March 21, 2009
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DAYTON TO CLASH WITH NO. 13/14 KANSAS IN THE NCAA SECOND ROUND
Fresh off their first NCAA Tournament victory since 1990, the University of Dayton Flyers will battle the defending national champions, the No. 13/14 Kansas Jayhawks, in Minneapolis on Sunday, March 22. The games will be televised on CBS, carried through WHIO Radio and be available over the Internet with live stats and streaming audio and video from DaytonFlyers.com.
Chris Wright scored a career-high 27 points and had 10 rebounds to lead the 11th-seeded Flyers to a 68-60 win over sixth-seeded West Virginia on Friday in the Midwest Regional. Charles Little added a season-best 18 points to lead UD to its 27th win of the year. Dayton's 27 wins are the second-most in school history. The Flyers were 28-5 in 1951-52, and was also 27-5 in 1950-51.
The Flyers' calling card all season long has been defense and rebounding. UD has held all but five teams under their scoring average, are 22-3 when out-rebounding the opponent and have held the opposition to under 50 percent shooting from the floor in all but three games. Dayton is led on offense by Second Team, All-Atlantic 10 selection Chris Wright (13.4 ppg) and A-10 Honorable Mention selection Marcus Johnson (12.1 ppg).
Kansas, the No. 3 seed in the Midwest Regional, is coming off an 84-74 victory over the North Dakota State Bison in the First Round. The Jayhawks won the Big 12 regular season title and has won seven of its last nine games. Junior guard Sherron Collins leads KU in scoring at 18.7 points per game and scored 32 against the Bison. Kansas leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense at .389, rebounding defense at 31.7 rpg, rebound margin at +7.2 and three-point field goal percentage defense at .338.
NCAA TOURNAMENT FACTS
Dayton is making its 14th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first since the 2003-04 season. UD holds a 14-15 overall record in the NCAAs. The Flyers advanced to the Regional Semifinal six times, the Regional Final twice, the Final Four once and finished as the National Finalist once as well. Dayton is also 1-1 all-time as a No. 11 seed losing to Purdue 61-60 on March 16, 2000 and beating West Virginia 68-60 on March 20, 2009. UD is looking to win back-to-back NCAA games for the first time since 1984 when the Flyers went to the Elite Eight.
Dayton leads the all-time series 1-0 against Kansas as the Flyers won 61-48 in the finals of the 1968 NIT in New York.
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Dayton ranks second in the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage defense (.396) and scoring defense (61.5). UD held then-No. 14 Xavier to 21 percent shooting from three-point range, forced 15 turnovers and tied a school record for blocks with nine. In the Marquette win, UD forced the Golden Eagles to shoot 39 percent from the field. Saint Joseph's Ahmad Nivins, the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, was limited to a season-low 12 points against the UD defense. Dayton held West Virginia to 5-of-25 from three-point range in the NCAA First Round.
Dayton is 11-1 in games decided by five points or less, the best record of close games in the nation. The Flyers are also 20-0 this season when leading with five minutes left in regulation.
In recent years the Flyers have proved they can handle the big-name programs. The Flyers are 6-2 in the last three years against BCS programs and have won four 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. He is second on the team in field goal shooting at .512 (106-207). Little scored a season-best 18 points against West Virginia in the NCAA First Round. Little scored 15 points on 6-of-6 shooting, in a win over UNC Greensboro including dunks on three straight possessions. Little added nine rebounds against Auburn and was named to the Chicago Invitational Challenge All-Tournament Team. In his 100th career game, Little tallied his first double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 boards against Troy. Little scored 14 points and shot 6-of-6 at the free throw line versus Saint Louis. He added 13 points and shot 7-of-8 at the free throw line against Saint Joseph's. At Charlotte he shot 5-of-8 en route to 11 points. Little chipped in with 10 points and six rebounds at Saint Louis. At No. 17/18 Xavier he blocked a career-high three shots to go with 11 points. On Senior Night, Little tallied 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists against Duquesne. Little added nine points and seven boards against Richmond in the A-10 Quarterfinals. He chipped in with 13 points and six boards versus Duquesne in the A-10 Semifinals. Little has played in 126 games for the Flyers, which is good for fourth all-time at UD.
CHARLES IN CHARGE
Nobody on Dayton could have been happier for conference play than Charles Little. In his last 51 games against Atlantic 10 competition, Little averaged 10.4 points and 5.0 rebounds while shooting 202-of-392, (.515) from the floor. During the 2009 A-10 Tournament, Little averaged 10.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and shot .692 (9-of-13) from the field. In UD basketball history, Little is 43rd on the all-time scoring list with 990 career points and needs 13 points to reach Sean Finn for 40th.
THE WRIGHT STUFF
Displaying an NBA-like level of athleticism, Chris Wright played his best in the spotlight. Wright recorded a double-double with a career-high 27 points and 10 rebounds in the win over West Virginia in the NCAA First Round. Wright tied for a game-high 17 points in UD's win over Wofford and scored a game-high 18 points against Delaware State. He recorded his first double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 boards against Mercer. He added another double-double with a career-best 14 rebounds and 10 points versus Auburn. Wright then posted his third double-double in as many games with 13 points and 13 boards over then-No. 15 Marquette. At Akron, Wright led all scorers with 18 points. Against Marshall, Wright recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 boards. Wright scored a game-high 14 points versus Miami. Wright then soared for 19 points and nine rebounds against St. Bonaventure. Wright led all scorers with 16 points versus Saint Louis. Wright then had 14 points and seven boards against Saint Joseph's. Wright scored 17 of his game-high 19 points in the second half against then-No. 14 Xavier and was named the Blackburn-McCafferty MVP. Against Richmond he netted his fifth double-double with game-highs of 17 points and 10 rebounds. He had 17 points at Rhode Island. Wright led UD with 20 points against Temple. Wright tallied 10 points and three steals at No. 17/18 Xavier. Wright chipped in with eight points and five rebounds against Richmond in the A-10 Quarterfinals. Wright added 12 points and six boards versus Duquesne in the A-10 Semifinals. The Flyers are 40-9 overall, 28-0 at home and 5-1 against ranked opponents with Wright in the lineup during his UD career. In fact, he is undefeated at home (47-0) over the last four years of organized basketball in high school and college.
WRIGHT EARNED ATLANTIC 10 WEEKLY HONOR
Chris Wright was named Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Week on Dec. 1 for his efforts after leading UD to a Chicago Invitational Challenge title. Wright averaged a double-double (12.0 ppg., 10.5 rpg.) and was named tournament Most Valuable Player. This was Wright's first A-10 Player of the Week Award. In the championship game against then-No. 15 Marquette, Wright had 13 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block.
WRIGHT NAMED NABC FIRST TEAM ALL-DISTRICT
Chris Wright was named First Team All-District by the National Association of Basketball Coaches on March 5. Wright is the 11th player in UD history and the first sophomore to be named First Team NABC All-District. Previous first-team selections were Brian Roberts (2008), Tony Stanley (2001), Roosevelt Chapman (1984), Jim Paxson (1979), Don May (1967 & 1968), Henry Finkel (1966), Bill Uhl (1955), Jack Sallee (1954 & 1955), John Horan (1955) and Don Meineke (1952).
TAKING FLIGHT WITH WRIGHT
In the March meeting against Xavier, Chris Wright set Dayton's all-time, single-season record for dunks. He now has 53, including five against West Virginia. Wright passed Sean Finn who had 43 slams during the 2003-04 season.
THE PRICE IS WRIGHT
Sophomore Chris Wright leads the Flyers in scoring (13.4), rebounding (6.6), field goals made (162), offensive rebounds (90), defensive rebounds (133), blocks (41), free throw attempts (177) and double-doubles (6). His 41 blocks are tied for fourth on UD's single-season list and his 90 offensive rebounds are tied for 10th.
FIGHT FOR YOUR WRIGHT
Last season, Chris Wright earned a spot on the A-10 All-Rookie team even though he logged just eight minutes in conference play. Wright 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 conference action before fracturing a bone in his ankle that required surgery. 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).
THIS IS SPORTSCENTER
Highlight reel plays are the norm for UD's Chris Wright. Wright has been on ESPN SportsCenter's Top Plays three times this season. Wright had a dunk in the Marquette win and blocks against Saint Louis and Xavier.
Junior Marcus Johnson ranks second on the team in scoring (12.1) and 3-point field goal percentage (.372), third in steals (28) and leads the team in minutes (28.4). He tied for a game-high 17 points in a season-opening win over Wofford. Johnson then scored 15 of his team-high 16 points in the first half over Bethune-Cookman. 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. Johnson scored 15 points versus Coppin State. In the George Mason win he had 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting. He posted 21 points at Akron, hitting four 3-point attempts. Johnson added 12 points against Miami.
MORE ON MJ
Marcus Johnson has moved up the charts in UD basketball history, ranking 47th on the all-time scoring list with 950 career points. He needs six points to reach James Paxson for 44th.
Since the calendar turned to 2009, Marcus Johnson has been the most consistent scorer for UD with 21 of 25 games in double figures. He has averaged 12.8 points while shooting .468 (102-218) from the field in the last 21 games. At UMass, he recorded 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting. Johnson scored nine of his 11 points in the second half at Duquesne. At GW, he scored six of his team-high 17 points in the final 2:05 of play, including the game-winning free throws. Johnson tallied 15 points versus St. Bonaventure. His string of double-figure games ended with Saint Louis, but he executed a perfect alley-oop dunk to score the game-winning points over the Billikens. Johnson came back to score 13 points against Saint Joseph's. He finished with 16 points and swooped in for a tip-dunk with 1.2 seconds to go to help the Flyers win at La Salle. Johnson recorded 13 points and five assists in the win over No. 14 Xavier. He led UD with 21 points and eight rebounds at Rhode Island. Johnson added 14 points, five rebounds and four assists against Temple. He posted a game-high 19 points at No. 17/18 Xavier. Johnson led UD with 15 points against Richmond in the A-10 Quarterfinals. He added 11 points, four rebounds and three assists versus Duquesne in the A-10 Semifinals. Johnson had 10 points and four rebounds against West Virginia in the NCAA First Round.
YOU LOOK MAHVELOUS
Last March was a coming out party for Marcus Johnson. In the month of March, Johnson averaged 12.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and was 39-of-47 at the free throw line. Johnson shot 26-of-45 from the field, 10-of-16 from 3-point range and reached double figures five times. In his career, Johnson averages 12.1 points per game during the month of March. He opened this March with 19 points at No. 17/18 Xavier.
DOUBLING THE FUN
Marcus Johnson, a 6-3 guard from Cleveland, has scored in double figures 43 times in his 98-game career, with 41 in his last 58 games. In fact, Johnson has also reached double figures in scoring 26 times this season, including 21 of his last 25 contests. In Atlantic 10 action, Johnson did most of his damage in the second half, averaging 6.7 points (out of his game average 12.2) and shooting 46-of-101 (.455) from the floor.
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
Marcus Johnson has scored in double figures in 21 of his last 25 games, but what's even more critical to UD's success is his defense. He has guarded the opposition's top scorer in 21 of those 25 contests as well and matched his career-best with four steals in the win at Duquesne and at La Salle. Johnson had the primary defensive responsibility to guard four of the five 2008-09 First Team All-Atlantic 10 selections and West Virginia's Alex Ruoff, a Big East Honorable Mention selection.
BEING `KURT' TO THE OPPOSITION
Dayton junior center Kurt Huelsman, who had five rebounds against West Virginia, will start in his 100th consecutive win on Sunday. He has started every game of his college career.Huelsman opened the season with five points and five rebounds versus Wofford. He came back to snag seven rebounds in a victory against Delaware State. Huelsman added a team-high seven boards over Bethune-Cookman. He tallied eight rebounds and three blocks versus Auburn. Huelsman came back with eight points versus No. 15 Marquette. Huelsman shot 3-of-3 from the floor at Creighton. Against George Mason, Huelsman tied his career-high with four blocks and added eight points and seven boards. At Toledo, he had six points and seven rebounds and scored seven points versus Fordham. He matched his career-best with three assists versus St. Bonaventure. Huelsman added eight points and seven rebounds against Richmond. He had another seven rebounds at Saint Louis and recorded six points and five boards at Rhode Island. Against Richmond in the A-10 Quarters, Huelsman added six rebounds. Huelsmean chipped in with three points and five boards versus West Virginia in the NCAA First Round.
THE IRON MAN
As a freshman Kurt Huelsman was the only player to start every game during the 2006-07 season. He started all 34 games in 2007-08 and all 34 in 2008-09. Huelsman possesses the longest active streak of consecutive starts in the Atlantic 10 Conference with 99 games. Huelsman was also nominated for ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America.
London Warren's defense has provided a spark for the Flyers. Warren has at least one steal in 29 out of 34 games. Warren leads UD in steals (54) and assists (152).Warren has 126 steals in his Flyer career, good for 10th all-time in UD history. His 54 steals in a season rank tied for fourth with Negele Knight.
THE JACKSONVILLE JET
Known as the "Jacksonville Jet," London Warren is an explosive point guard who is among the NCAA's Top 50 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.4. Against West Virginia in the NCAA First Round, Warren had nine assists to only one turnover in UD's win. He dished out a career-best 12 assists against Duquesne in the A-10 Semifinals. The 12 assists were also the ninth most in a game in UD basketball history. Warren opened the 2008-09 season with three points, four assists and a steal in UD's win over Wofford. 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. Warren recorded a season-high seven rebounds and dished out six assists versus Coppin State. At Toledo, Warren was flawless with eight assists and zero turnovers to go with 11 points. Warren broke out with six points and five assists in the win over St. Bonaventure. He tallied 10 points, six assists and just one turnover versus Richmond. Warren had four rebounds at Saint Louis. He tallied six points, four assists and three steals at Rhode Island. In the Temple win, he recorded team-highs of nine rebounds and eight assists. At No. 17/18 Xavier, Warren dished out five assists. He had eight assists to go with seven points and three steals against Duquesne. Warren added eight points, five boards and five assists against Richmond in the A-10 Quarterfinals. In the 10 games, since backup point guard Rob Lowery became out for the season with a knee injury in UD's 71-58 win over Xavier on Feb. 11, Warren has 67 assists with just 15 turnovers.
In his last five games, Mickey Perry is averaging 7.2 points per game. The junior scored a career-high 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting versus Duquesne in the A-10 Semis. Perry was flawless against Bethune-Cookman knocking down both three-point attempts. Perry sank 3-of-4 shots versus No. 15 Marquette. Perry scored 10 points against Troy. Perry then tallied 10 points and a career-best three steals at Creighton. Perry added six points at Charlotte. He had seven points versus then-No. 14 Xavier. Perry netted 10 points against Temple. Perry scored 11 points at Rhode Island. Perry also has had double-figure efforts in his three of his last seven games, after only having three in his year-and-a-half UD career. Twenty-two of his 26 free throws this season have come in the last seven games.
After not playing more than seven minutes in a single outing since December and his team in need against No. 14 Xavier, Stephen Thomas came up big in a pressure situation. Thomas, who hadn't scored in the last seven games, added five points and four rebounds against Xavier. Thomas filled in for London Warren, who was in foul trouble for most of the game, and Rob Lowery, who injured his right knee. Against Auburn, with teammates Warren & Lowery in foul trouble, Thomas netted a career-high eight points. Thomas also recorded five points and a steal versus then-No. 15 Marquette. Thomas added five points and four rebounds at Rhode Island. He dished out four assists versus Temple. After missing the A-10 Quarterfinal against Richmond with a displaced rib, he returned to add a rebound and an assist versus Duquesne in the semifinals.
DIAL IN WITH DEVIN
Devin Searcy has been one of the most pleasant surprises this year for UD. Searcy leads the team in field goal percentage (.515, 34-66). He recorded a career-best 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting at Rhode Island. Against Wofford, Searcy recorded two rebounds and two assists, which equaled his assist total from all of last year. Searcy broke free with eight points and three rebounds on 4-of-6 shooting against Bethune-Cookman. He chipped in with six points and four rebounds in a win over Auburn. Searcy had four rebounds and two blocks versus No. 15 Marquette. In the Troy win, Searcy had five rebounds and another five at Akron. He was 2-for-2 apiece against UNC Greensboro, Marshall and George Mason. At Toledo, Searcy had six points, hitting all four free-throw attempts. He added five rebounds in the win over Miami and four points at UMass. Against Fordham, Searcy had four points and five rebounds. He gave big minutes early on to help hold Saint Joseph's Ahmad Nivins to 12 points. Speaking of minutes, he played a career-high 21 minutes and added six points against then No. 14 Xavier. Searcy snagged a career-best six rebounds at Saint Louis. Against Temple he had two points and three rebounds. He was held out of three games with a sprained left knee, but came back to add two points against Duquesne in the A-10 Semis.
Freshman Chris Johnson has moved into seventh all-time for most rebounds by a freshman in a season with 176. He needs three to reach Brooks Hall for sixth on the list. Johnson also ranks second for offensive rebounds by a freshman with 72. Johnson leads the team in free throw shooting (.772). He nailed the go-ahead shot on a three-pointer with 1:05 to go against George Mason. Johnson recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds versus No. 15 Marquette. In the Coppin State win Johnson led UD with 20 points and 12 rebounds. He was just short of a double-double with 12 points and eight boards versus UNC Greensboro. Johnson scored in double-figures with 14 points over Bethune-Cookman. At Akron, Johnson connected on 4-of-5 free throws, including two technical shots, to help seal the win. Against Miami he snagged a team-high seven rebounds. Against Fordham, he had nine points and eight rebounds and came up just short of a double-double at Duquesne with 10 points (3-3 FG, 4-4 FT) and nine boards. Against St. Bonaventure, Johnson recorded 17 points and eight rebounds. Johnson tallied 13 points and seven rebounds, all in the first half, at Charlotte. At No. 17/18 Xavier, Johnson corralled seven rebounds. In the A-10 Quarters versus Richmond, he had 10 points and nine rebounds. Against A-10 opponents, Johnson shot .544 (31-57) from the field and averaged 6.6 points and 5.1 rebounds.
JOHNSON NAMED A-10 CO-ROOKIE OF THE WEEK ON JANUARY 18
On Jan. 18, freshman Chris Johnson earned the Atlantic 10's Rookie of the Week award. Johnson averaged 9.5 points and 8.5 rebounds, and shot .545 (6-11) from the field and 1.000 (6-6) from the line for the week.
COOL HAND LUKE
Luke Fabrizius went off in the first half of the Duquesne win, nailing 5-of-6 three-pointers to help the Flyers close the regular season with a victory. His game total of 17 points is his career high, surpassing the 11 he scored in the season's first Duquesne game. Fabrizius hit 3-of-4 shots from beyond the arc en route to nine points against Bethune-Cookman. He then connected on three 3-pointers to finish with nine points and four rebounds against Mercer. Fabrizius then had eight points against Troy. He reached double-figures for the first time with 10 points against UNC Greensboro. At UMass, he had six points and two rebounds. He tallied 11 points at Duquesne. Against Richmond in the A-10 Quarters, he scored 11 points. Fabrizius scored six against Duquesne in the A-10 Semifinals. He has 34 points in the last three games after scoring 12 in all of February. In his last five games, Fabrizius is shooting .600 (12-20) from the field and 10-of-18 (.556) from three point range.
Freshman Paul Williams, one of the top prep recruits out of Michigan, brings a reputation as a clutch shooter and lockdown defender to the Flyer backcourt. Williams is a Preseason Atlantic 10 All-Rookie selection. Williams broke out with three 3-pointers against Troy. He then added four points and three boards versus Coppin State. Against George Mason, he had two points, two boards and a steal. Against Saint Louis, he snagged a career-best six rebounds, including a defensive rebound to secure the victory. He added five rebounds versus Saint Joseph's. Williams sank a three-pointer and dished out two assists versus No. 14 Xavier. Against Richmond, he nailed a three with 1:04 to go to extend the Flyer lead and finished with six points. Williams added four points and six boards at Saint Louis. Williams sank a three-pointer against Temple. Williams had three rebounds at No. 17/18 Xavier. Had seven points and four rebounds versus Duquesne. He netted four points versus Richmond in the A-10 Quarterfinals and had two rebounds versus Duquesne in the semifinals. Williams scored three points against West Virginia in the NCAA First Round.
BIG SHOT ROB
Junior Rob Lowery will miss the rest of the season following successful surgery to repair a torn patellar tendon in his right knee. The injury was suffered against Xavier and a typical rehab for an injury of this type is five-to-six months. Prior to the injury Lowery made a name for himself as a clutch performer. In the 72-71 win over Fordham, Lowery drove the length of the floor for a basket with 5.4 seconds to go. In the win over No. 15 Marquette, Lowery scored 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the floor. With UD protecting a two-point lead, Lowery, who missed his first five shots, 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. He tied for the team-high with 13 points and had the steal and dunk that tied the game, the assist on the go-ahead three-pointer and the free throw that made it a two-possession game against George Mason. He posted a team-high 15 points at Creighton. He shot 6-of-9 from the field en route to a team-high 16 points at Duquesne. He added 15 points and seven assists against St. Bonaventure. Lowery averaged 6.1 points a game at home, but 9.6 away from UD Arena.
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 and he averaged 18.9 points, 11 boards and four blocks during his senior year. Benson is expected to be redshirted for this season.
FOUR FLYERS EARN ATLANTIC 10 AWARDS
On March 9, four Dayton Flyers earned All-Atlantic 10 honors as Chris Wright earned A-10 Second Team recognition, Marcus Johnson was selected to the Honorable Mention team, Chris Johnson made the All-Rookie Team and London Warren named to the All-Defensive Team.
JOHNSON & WRIGHT NAMED DAYTON MEN'S BASKETBALL CO-MVP'S
University of Dayton junior Marcus Johnson and sophomore Chris Wright were named the co-winners of the White-Allen Most Valuable Player Award on March 8 at UD's men's basketball banquet. It was just the sixth time in school history the Flyers had co-MVP's. Other award winners included:
MACBETH SCHOLAR-ATHLETE: Kurt Huelsman
LUPPE MEMORIAL AWARD: Chris Johnson
RAU SPIRIT AWARD: Charles Little
SHARPENTER TOP REBOUNDER: Chris Wright
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: London Warren
Chris Daniels MEMORIAL AWARD: London Warren
UHL FAMILY ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP: Kurt Huelsman
SCHOEN FREE THROW PERCENTAGE : Chris Johnson
CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARDS
UD is third in the Atlantic 10 in rebound margin at plus 5.0. 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. UD held a 44-33 advantage on the glass against Coppin State thanks in part to 17 on the offensive end. Dayton then out-rebounded Marshall 42-32, George Mason 42-29 and Miami 38-30. The Flyers had 13 offensive rebounds against Richmond. Dayton dominated at Saint Louis with a 44-31 overall edge and a season-high 22 on offense. Dayton out-rebounded Temple 36-29 and held a 41-32 edge on the glass against Duquesne. UD dominated against Richmond in the A-10 Quarterfinals with a 47-29 edge and had 15 offensive boards. Since being out-rebounded by a much smaller Wofford squad in the opener, UD has gotten at least 10 more rebounds than 13 opponents.
STEAL OF A DEAL
Dayton's 6.3 steals per game is UD's best average in 17 years and is on pace to be the fifth-best steal-per-game average in school history. UD tallied six swipes against No. 15 Marquette. At Akron the Flyers had 11 steals and at Creighton UD tallied seven swipes. UD added nine steals against UNC Greensboro and had 10 versus UMass. The Flyers swiped nine in the win over St. Bonaventure with no player grabbing more than two. Dayton swiped nine in the win over then No. 14 Xavier. UD had eight steals at Rhode Island and seven swipes at No. 17/18 Xavier. UD had seven against Richmond in the A-10 Quarters.
TO BE THE BEST YOU HAVE TO BEAT THE BEST
During the 2008-09 campaign, Dayton defeated five teams that advanced to the 2009 NCAA Tournament (West Virginia, Marquette, Xavier, Temple, Akron).
THAT'S A CATCH-22
UD has held opponents to 22 points or less in a half 10 times during the 2008-09 campaign. Last year the Flyers accomplished that feat six times.
The Flyers' 20 consecutive home victories stretching back to last season is the longest streak since moving to UD Arena in 1969. UD's homecourt streak is fourth-best in the nation through games of March 7 and is the best in the Atlantic 10. The Flyers will be shooting to tie the Dayton all-time record for consecutive homecourt wins in next year's home opener.
HOME SWEET HOME
Over the last three years on Tom Blackburn Court, the Flyers are 48-5. The 48 victories are the ninth-most in the NCAA since the 2006-07 season. Just ahead of the Flyers are Memphis (55 wins), Kansas (54), UNLV (52), Florida (51), Ohio State, Texas A&M and Pittsburgh (50) and Syracuse (49). UD has started at home 10-0 for the last three seasons. The Flyers have a home all-time winning percentage of .778 (749-213).
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Dayton's 18 victories this season at UD Arena set the program record for home wins and eclipsed the old mark set by the 2002-03 team that went 17-1 and the 1977-78 squad that went 17-3. Only two other Flyer squads, the 1949-50 team (16-0) and the 1959-60 squad (14-0), have ever been unbeaten at home.
Seven of Dayton's eight returning players from last year are shooting a better percentage from the free throw line in 2008-09. Leading the way are London Warren (.548 to .616), Marcus Johnson (.593 to .635) and Charles Little (.462 to .614).
THIRD IS THE WORD
Dayton has won 27 or more games for just the third time in school history. Brian Gregory and the legendary Tom Blackburn are the only coaches to accomplish that feat at UD.
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.
Dayton 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 faster than any Dayton coach except the two icons of Flyer basketball: Donoher and Blackburn.
WELCOME TO FLIGHT CLUB
Dayton set a new single-season record for dunks just 19 games into the 2008-09 season. The Flyers' current total of 116 is 55 more than the 61 slams performed by the 2003-04 team in 33 games. Dayton had a program-record nine against UNC Greensboro and matched that one month later with nine against St. Bonaventure. In the Wofford contest Chris Wright had two slams and Marcus Johnson dunked once. 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 had one against Mercer. At Akron, Wright had four of the Flyers' five slams. The Johnsons (Chris and Marcus) had two apiece in the Coppin State win. UD had four slams against George Mason and hammered home five at UMass. Dayton had eight flushes at Duquesne, four versus Saint Joseph's and four at La Salle. Dayton had six dunks from four different players against Temple. The Flyers had five slams at Xavier and Wright had all five against West Virginia in the NCAAs. Wright leads UD with 53 dunks.
HANGING WITH THE ATLANTIC 10
The Flyers hold an all-time 263-192 edge over Atlantic 10 conference opponents and have finished .500 or better in nine of the previous 10 seasons. UD's seven-game winning streak from Jan. 14 - Feb. 4 against A-10 opponents was the longest since winning nine straight during the 2003-04 campaign.
HOT, HOT, HOT
UD has won its last 28 non-conference home games. Included are games against members of the Big East, Conference USA, Mid-American and Missouri Valley conferences.
SPARK OFF THE BENCH
With such a deep team, it's no surprise Dayton's bench has been a big part of the team's success. The Flyers are 21-3 this season when their bench out-scores the opponents. UD holds a 836-501 edge in bench scoring this season.
UD is one of 15 teams with at least 27 wins (games through March 20), but is the only one with 12 players averaging eight minutes per game.
NO PLACE LIKE DOME
With the victory over West Virginia at the HHH Metrodome, Dayton is 3-1 all-time in dome games. The Flyers previously played at the Louisiana Superdome, the University of Northern Iowa Dome and the University of South Florida's Sun Dome.
THE NAME OF THE GAME
The 35 games will be the most played by the University of Dayton in a single season.
FILLING UP THE STAT SHEET
Dayton has had seven different players lead the team in scoring this season - Chris Wright (15), Marcus Johnson (10), Rob Lowery (five) Charles Little and Chris Johnson (twice) and Luke Fabrizius and Mickey Perry (once). In rebounding, eight players have taken honors in at least one game - Wright (15), Chris Johnson (12) Kurt Huelsman (five), Little (four) and Devin Searcy, London Warren Marcus Johnson and Rob Lowery (once). (Note: scoring and rebounding numbers add up to more than 34 due to games where more than one player tied for the team-high).
Marcus Johnson leads Dayton this season in double-figure scoring performances with 26. Chris Wright is next with 24 followed by Charles Little's 14. Chris Johnson has eight with Rob Lowery at seven. Mickey Perry has five, Luke Fabrizius has four, London Warren has three and Devin Searcy scored in double figures once.
EYE 75 ON THE SCOREBOARD
The Flyers are 36-5 under head coach Brian Gregory when they score at least 75 points and are 7-1 this season.
Through March 15, the Flyers were tied for 16th in winning percentage (.788), 28th in the NCAA in field goal defense (.396), 33rd in rebounding margin (plus 5.3) and tied for 36th in scoring defense (61.5).
The Flyers were nationally ranked for the first time this season, earning the No. 25 spot in the Associated Press Top 25 poll on Feb. 16. That was the first time Dayton has been ranked in the month of February since the 2002-03 season. UD's schedule features two top 25 teams from the Associated Press Poll and USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll. The Flyers beat No. 22 Xavier in February and played the Musketeers in March. UD defeated No. 24 Marquette in November. Dayton earned 11 votes in the latest USA Today/ESPN Poll.
According to RealTime RPI, the Dayton Flyers are ranked 28th in the RPI. Dayton has 10 Top 100 RPI victories this season against nine opponents: West Virginia Marquette, Xavier, Temple, George Mason, Auburn, Akron, Miami and Duquesne (twice).
UD is the only top team playing 12 players at least eight minutes a game, and one of the products of that is simply wearing down the opposition. Dayton out-scored George Mason 11-2 in the last 4:41 of the game. In the Miami game, UD out-scored the Redhawks 10-4 over the last 4:31. Against Marshall, UD held the Thundering Herd scoreless for exactly nine minutes late in the second half. In the Saint Louis game, the Flyers held SLU without a field goal in the last 7:18 of play. West Virginia scored one point in the final 3:20 of regulation. In the last five minutes of the game, Dayton is holding its opponents to just .385 (92-239) from the field and .293 (29-99) from three-point range.
SPREADING THE WEALTH AROUND
The Flyers have nine players who are averaging three points or more and 12 who play eight minutes or more this season. Dayton forces an average of 14.1 turnovers per game.
COACHES VERSUS CANCER
In the Saint Joseph's game, Dayton head coach Brian Gregory joined hundreds of coaches nationwide in the national Coaches vs. Cancer event. Coaches and their staff wore sneakers along with their game attire. By wearing sneakers with their suits, participating coaches will call attention to the importance of cancer prevention and early detection and that the American Cancer Society can help by providing free, lifesaving information, resources, and services.
KEEPING UP WITH THE FLYERS
The men's basketball team isn't the only team at the University of Dayton reaching new heights. Success can be found behind nearly every door in the Frericks Center, which is the on-campus home of the UD athletics division. Last year, the Flyers' "team & ball" sports of men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, football, volleyball, baseball and softball had their best combined winning percentage in school history. This fall, Dayton's two soccer teams, the Flyer football team and the UD volleyball team all finished first or second in their respective leagues, which is the first time that has ever happened. In the Red and Blue's so-called individual sports, Rob Chappell was the medalist at the 2008 A-10 Men's Golf Championship, the men's cross country team had its first two runners at the 2008 NCAA Nationals (twin brothers Chris and Matt Lemon) and in women's track, sophomore Ashley Cattran was the first Flyer to participate in the USTAF indoor nationals just last week.
AROUND THE HORN
Bucky Bockhorn is one of nine Miami Valley broadcasters who have been selected for induction in the Dayton Area Broadcasting Hall of Fame in September. Already a member of the University of Dayton Athletic Hall of Fame, this is Bockhorn's 40th year calling Flyer basketball games.
This year's Dayton Flyer basketball marketing theme is "Your Team & Your Town," signifying the bond between UD and Miami Valley residents. As a token of their appreciation for the fan support they have received, head coach Brian Gregory and several UD players hand-delivered season tickets to 20 season ticket-holders around Dayton on Oct. 20. That theme continued in the regular season finale when the players went into the stands after the game and were mobbed by the fans, and coach Brian Gregory addressed the crowd over the p.a. system.
SECRET SMILES AUCTION A SUCCESS
UD's eighth annual "Flyer Feedback Auction" to benefit the charity "Secret Smiles" was held on March 7 and raised more than $17,000. Coach Brian Gregory's dedicated cause is a charity called "Secret Smiles," a program that delivers beds and bedding to children of families who cannot provide for them. In the last three years, "Secret Smiles" has raised $54,000.
The Flyers are 9-7 this season away from UD Arena, going 5-6 on the road and 4-1 at neutral site contests. Three of the five UD starters shoot a better field goal percentage on the road than at home, led by Chris Wright's .524 (75-143). Wright is shooting .462 (87-188) at home. In addition, Dayton has only lost back-to-back games once, both on the road. One in the last minute at Saint Louis, one in the final second of overtime at Rhode Island.
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, relying on defense, rebounding and clutch free throw shooting. The bad news early in that game was that the Flyers made just 5-of-16 free throw attempts in the first 32 minutes of the contest, but finished with 15 straight made free throws, including 7-for-7 in overtime. Dayton is the only team to go 0-fer from three-point range twice and win both games this year (minimum of 10 shots), yet the Flyers have also shot better from three-point range than two-point range in six games this year.
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.
LITTLE DO YOU KNOW
Next season Dayton returns everyone on this year's team except senior Charles Little, who will graduate in May. A four-year contributor, Little will be missed so much that it will take two players to replace him in the paint. Luckily for the Flyers his two replacements will not only bring quantity, but quality to the team in 2009-2010. Current freshman Josh Benson will return at full strength after redshirting the 2008-09 campaign following surgery to repair a torn labrum. Also joining the Flyers will be 6-9 Matt Kavanaugh, who was the only junior on the Ohio Division I first and second teams last year.
Dayton's meeting versus Xavier on Feb. 11 was the first meeting between two 20-win teams in college basketball this season. Ironically, in previous 148 meetings between UD and XU, it was the first time the two teams played each other with 20 wins apiece.
NATIONAL CITY'S "THINK PINK" PROGRAM WITH UD A SUCCESS
The Flyers and National City teamed up to honor breast cancer survivors during an on-court ceremony at halftime of the Wofford game. The 10 survivors, including Luke Fabrizius' mom Julie and UD women's tennis coach Linda O'Keefe, were chosen from more than 200 nominees. Both coaching staffs wore matching pink ties to show support for the fight against breast cancer. The activities were a part of National City's "Real Men Wear Pink" campaign, featuring UD coach Brian Gregory.
GREGORY A PART OF OPERATION HARDWOOD
After the 2007-08 season, 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.
DANCE TO THE MUSIC
Dance is well known as a beautiful art form. Dancers will attest to the physical demands of the profession. But dancers are not the only ones doing ballet. Many athletes use dance and ballet to cross-train and improve their physical skills. Two Flyers can attest to that as Charles Little took a ballet class during the first semester while Chris Wright studied tap dance.
The 27 victories this season are tied for second-most in school history. Dayton's overall body of work included three solid winning streaks this season. An eight-game winning streak with victories over Marquette and Auburn, a seven-game streak with wins against George Mason and Miami Ohio and a six-game streak that included triumphs over Duquesne and Saint Joseph's.
EVERYBODY WAS KUNG FU FIGHTING
Looking for a way to break up the monotony of offseason workouts, Mike Bewley, the University of Dayton's strength and conditioning coach, wanted to train the men's basketball team in jiujitsu, a popular martial arts form often seen during those rugged Ultimate Fighting Championship clashes. Bewley kept a record board, and junior Kurt Huelsman and sophomore Devin Searcy were the unofficial winners among the players, beating each other once but losing to no one else.
108 FLYERS NAMED TO A-10 HONOR ROLL
The University of Dayton Division of Athletics continued its long tradition of success in the classroom by placing 108 student-athletes on the Atlantic 10 Commissioner's Honor Roll for the Fall 2008 semester. The A-10 Honor Roll, which was released on Feb. 13, honors each student-athlete with a 3.5 grade-point average or higher during the Fall 2008 semester. The 108 student-athletes were the second most in the Atlantic 10 named to the honor roll.
AND THE CROWD GOES WILD
The Flyer Faithful set a UD record for regular season total attendance. The sellout crowd that saw UD defeat Duquesne pushed the season total attendance up to 229,768, the best in the regular season and the third-best overall.
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 89 sellouts in its 38-year history and four in 2008-09. The record for sellouts is eight held in the Arena's first season 1969-70. UD's last 151 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 (389 of 392), including the last 188 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 made its start at UD Arena for the eighth year in a row as the University of Dayton Arena host 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 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.