Flyers in November of 2006. Dayton Dunbar graduate Josh Benson followed Wright and signed with UD last year.
UD's non-conference schedule features two top 25 teams from the Associated Press Poll and USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll. The Flyers will play No. 14/14 Xavier in February and March and defeated No. 25 Marquette in November. Dayton received 109 votes in the latest AP Top 25 Poll and 18 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll.
GREGORY A PART OF OPERATION HARDWOOD
After the 2007-08 season, head coach Brian Gregory was selected as one of eight college basketball coaches to travel to the Persian Gulf and visit troops as part of the fifth installment of "Operation Hardwood," a USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour. The tour featured a week-long basketball tournament and championship game with some of the best military players stationed overseas. Joining Gregory on the tour were Fran Fraschilla (ESPN Basketball Analyst and former St. John's head coach), Jeff Jones (American), Reggie Minton (National Association of Basketball Coaches Deputy Director and former Air Force head coach), Tom Pecora (Hofstra), Barry Rohrssen (Manhattan), Tom Schuberth (Texas-Pan American) and Jerry Wainwright (DePaul). Among the coaches and basketball figures who have participated in previous tours are Jay Bilas, Mike Brey, Bobby Cremins, Karl Hobbs, Tom Izzo, Bobby Lutz, Dave Odom, the late Skip Prosser, Tubby Smith and Gary Williams.
Dayton head coach Brian Gregory became just the fourth coach in Flyer basketball history to record 100 career victories. Gregory joined Don Donoher, Tom Blackburn and Oliver Purnell as the only Dayton coaches to reach the 100-win plateau. Gregory reached 100 wins fastern than any Dayton coach except the two icons of Flyer basketball: Donoher and Blackburn.
WELCOME TO FLIGHT CLUB
After averaging 1.8 dunks per game last year, UD is well above last year's pace. Dayton has 17 slams this season (2.7 average). In the Wofford contest Chris Wright had two slams and Marcus Johnson dunked in one. Then against Delaware State, Wright had four dunks including one where Mickey Perry threw it off the backboard. Three Flyers, Charles Little, Chris Johnson and Devin Searcy, each had a dunk over Bethune-Cookman. Wright added three dunks and Little with one against Mercer. Against Auburn Wright had two dunks for UD. In fact, Wright also has 13 dunks in seven games.
HOME SWEET HOME
Dayton's 5-0 start at UD Arena has mirrored previous team success. Last year the Flyers' started off the 2007-08 campaign 10-0 at home. It was the second consecutive season UD won its first 10 games of the season on Tom Blackburn Court. Dayton finished with a 15-3 home record in 2007-08 that included victories over NCAA Tournament teams Pittsburgh, Saint Joseph's, Temple, American and Coppin State. The Flyers have a home all-time winning percentage of .776 (736-213).
THE 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 Jan. 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. In 2007-08 UD had the second-best average home attendance in school history (12,801). UD Arena has 85 sellouts in its 38-year history and seven in 2007-08. The record for sellouts is eight held in the Arena's first season 1969-70. UD's last 139 regular season home games have had attendance of at least 11,000 fans. In the last 14 years, 99% of UD's home games have drawn at least 10,000 (377 of 380), including the last 176 regular season games.
UD AMONG THE BEST IN NCAA ATTENDANCE
The University of Dayton finished in the Top 30 in men's basketball attendance for the 11th straight season in 2007-08. The Flyers led the Atlantic 10 in attendance for the 12th straight season. UD averaged more than 2,400 fans a game better than any other team in the conference.
The NCAA Division I Tournament will make its start at UD Arena for the eighth year in a row as the University of Dayton Arena hosts the NCAA Opening Round Game in 2009. In addition, the Arena will be a First and Second Round site for the 2009 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship, and a regional site for the 2010 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship. UD has hosted the Opening Round game since its inception in its current form in 2002. When the 2009 NCAA Tournament is over, UD Arena will have been an NCAA site in 23 of the last 40 years and will have hosted 84 NCAA Tournament games. That will make UD Arena the most prolific NCAA Tournament venue ahead of Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City (83) and the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City (81).
DAYTON AMONG TOP 10 IN NCAA GRADUATION SUCCESS RATE
The University of Dayton's 96 percent Graduation Success Rate leads the Atlantic 10 Conference and ties it for 10th in the NCAA in the latest breakdown of Division I graduation rate data. In addition, this year's GSR Report shows that UD graduated 100 percent of its student-athletes that participated in women's basketball, men's cross country, women's cross country/track & field, men's golf, women's golf, women's rowing, women's soccer, men's tennis, women's tennis and volleyball. In addition to the ten programs listed above, the football program had a GSR of 95 followed closely by men's soccer (93), baseball (92), softball (92) and men's basketball (89). The UD's men's basketball team's GSR was the best in the A-10.
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.