Dec. 7, 2005
The University of Dayton Flyers continue a six-game homestand when they host the Central Michigan Chippewas at UD Arena Wednesday, December 7. The Flyers come into the game 5-2, and have won their last three games, all in blue-collar fashion -- 75-66 at previously undefeated Cincinnati on November 30, 63-45 at home against Pepperdine on December 1, and a 59-56 grinder with Grambling on December 3. CMU is 1-4 after losing its third straight game, 75-62 to Miami, Sunday at home. Wednesday's game time is 7:00 p.m. EST.
The Flyers are led by sophomore guard Brian Roberts and junior forward Monty Scott, who are developing into a potent 1-2 punch (or if you go by their uniform numbers, a 2-1 punch). Roberts averages 17.3 points a game, and Scott 13.6. One of them has been a high scorer for UD in every game but one this season. Scott is also second on the team in rebounding (5.9), and Roberts is second in assists (2.6). Between them, they have made 24 of UD's 35 three-point field goals.
Central Michigan will put a young (no seniors) but tall (11 of the 15 players on the roster are 6-5 or taller) team to Tom Blackburn Court against the Flyers. The Chippewas are paced by sophomore forward Sefton Barrett, who leads the team in scoring (16.4) and rebounding (5.4). Sophomore point guard Giordan Watson also averages in double digits for CMU (14.8), and leads the team in assists (3.8), steals (2.0), FT% (1.000, 9-9) and minutes (38.0). He scored 22 points and played 39 minutes in the Miami game.
Only two of UD's seven opponents so far this season have a losing record. Two have only one loss. Miami is 3-1, and the Flyers handed Tennessee Tech (4-1) its only loss. The three road games were at teams who were a combined 40-7 at last year and are 8-2 at home (the "2" being Dayton's win at Cincinnati on November 30 and the Bearcats' loss to ninth-ranked Memphis three days later).
UD was 18-11 last year. One of the youngest teams in the nation (six freshmen averaged at least 11 minutes a game), the Flyers were also tied for second in the Atlantic 10 West Division, behind eventual A-10 champion George Washington. Dayton returns four starters and ten of the top 12 scorers from that team, including Scott, last year's MVP and an All-Atlantic 10 pick.
After Central Michigan, UD hosts DePaul Saturday at 8:00 p.m. EST.
KEEPING BUSY The Flyers will begin the 2005-06 season with nine games in the first 23 days of the season. UD just completed (on Saturday) a run of seven contests in the first 16 days. The Central Michigan game is Dayton's fourth in the last nine days.
SERIES STUFF Dayton leads the series 2-0. The first meeting was at UD Arena on November 21, 2001 (and 81-65 UD win) and the Flyers also knocked off CMU 82-63 in the first round of the EA Sports Maui Invitational on November 24, 2003.
VIVA.... The first two rounds of the Las Vegas Holiday Classic will be played on campus sites, with the final two rounds being played at Valley High School in Las Vegas. Here's a schedule of all of the games:
Thursday, December 22 Florida A&M vs. Tennessee Tech, 12 noon PST Northern Iowa vs. Hawaii-Pacific, 2:30 pm PST LSU vs. Arkansas-Monticello, 5:00 pm PST Dayton vs. Cincinnati, 7:30 pm PST Friday, December 23 Tennessee Tech vs. Ark.-Monticello, 12 noon PST Florida A&M vs. Hawaii-Pacific, 2:30 pm PST Dayton vs. Northern Iowa, 5:00 pm PST LSU vs. Cincinnati, 7:30 pm PST
Past fields of the Las Vegas Holiday Classic have included some of the top teams in the country, headlined by last year's NCAA runners-up, Illinois, who finished 37-2 on the year. Other past participants include UC, Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Purdue. Last year's tournament featured three NCAA tournament teams.
HEAD COACH Brian Gregory Third-year head coach Brian Gregory (47-22 overall) is off to one of the best coaching starts in UD history. His 42-20 record after two seasons was the second-best-ever 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. The young Flyers were 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.
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."
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 the NBA included the Big 12 and the SEC.
B-ROB B-GOOD Flyer sophomore guard Brian Roberts has led the Flyers in scoring five of the seven 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. Roberts also led the Flyers in scoring at Miami, with 13 points, and against Grambling (14). The first game he did not lead (the blowout win vs. Morehead State), he had a career-high five assists. He leads UD in scoring (17.3), FT% (.800, 20-25) and minutes (31.7), and is second in assists (2.6). He has played in 16 road games in his career and has scored in double figures in 10 of them.
GREAT SCOTT Monty Scott is blessed and cursed with the talent that creates expectations that a 16-point, eight-rebound effort like the one he had against Tennessee Tech is expected. So be it, but one number on his stat sheet this season jumps out -- 18 free throw attempts (2.6 per game). A concerted effort is being made to have him be more aggressive with the ball, and get him to the line more often (where he is a career 75% FT shooter). Last year he averaged just 1.6 FTA a game. This season, he is second on the team in scoring (13.6) and tied for second in rebounding (5.9). He had his first double-double of the year (and second of his career) with 21 points and 10 rebounds at Creighton.
SCOTT NAMED FIRST TEAM ALL-ATLANTIC 10 Junior forward Monty Scott 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.
DUBYA-DUBYA'S DOUBLE-DOUBLE UD point guard Warren Williams 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 against a pressing team, that head coach Brian Gregory said "...was in his shorts every minute he was out there." In UD's five wins, Williams averages 6.0 assists and 2.8 turnovers. In the teams two losses, he averages 4.0 and 5.0. He is second in the A-10 in assists per game (5.43).
STORMIN' NORMAN Norman Plummer leads the team in rebounding (6.3). He has at least eight rebounds in three games this year, including a career-high 11 in the Grambling win. After being limited by foul trouble in the Tennessee Tech win, Norman Plummer came back with nine points and eight rebounds at Miami, nine points with seven rebounds vs. Morehead, six with eight at Creighton and eight points at UC. After this stretch of consistent production, he reached double figures for the first time in the Pepperdine win with 13 points, tying for team honors with Monty Scott. He then had another eight-point, 11-rebound effort vs. Grambling. Twenty-one of his 44 rebounds this season are off the offensive glass. He averages 3.0 offensive boards a 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 over UC. Cripe scored a career-high 14 points (5-7 FG, 4-4 FG) and was as assertive as he has ever been in the post. His previous high was nine points against Xavier at home during his freshman season.
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 most improved 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 Golden Eagle frontcourt positions at different times during the game. Versus Morehead, he had eight points (4-5 FG) and six rebounds. He also had five points and six rebounds against Pepperdine. Alvarez is tied for second on the team in rebounding (5.9).
NO LITTLE THING Freshman forward Charles Little came off the bench with a solid performance in the Tech win. Despite being (in coach Brian Gregory's estimation) no better than 85% and three weeks behind due to the hamstring injury he suffered in at the start of practice, Little scored eight points and grabbed two rebounds in 14 minutes of action. He is shooting .583 (7-12) from the field so far this season. BINNIE OFF THE BENCH Sophomore forward Jimmy Binnie did a little bit of everything in 21 minutes in the win over Tennessee Tech. He scored seven points, grabbed five rebounds and had two assists. He contributed five points and three rebounds in 12 minutes at UC. He did more of the same in the Grambling win, with three points, three rebounds an assist and a steal in 15 minutes. He made his first college start against Morehead State. Binnie leads the team in FT% (.875, 7-8).
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 seven games and logged 96 minutes in 2005-06. He scored a career-high nine points (3-3 FG) and finally cooled off Tiger star Brion Rush (Rush was five-of-nine in threes in the first half, one-of-six in the second) in the Grambling win. He began his move 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. That earned him another 16 minutes against Morehead State, and a season-high 21 minutes (five points, two rebounds) at Creighton. He is the only player on the team shooting better than .500 (.529, 9-17) from the field and .700 (.714, 5-7) from the line.
ATTABOY ADEDEJI Desmond Adedeji came off the bench to score 13 points and shoot six-for-six from the field and grab five rebounds in 15 minutes of time in the MSU win.
POINTS IN THE PAINT UD has won the "points in the paint" battle five times this year (36-18 vs. TTU, 22-20 vs. Miami, 46-12 vs. Morehead State, 22-16 vs. Pepperdine, 32-12 vs. Grambling), tied once (36-36 vs. Cincinnati) and lost once (34-24 vs. Creighton).
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 that began Wednesday. 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.
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.
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 on the team as a walk-on. It has not yet been determined if the sophomore guard will be in uniform for any games.
A DIVERSE DAYTON ROSTER The Flyer basketball program boasts (counting the fall signees and Monroe Douglass, Jr.) 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 13-2 under head coach Brian Gregory when they score at least 75 points. The only losses are both in overtime.
TURN ON, TUNE IN A total of 18 games will be televised in the 2005-06 season, not counting games in the Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Championship. The Flyers will appear on ESPN2 twice, Time Warner Sports three times, the Atlantic 10 Television Network four times, and WHIO-TV nine times. THE A-10 HEADS FOR THE AC The Atlantic 10 announced on Thursday, November 10 that the 2007 and 2008 Men's Basketball Championship will be played at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This season's tournament will be played for the second straight year at US Bank Arena in Cincinnati. The A-10 tournament set attendance records when it was at UD Arena in 2003 and 2004.
TRAVELING IN STYLE Once again this season, the Dayton Flyers will be flying charters to the majority of its road games. Last year, for the first time, Dayton traveled to all its "airplane" games by charter to limit the amount of time spent away from campus and missed class time.
GRAD RATES GREAT IN DAYTON The University of Dayton was listed as one of the nation's leaders in the 2004 NCAA Division I Graduation Rates Report. UD tied for 15th nationally in the four-year average at a rate of 81 percent. Dayton was also tied for 19th in the one-year average with an 84 percent graduation rate. The 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 have graduated.
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.
WHAT THE BEST-DRESSED STUDENTS WEAR IN `05 As a thank-you for their support and for nearly doubling student ticket reservations from last year, UD coach Brian Gregory bought the red t-shirts that were handed out to every student who attended the Tennessee Tech game.
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. Close to 300 of the "Flyer Faithful" made the trip to Maui last season 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 had easily 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 91 regular season home games have had an attendance of at least 11,000 fans. In the last 13 years, 99% of UD's home games have drawn at least 10,000 (329 of 331), including the last 128 regular season games. For the entire 2004-05 season, Dayton averaged of 12,569 fans per game, which was ranked 18th nationally. The 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 59, GRAMBLING 55 Dayton ground out a win over Grambling, 59-55, Saturday night at UD Arena. Grambling's Brion Rush, the second-leading scorer in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, scored 19 of his 30 points in the first half, on six three pointers. Dayton was led by Brian Roberts with 14 points, while Chris Alvarez added five points and a career-high 13 rebounds. While the Tigers connected on seven treys in the game, Dayton saw its streak of 500 consecutive games with a three pointer end after 17 years. Dayton, zero-for-eight from behind the arc, last didn't hit a three in a game on January 29, 1989 against Cincinnati. It was the ninth-longest such streak in the NCAA. The Flyers won the game inside, out-scoring the Tigers 32-12 in the paint and holding a 41-30 edge in rebounds. The Flyers also got to the free throw line for 25 attempts to Grambling's 13. Monty Scott added 10 points, while Logan White added a career-high nine points on three-of-three shooting. The Flyers, showing wear from a streak of seven games in 16 days, shot 22-of-50 (44 percent) for the game. Grambling's strategy from the start was to shoot from long distance. The Tigers attempted 31 three-point shots, connecting on eight. On the boards, Plummer grabbed 11 rebounds, his career best, to complement Alvarez's 13. Alvarez also chipped in three assists, two steals and a blocked shot. Plummer added eight points, all in the paint, and recorded two steals.