Game Notes in PDF Format
FLYERS PUT NINE-GAME WINNING STREAK ON THE LINE AGAINST UNBEATEN PANTHERS
The University of Dayton Flyers will host the No. 6 ranked Pittsburgh Panthers on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on ESPN2. The contest will also be carried through WHIO Radio and be available over the Internet with Gametracker and streaming audio from DaytonFlyers.com. Due to ESPN's broadcast rights, there will be NO video streaming available at www.DaytonFlyers.com.
A couple of winning streaks will be on the line as UD has won nine in a row while Pittsburgh is unbeaten in its first 11. Dayton, 10-1 this season, and been perfect at home so far with a 7-0 record. Pittsburgh will be the highest-ranked team to play Dayton in UD Arena since No. 3 DePaul came to the Arena on Feb. 18, 1984. The Flyers knocked off the Blue Demons 72-71 on Ed Young's last-second shot. Fast forward to 2007 where senior guard Brian Roberts leads the Dayton attack with 18.2 points and 4.5 assists per game.
Pittsburgh is coming off a thrilling 65-64 overtime victory over the Duke Blue Devils at the Aeropostale Classic in Madison Square Garden. However, the Panthers will be without senior guard Mike Cook after he tore the anterior cruciate ligament and medial and lateral meniscial suffered in the Duke game. However, the Panthers have plenty of firepower. Three other Panthers average in double-figures led by junior Sam Young's 17.7 points per game.
This will be just the second meeting between the two programs. Pittsburgh defeated the Flyers last year 84-54 at the Petersen Events Center despite 21 points from Brian Roberts.
Pittsburgh is the second nationally-ranked team the Flyers will have played this year. Dayton defeated then No. 11/14 Louisville 70-65 on Dec. 8. Other opponents from the AP Top 25 and USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll include Rhode Island ranked No. 25 in both. Dayton received 84 votes in the latest AP Top 25 Poll and seven in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll.
ROBERTS AMONG CANDIDATES FOR LOWE'S SENIOR CLASS AWARD
University of Dayton senior guard Brian Roberts is one of 30 initial candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for the 2007-08 basketball season. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award honors the attributes of senior student athletes in four areas: classroom, community, character and competition. The award program is designed exclusively for college seniors who are utilizing their complete athletic eligibility, remaining committed to their university and pursuing the many rewards that a senior season can bring. Ten finalists will be selected in early February and the winner will be announced by Dick Enberg on CBS during the Final Four.
Not just a strong performer on the court, Roberts is also one of just four Dayton players to be named winner of the White-Allen MVP Award and the John L. Macbeth Memorial Scholar-Athlete Award (top grade point average). He is also the only Flyer men's basketball player to be named all-conference and academic all-conference in the same season (2006-07).
ROBERTS NAMED ESPN.COM "WEEKLY WATCH" PLAYER OF THE WEEK ON DECEMBER 10
Senior guard Brian Roberts earned national notice on Dec. 10 when ESPN college basketball analyst Andy Katz named Roberts the national player of the week in his "Weekly Watch" column on ESPN.com. Roberts scored 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting in UD's 70-65 win at Louisville. He added five rebounds, three assists and no turnovers in 37 minutes of play.
But it was Roberts' big game in Freedom Hall that caught Katz's eye. In "Weekly Watch," Katz wrote "Few players had as much to do with as significant a win as Brian Roberts did for Dayton. The senior guard scored 28 points in a win at Louisville. He scored 14 of the Flyers' first 19 points. There was a mid-game lull when Roberts didn't do much, but as soon as he turned it on again, the Flyers flew past Louisville."
ROBERTS NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL A-10 TEAM
Senior guard Brian Roberts was named to the Preseason First Team All-Atlantic 10 squad. Roberts was the only player listed among the Atlantic 10's top five in scoring (3rd), minutes (2nd), FT% (2nd), 3-pt. FG% (2nd) and 3-pointers per game (5th) in 2006-07. This season Roberts is 7th in the A-10 in points per game (18.2), 4th in 3-pt. FG% (.478, 32-67), 4th in FT% (.872, 34-39), 5th in assists per game (4.5) and 5th in 3-pt. FG's per game (2.8). He is the only A-10 player among the conference leaders in scoring, 3-pointers made, assists, FG% (5th, .493, 67-136), assists to turnover ratio (7th, 1.85) and minutes per game (10th, 33.18).
A two-time All-Atlantic 10 selection and UD Most Valuable Player, Roberts is just the eighth Flyer to earn MVP honors as a sophomore and junior. Last season, he led UD in scoring (18.5), assists (2.7), minutes (35.6), 3-pt. FG's per game (2.7), FT% (.899, 133-148) and 3-pt. FG% (.458, 82-179). Roberts is also the only UD player in the school's top five in career 3-pt. FG% and FT%. His .439 (225-512) from behind the arc is first at UD and his .847 FT% (288-340) is third.
THE TOLEDO RIFLE
Already having scored 1,535 career points, Brian Roberts is projected to finish in the Top Five in Flyer scoring. He has a more than solid chance to be the first UD player to lead the team in scoring three times since Jim Paxson did it in 1978-79. It just so happens that Paxson was also the last Flyer to be named an All-American. Roberts moved into the Top Twenty in UD career scoring during the Toledo win, and needs three points to reach Ramod Marshall in 15th place.
ESPN THE MAGAZINE RECOGNIZES ROBERTS
In the 2007-08 college basketball preview, ESPN the Magazine's Dick Vitale selected Dayton's Brian Roberts as the best player that few have heard about. Roberts has scored in double figures in 36 of his last 40 games.
MR. ROBERTS = MR. EFFICIENCY
Over his career, Roberts has demonstrated a knack for two things: scoring his points in short amounts of time, and playing well on the road. He scored at least 10 points in a half 25 times in 2006-07, and has done it 59 times in his career. Over his college career, Roberts' road scoring average of 15.8 points is actually better than his home average of 14.1. Against SMU, Roberts enjoyed one of his most efficient games shooting 10-of-12 from the floor and 3-for-3 from beyond the arc en route to 24 points. In the final 64 seconds against Miami, Roberts netted 12 of his team high 20 points, and a game-winning 3-pointer in UD's 63-62 victory. At Louisville, Roberts shot 10-of-17 from the field and had no turnovers in 37 minutes of play. Against Loyola Md., Roberts converted 12-of-12 free throws en route to a game high 20 points.
THE WRIGHT STUFF
After just 10 games, freshman Chris Wright has four Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week honors and three double-doubles. He first earned the award on Nov. 11 after netting the first double-double in a Flyer freshman debut with 22 points and 13 rebounds against East Tennessee State. Wright earned the honor again on Nov. 25 behind 26 points and 12 rebounds over Toledo. Wright had a double-double in the first half against High Point and finished the contest with 16 points and 13 boards. On Dec. 16, Wright earned the Rookie of the Week honor for the fourth time in seven weeks. Despite missing the Loyola game with an ankle injury Wright leads the team in rebounding (7.1), blocked shots (1.0) and FG% (.617, 50-81) and is second on the team in scoring (12.5) and third in FT% (.774, 24-31). He is first in the conference in FG%, eighth in rebounding and 11th in offensive and defensive rebounds. He is the top freshman in the A-10 in scoring, FT%, FG%, blocks and rebounding.
WRIGHT PLACE, WRIGHT TIME
Chris Wright's 26 points in the Toledo win tied the second-most points by a Flyer freshman. Only Shawn Haughn scored more in his freshman year when he scored 30 against Saint Louis in 1993-94. Jim Rhoden (1977-78) and Tony Stanley (1997-98) previously also scored 26 as freshmen for UD. It was Wright's 26-point, 12-rebound effort was his second double-double in three career games. His first, 22 and 13 in the season opening win over East Tennessee State, marked the first time a Flyer freshman had a double-double in his college debut.
WRIGHT'S REPUTATION PRECEDES HIM
Chris Wright also earned a spot on the Preseason A-10 All Rookie Team. Three respected ranking services - HoopScoop, Rivals.com and Scout.com - rate UD's group of three incoming freshmen the best in the Atlantic 10. Considered by many experts to be the top incoming freshman in the A-10, Wright was ranked as high as the 18th-best prospect in the country. He averaged 19.2 points and 12.8 rebounds for Trotwood-Madison High School while earning First Team All-Ohio Division I honors.
THE COMPANY YOU KEEP
Forward Chris Wright was one of the top 20 high school basketball players in the country selected to play in the 2007 Jordan Brand All-American Classic at Madison Square Garden. Wright performed well with a 10-point, 10-rebound performance. Recent participants include NBA stars Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Amare Stoudemire, Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.
LITTLE BIG MAN
At 6-foot-6, 237 pounds, junior Charles Little might be the most inaccurately named player in the country. This season Little is fourth on the team in scoring (7.4) and third in rebounding (4.5). In his first game of the season, Little hauled in 13 rebounds to go with seven points in the Flyers win over ETSU. His 20 points in the Toledo win almost doubled what he had in the season's first two games (11 points combined). In the victory over High Point, Little dished out a career-high five assists. He shot 4-of-5 from the field en route to a nine-point, six rebound effort over Coppin State. In the Loyola Md. win he shot 5-of-7 from the floor to finish with 12 points. Over his last three games Little is shooting 13-of-21 from the floor (.619). Little finished last season second on the team in scoring (10.5), led the team in rebounding (5.2) and was named the 2007 A-10 Sixth Man of the Year.
Marcus Johnson has quietly put together a solid sophomore campaign averaging 8.1 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. He ranks ninth in the Atlantic 10 in free throw percentage at .806, second on the team in minutes played (27.1) and tied for second in steals (7). Johnson has been most effective hitting clutch free throws hitting his last 14 in a row. He nailed two in the final minute against Louisville and 4-of-4 to seal the win over American. Johnson scored 16 points versus Loyola Md. Dayton's top freshman honor, the Thomas Luppe Memorial Award, went to Johnson last year after he averaged 6.6 points and 3.7 rebounds a game and set a UD record with the most points scored by a Flyer freshman in their first-career game with 23. In seven home games this season, Johnson averages 9.9 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.
THE JACKSONVILLE JET
London Warren (a.k.a. the "Jacksonville Jet," as dubbed by the WHIO Radio team of Larry Hansgen and Bucky Bockhorn), has been one of the best defensive players for UD this season. He recorded a season-high six points and five rebounds at Miami and added five points and two steals versus Holy Cross. At Louisville, Warren snagged a career-high four steals in UD's win and matched that number with four steals to go with six points and eight rebounds versus Loyola Md. This year Warren averages 3.4 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game. Speaking of steals, Warren is seventh in the A-10 and has 19 steals in his last eight games.
SNAP INTO A SLIM JIM
Jimmy Binnie, along with classmate Brian Roberts, are the first Brian Gregory players to live the college basketball experience from start to finish - recruiting, verballing, signing, playing and, come spring, graduating. Binnie started 15 games and played in all 31 games for the Flyers, and averaged 4.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 18.8 minutes played. This season Binnie is averaging 5.9 points and 3.5 rebounds per game while shooting 43 percent from the field. Binnie tied a career-high with 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor in a win at Holy Cross. In his last six games, Binnie is averaging 7.5 points per game and shooting 52 percent (15-of-29) from the floor. Known as one of the better perimeter shooters on the team, Binnie has knocked down a three-point shot in all but one game this season.
Andres Sandoval increased his scoring average over the previous six games coming up big off the bench for UD. Sandoval scored six points in 10 minutes of action against American and added a season-high 10 points in a win over Loyola Md. At Holy Cross he scored five points after hitting a 3-pointer and converting two free throws in UD's win. In the High Point win, Sandoval scored eight points. After tallying just six points in his first three games, Sandoval scored 41 in his next eight. Through 11 games off the bench this year, Sandoval has the second-best assist-to-turnover ratio on the team at 1.7. During the nine-game winning streak, Sandoval has converted 8-of-20 (40%) of his three-point attempts.
BEING "KURT" TO THE OPPOSITION
Like a fine wine, sophomore Kurt Huelsman continues to get better with age. He posted a career-best 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field in the Miami win, came up big again with a team-high seven rebounds and five points in the victory at Louisville and added another career-high with 11 boards over American. After being held scoreless in his first three games, Huelsman has 50 points thanks to 50 percent (17-of-34) shooting during that span and scoring in double figures in two games. The 6-10 big man was the only player to start every game last year for the Flyers and has started all 11 games this season. Huelsman averaged 3.8 points and 3.5 rebounds, and was second on the team in blocked shots (0.6) last season. He earned UD's Best Defender Award for 2006-07 and tied the UD freshman record for blocked shots in a game (and the most in a first game as a Flyer) when he swatted four in the Austin Peay win.
ON THE GO WITH THIAGO
After leading all junior college players in blocked shots per game last season, Thiago Cordeiro has started to get comfortable at UD. The 6-9 big man tallied nine points and nine rebounds at George Mason, a season-high three blocks over Coppin State and scored a season-high 11 points against American. This year Cordeiro is second on the team in FG% at .556 and in his last four games, Cordeiro is shooting 9-of-14 from the field (64%).
EYE 75 ON THE SCOREBOARD
The Flyers are 23-3 under head coach Brian Gregory when they score at least 75 points.
The Flyers' reserves have stepped up this season out-scoring the opponent's bench in 9-of-11 games. Led by 7.4 points per game from junior Charles Little, UD's bench this season holds a 229-156 edge in scoring this season.
The Flyers have 10 players who are averaging three points or more this season. Against Louisville, all nine players who saw the court scored at least a field goal in UD's upset win. All 11 scholarship players who played in the two-point win at Holy Cross scored at least two points, and all 10 that saw action against High Point grabbed at least two rebounds. In fact, every scholarship player who played has scored in four of the last eight games.
DIAL LONG DISTANCE
UD is first in the A-10 in 3-pt shooting knocking down 63-of-154 (.409) from beyond the arc. Last year through 11 games Dayton converted 62-of-183 3-pt attempts (.339).
OUT OF THE BLOCKS, TO THE FINISH LINE
Dayton has started 10-1 for the second consecutive year. UD's 10-1 start last season matched its best start to a season since the Flyers won their first 14 games in 1955-56. UD's 10-3 non-conference record marked just the third time in school history the Flyers have reached 10 wins before January 1.
DOING IT WITH DEFENSE
This season the Flyers rank second in the A-10 in scoring defense, allowing 60.5 points per game and having held five of their last eight opponents below 60 points.
DECEMBER TO REMEMBER
Head coach Brian Gregory has never had a losing month of December going 27-11 (.711) in five seasons. Dayton is 6-0 this month and last year went 5-2 in December.
RAISING ITS LEVEL
The Atlantic 10 is ranked 8th out of 31 conferences thru games of Dec. 26 by collegerpi.com. The A-10 is the only league to have four teams ranked in the top 20 overall as Rhode Island is 12th, followed by Dayton (16th), Xavier (17th) and Massachusetts (20th).
TO BE THE BEST, YOU HAVE TO BEAT THE BEST
Nine of the first 12 teams on Dayton's schedule this season are their respective conference pre-season favorites, played in last year's NCAA tournament, or both.
UD SIGNS TOP RECRUITING CLASS OF BENSON, FABRIZUS, JOHNSON AND WILLIAMS
Coach Brian Gregory and his staff landed their fifth strong recruiting class at UD, as the Flyers received National Letters of Intent Nov. 14 from their 2008 incoming freshman class. The newest official members of the Flyer family are 6-10 forward/center Josh Benson of Dayton Dunbar High School, 6-9 forward Luke Fabrizius of John Hersey High School (Arlington Heights, IL), 6-5 guard/forward Chris Johnson of Columbus (OH) Brookhaven High School and 6-3 guard Paul Williams of Detroit Renaissance High School. The 2007-08 signing class is ranked as high as 37th in the country (HoopScoopOnline.com) and features three Street & Smith's High School All-Americans.
GAME #11 - DAYTON RUNS BY LOYOLA WITH 91-74 VICTORY TO WIN ITS NINTH STRAIGHT
Five Flyers reached double figures as UD ran away from the visiting Loyola (MD) Greyhounds 91-74. Senior Brian Roberts' 20 points led the squad and sophomore Marcus Johnson added 16 to help the Flyers to a season-high offensive output - in fact, the 91 points were the most for a Flyer team under since Brian Gregory took over as head coach in 2003. Also in double figures for UD were seniors Jimmy Binnie (11), Andres Sandoval (10) and junior Charles Little (12).
UD A NATIONAL LEADER IN LATEST GSR REPORT
The University of Dayton Division of Athletics maintained its position as one of the top academic achievers in the NCAA in the latest breakdown of the Graduation Success Rate data released earlier this month. UD has an institutional GSR of 95 percent which ranks first among the Atlantic 10 Conference and 16th overall in the nation. The men's basketball team had the second highest GSR in the Atlantic 10 Conference at 82 percent. Success in the classroom is nothing new for UD student-athletes. The Flyers combined cumulative grade point average is above a 3.0. In addition, UD has had 27 Academic All-Americans in the last six years. Also, at least one Dayton student-athlete has been named an Academic All-American for 22 straight years.
The NCAA Division I Tournament will make its start at UD Arena this season for the seventh 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 2008. UD has hosted the game since its inception in its current form in 2002. When the 2008 NCAA Tournament is over, UD Arena will have been an NCAA site in 22 of the last 39 years and will have hosted 77 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 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.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Flyers' 15-2 record at home last season matched the fourth-best efforts in UD Arena history in home court wins in a season and home court winning percentage in a season (.882). Dayton won its first 14 home games during the 2006-07 season, the second-best streak in UD Arena history (behind only the 15 from December 17, 1984 to March 3, 1985). Dayton is 7-0 at home this season.
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.
UD Arena has 79 sellouts in its 38-year history. UD's last 126 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 (364 of 366), including the last 162 regular season games. Also the University of Dayton finished in the Top 30 in men's basketball attendance for the tenth straight season in 2006-07, according to a report by the NCAA. The Flyers finished 28th in the NCAA in attendance with an average of 12,266 fans a game. Since UD Arena opened in 1969, Dayton has been in the NCAA`s top 35 in attendance every season. The Flyers led the Atlantic 10 in attendance for the 11th straight season. UD averaged more than 2,300 fans a game better than any other team in the conference.
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.