Game Notes in PDF Format
FLYERS OPEN ATLANTIC 10 PLAY AT HOME AGAINST RHODE ISLAND
For the first time in Atlantic 10 history, two nationally-ranked teams will open up conference play as the No. 17/22 University of Dayton Flyers host the No. 22/20 Rhode Island Rams on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on WHIO-TV and CSTV, carried through WHIO Radio and be available over the Internet with Gametracker and streaming video and audio from DaytonFlyers.com.
The Flyers, 12-1 overall and 9-0 at home, have won 11 in a row and showcases one of the best defenses in the conference allowing 61.7 points per game. Dayton's 11-game winning streak matches its longest in 40 seasons. The Flyers also won 11 games during the 1989-90 campaign. To find a longer one than that, you have to go back to the 19-game streak at end of 1967-68 and the beginning of 1968-69. UD is also ranked in January for the first time since the 1968-69 season.
Rhode Island enters conference play with a glittering 14-1 record, the program's best-ever non-conference mark. The Rams boast a two of the best-known players in the A-10 in senior forward Will Daniels (18.3) and junior guard Jimmy Baron (15.7), but like UD, productive depth is Rhody's biggest strength. Three non-starters average at least six points and 15 minutes a game.
UD leads the all-time series 11-6. Rhode Island has won three of the last four and defeated Dayton 75-74 last year.
Dayton is nationally-ranked No. 17 in the AP Top 25 Poll and No. 22 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Flyer opponents who are ranked in the Top 25 polls include Pittsburgh at No. 20/18, Rhode Island at No. 22/20 and Xavier at 24/25. Two other Flyer opponents are also receiving votes.
ROBERTS AMONG NCAA'S ELITE
Brian Roberts is one of just seven players also among the Top 50 among all NCAA Division I players in scoring average, 3-pt. FG's per game and 3-pt. FG's made. Included in that list are Indiana's Eric Gordon and Vanderbilt's Shan Foster.
ROBERTS NAMED A-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
University of Dayton senior guard Brian Roberts was named Atlantic 10 Player of the Week on Dec. 30 after his performance in UD's impressive 80-55 win over then No. 6 Pittsburgh. Roberts scored a season-high-tying 31 points to lead the Flyers to the most-lopsided victory over a ranked opponent in school history.
The Toledo St. John's graduate scored 15 of his points in the last six-and-a-half minutes of the first half when Dayton took control of the game with a 21-11 run to hold a 45-33 halftime lead. He scored another 11 in a four-minute stretch in the second half when the Flyers pushed the lead at to as much as 30. Roberts was 10-for-17 from the field (5-8 from three-point range) and 6-of-7 from the free throw line. He also had five assists against one turnover in 35 minutes of action.
ROBERTS NAMED TWO-TIME ESPN.COM "WEEKLY WATCH" PLAYER OF THE WEEK
For the second time this season Brian Roberts earned national notice when ESPN college basketball analyst Andy Katz on Dec. 31 named the senior guard the national player of the week in his "Weekly Watch" column on ESPN.com. Roberts is the only player in the nation to earn the award twice this season.
Roberts first earned the honor on Dec. 10, 2007 after he 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.
ROBERTS NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL A-10 TEAM
Earlier this year 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 4th in the A-10 in points per game (19.1), 6th in FG% (.494, 82-166), 5th in 3-pt. FG% (.469, 38-81), 3rd in FT% (.868, 46-53), 5th in assists per game (4.5) and 5th in 3-pt. FG's per game (2.9). He is the only A-10 player among the conference leaders in scoring, field goal percentage,3-point field goal percentage, 3-pointers made, assists, assists-to-turnover ratio (7th, 1.81) and minutes per game (8th, 33.77).
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 (231-526) from behind the arc is first at UD and his .847 FT% (300-354) is third.
THE TOLEDO RIFLE
Already having scored 1,583 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 27 points to reach Jack Sallee in 13th 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 38 of his last 42 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 62 times in his career. This season Roberts has tallied double-figures in a half 12 times. Over his college career, Roberts' road scoring average of 15.8 points is actually better than his home average of 14.3.
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. In the Pittsburgh contest, Roberts knocked down 10-of-17 shots, including 5-for-8 from beyond the arc.
LIFE OF BRIAN
One of the most impressive aspects of Brian Roberts' senior season has been his ability to come up big against ranked opponents. In UD's two games against ranked competition, Roberts averages 29.5 points, 4.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game. He is shooting 20-of-34 from the floor (.588) and is 7-of-14 (.500) from beyond the arc. For his career, he averages 17.3 points (six games) and 20.8 as a starter (5 starts).
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS
While Brian Roberts is filling up the stat sheet, the senior guard is also taking care of the ball for the Flyers. His 1.81 assist to turnover ratio is best on the team and he ranks seventh in the Atlantic 10. In his last seven games, the UD point guard has 28 assists with just 10 turnovers.
Here is a quick comparison of Brian Roberts stats through 13 games from last season to this year.
Points - (17.1 in 2006-07) / (19.1 in 2007-08)
Rebounds - (3.3 in 2006-07) / (3.0 in 2007-08)
Assists - (3.5 in 2006-07) / (4.5 in 2007-08)
FG % - (69-162, 43% in 2006-07) / (82-166, 49% in 2007-08)
3-pt FG% - (32-76, 42% in 2006-07) / (38-81, 47% in 2007-08)
AMONG THE TEAM LEADERS
Serving as one of the team captains this season Brian Roberts leadership on-and-off the court has served well for Dayton. On the court he leads UD in points, minutes played, three-point shooting, three-point field goals made, free throw percentage and assists. Off the court, Roberts and seniors Jimmy Binnie and Andres Sandoval have UD off to its best start since the Flyers won their first 14 games in 1955-56. UD's 12-1 non-conference record marked just the fourth time in school history the Flyers have reached 10 wins before January 1.
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).
THE WRIGHT STUFF
After just 12 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 this season. The last player to get four A-10 Rookie awards in his first six weeks was Jameer Nelson. Despite being saddled with an ankle injury that caused him to miss the Loyola game, Wright leads the team in rebounding (6.3), blocked shots (11) and FG% (.595, 50-84) and is second on the team in scoring (10.9) and FT% (.811, 30-37). He is 16th in the conference rebounding and 8th in FT%. 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. 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 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 (7.2) and third in rebounding (4.8). Over his last five games Little is shooting 15-of-28 from the floor (.536). 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. Against High Point, Little dished out a career-high five assists. In the Loyola win he shot 5-of-7 from the floor to finish with 12 points. 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 10.9 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. He ranks 15th in the Atlantic 10 in free throw percentage at .739, second on the team in minutes played (28.7) and second in steals (9). Johnson has been at his best from the line in the clutch, making 11-of-13 in the final minute of the game. 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. Then Johnson sparkled with his second career double-double behind 15 points and 11 rebounds against then No. 6 Pittsburgh. Against Akron Johnson filled every stat column by recording 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and a blocked shot.
MORE ON MJ
Dayton's top freshman honor, the Thomas Luppe Memorial Award, went to Marcus 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. Fast forward to 2007-08 where Johnson has been productive in nine home games this season averaging 11.1 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. In his last five games Johnson has scored in double figures three times and is averaging 12.4 points and 5.2 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. Warren scored all six of his points in double overtime in UD's win over Akron. He recorded 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. This year Warren averages 4.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. Speaking of steals, Warren is 10th in the A-10 and has 20 steals in his last 10 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. This season Binnie is averaging 6.3 points and 3.4 rebounds per game while shooting 47 percent from the field. Binnie scored a career-high 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor over Akron. Before that he scored 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor in a win at Holy Cross. In his last nine games, Binnie is averaging 7.7 points per game and shooting 57 percent (21-of-37) 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. He ranks second on the team with 19 converted three-point shots.
Andres Sandoval increased his scoring average over the previous eight games and has started the last three 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. 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 47 in his next 10. Through 10 games off the bench this year, Sandoval has the second-best assist-to-turnover ratio on the team at 2.2. During the 11-game winning streak, Sandoval has converted 8-of-24 (33%) of his three-point attempts.
BEING "KURT" TO THE OPPOSITION
Like a fine wine, sophomore Kurt Huelsman continues to get better with age. Huelsman battled against DeJuan Blair, the Big East's two-time Rookie of the Week, by recording 12 points and eight rebounds in UD's win over then No. 6 Pittsburgh. Not to be outdone, he responded with a career-best 18 points against Akron. Huelsman scored 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 80 points thanks to 57 percent (29-of-51) shooting during that span and scoring in double figures in four games. His 13 assists this season through 13 games already surpassed last year's total of 12.
HUELSMAN GETS IT DONE
Kurt Huelsman was the only player to start every game last year for the Flyers and has started all 13 games this season. The 6-10 big man averages 6.2 points and 4.9 rebounds per game this season. Huelsman averaged 3.8 points and 3.5 rebounds, and was second on the team in blocked shots (0.6) last season.
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. In his last five games, he is averaging 3.8 points and 2.0 rebounds, shooting .667 (8-12) FG and blocked eight of his season's nine shots. He had a season-high 11 points against American. Cordeiro is second on the team in FG% (.552, 15-28) and blocked shots (9).
Redshirt Sophomore Mickey Perry enjoyed a memorable UD debut when he knocked down a three-pointer, grabbed two rebounds and recorded a block in the Flyers win against Coppin State. In four games this season Perry is shooting 3-of-6 (.500) from the floor and 2-of-5 (.400) from beyond the arc.
DIAL IN WITH DEVIN
Freshman Devin Searcy got going on both ends of the floor in UD's win over SMU. Searcy came off the bench and hauled in five rebounds (three on the offensive glass) and picked up his first two points as a Flyer in eight minutes of play. He followed that up with a career high six points against High Point in 11 minutes of action. In eight minutes of action against then No. 6 Pittsburgh, Searcy tallied three rebounds. The freshman is averaging 1.3 points and 1.4 rebounds this season.
THOMAS THE TRAIN
Freshman Stephen Thomas has appeared in all but one game this season for UD. The point guard averages 1.2 points and 0.8 rebounds per game. Against Akron Thomas gave quality minutes off the bench hitting his only FG attempt and adding a rebound.
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.
EYE 75 ON THE SCOREBOARD
The Flyers are 24-3 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 10 of 13 games. Led by 7.2 points per game from junior Charles Little, UD's bench this season holds a 260-190 edge in scoring this season.
The Flyers have nine 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 the game against Pittsburgh every scholarship player saw action. In fact, every scholarship player who played has scored in four games this season.
SAILING THE ATLANTIC
The Flyers hold an all-time 248-180 edge over Atlantic 10 conference opponents and have finished .500 or better in seven of the previous eight seasons. After a 19-12 season in 2006-07, the Flyers were picked to finish sixth in the league according to a poll of the Atlantic 10's head coaches and media. Last season the Flyers went 8-8 in conference play.
DIAL LONG DISTANCE
UD is first in the A-10 in 3-pt shooting knocking down 69-of-166 (.416) from beyond the arc. Last year through 13 games Dayton converted 73-of-216 3-pt attempts (.338). In their last five games the Flyers have converted 33-of-73 (.452) shots from beyond the arc, while holding opponents to a .391 clip from 3-pt range (40-118) during that span.
DOING IT WITH DEFENSE
This season the Flyers rank second in the A-10 in scoring defense, allowing 61.7 points per game and having held six of their last 10 opponents below 60 points.
RAISING ITS LEVEL
The Atlantic 10 is ranked 8th out of 31 conferences thru games of Jan. 7 by collegerpi.com. The A-10 is the only league to have four teams ranked in the top 25 overall as Dayton is seventh followed by Xavier (10th), Massachusetts (16th) and Rhode Island (17th).
TO BE THE BEST, YOU HAVE TO BEAT THE BEST
Ten of the first 13 teams on Dayton's schedule this season were their respective conference pre-season favorites, played in last year's NCAA tournament, or both. UD is 2-0 this season against nationally-ranked opponents.
DOUBLE THE FUN
Through 13 games this season Chris Wright and Marcus Johnson are the only two Flyers to have recorded double-doubles this season. Here are UD's double-double performances during the 2007-08 campaign.
11/10/07 - Chris Wright vs. ETSU (22 points, 13 rebounds)
11/21/07 - Chris Wright vs. Toledo (26 points, 12 rebounds)
12/5/07 - Chris Wright vs. High Point (16 points, 13 rebounds)
12/29/07 - Marcus Johnson vs. Pittsburgh (15 points, 11 rebounds)
POLLING THE ELECTORATE
The No. 17 ranking in the AP Top 25 poll is the highest during coach Brian Gregory's tenure at UD. The No. 17 ranking is also the highest the Flyers have been ranked in the month of January since the 1968-69 season. Dayton is also ranked No. 22 in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.
UD's 12-1 start has been a reflection of its body of work to this point. The last time the Flyers defeated two ranked teams in the same season was the 2002-03 when UD knocked off three teams (No. 21 Cincinnati, No. 13 Marquette and No. 25 Saint Joseph's twice) in the Top 25.
QUICK HITS - UD IN THE AP TOP 25