Jan. 5, 2006
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The University of Dayton Flyers play their Atlantic 10 Conference home opener Saturday, January 7 when the Charlotte 49ers visit UD Arena. Game time is 12 noon EST. Dayton will be looking for its first conference win of the season after dropping a 66-56 decision at Fordham, while Charlotte is 1-0 after debuting in the A-10 with an 88-80 win at home over Rhode Island. UD is 8-7 overall and the 49ers are 8-5.
This will be the second meeting between the two schools, but Charlotte's sixth game at the University of Dayton Arena. Charlotte played UD in the 1977-78 season, but the Niners also played in the 2001 NCAA tournament first and second rounds played at the Arena (beating Tennessee and losing to Illinois), and in the 1981 UDIT (losing to Florida State and winning over Hofstra).
The Flyers' 14 non-conference games this year were the most in school history before January 1. The previous high was 12, which had happened five times.
Dayton is led by sophomore guard Brian Roberts and junior forward Monty Scott, who give the team a potent 1-2 punch (or if you go by their uniform numbers, a 2-1 punch). Roberts averages 16.8 points a game, and Scott 11.9. One of them has been UD's high scorer in every game but one this season. Combined, they have made 56 of UD's 80 three-pointers this year. Roberts is the Atlantic 10's fifth-leading scorer.
Charlotte comes to UD Arena riding a three-game winning streak, including a season-high 88 points in Wednesday's win over Rhode Island. Forty-Niner forward Curtis Withers is just one rebound shy of averaging a double-double (16.7 points, 9.9 rebounds) and leads the A-10 in rebounding.
UD is coming off a 10-6 Atlantic 10 season in 2004-05, where the Flyers finished tied for second in the league's West Division (one game back of A-10 champion George Washington). Dayton is 38-10 in conference play in the last three years. In ten A-10 campaigns, UD has posted six winning records, including the last five seasons.
Dayton goes on the road next Saturday to face Richmond at 2 p.m. EST, and then comes back to UD Arena for three straight games -- Temple on January 18, Duquesne on January 21, and St. Bonaventure on January 25.
FIGHT TO THE FINISH UD's last three non-conference games of 2005-06 were against teams (Cincinnati, Northern Iowa and Vanderbilt) who are (through January 6) a combined 34-6. UC is 15th and UNI 17th in the latest RPI.
DOING IT WITH DEFENSE Dayton has held its opponent under 50 points five times already this season. That had happened a total of five times in Flyer coach Brian Gregory's first two seasons at UD.
SERIES STUFF Dayton won the only other meeting with Charlotte, 61-55, at UD Arena on January 5, 1978. The Flyers will return the game at Halton Arena on Saturday, February 4. The Atlantic 10's round-robin format includes home-and-home games with three teams. UD's are Charlotte, Saint Louis and Xavier.
GRAD RATES GREAT IN DAYTON The University of Dayton was listed as one of the nation's leaders in the 2005 NCAA Division I Graduation Rates Report. UD's 91 percent graduation rate for its men's basketball program is the sixth-best percentage in the nation and the best in the Atlantic 10 (tied with Richmond). Overall, 11 Flyer athletics programs had a GSR of 90 percent or higher including six men's programs. Last year's 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.
HEAD COACH Brian Gregory Third-year head coach Brian Gregory (50-27 overall) is off to one of the best coaching starts in UD history. He reached 50 wins faster than all but one coach at Dayton. Only Flyer Hall of Famer Don Donoher (63 games) got to 50 faster than Gregory (73) 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.
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.
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."
VIVA.... Sophomores Brian Roberts and Norman Plummer were named to the Las Vegas Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team for their performances in the event. Roberts made his first four starts at point guard, leading the Flyers in scoring (18.3) assists (5.5) and minutes (34.8). Plummer had double-doubles in three of the four games, averaging 11.0 points (second on the team) and 9.3 rebounds (first on the team). UD went 2-2 in the tournament, with both losses in Vegas to the tournament co-champs, Cincinnati and Northern Iowa.
B-ROB B-GOOD Flyer sophomore guard Brian Roberts has led the Flyers in scoring 11 of the 15 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. He made his first career start at point guard against Arkansas-Monticello, and responded with 14 points (12 in the second half) and a career-high seven assists. He took that career-high in the assist column up to eight the next game against Florida A&M (with 20 points). In Las Vegas, he scored 21 points (15 in the first half) against UC and 18 points (14 in the second half) vs. Northern Iowa. In the last six games, he is averaging 17.3 points, 5.2 assists and 4.0 rebounds. On the year, he leads UD in scoring (16.8) and minutes (32.4), and is second in assists (3.6). He is fifth in the A-10 in scoring.
B-ROB LIKES TO B-GONE Brian Roberts has played in 19 games away from UD Arena in his career and has scored in double figures in 13 of them. He averages 13.1 points a game away from UD Arena, and 10.6 at home. In five games away from home this season, he is averaging 20.0.
BRIAN'S BURSTS Brian Roberts has demonstrated a knack for scoring his points in short amounts of time. He has scored at least ten points in 11 halves this season. He scored all nine of UD's points in the second overtime at Creighton, and has had at least seven points in less than a four-minute stretch eight times this season, including seven in 2:07 vs. Tennessee Tech, seven in 2:46 vs. CMU, ten in 2:50 vs. Arkansas-Monticello, ten in 2:52 vs. Northern Iowa and seven in 2:59 vs. Vanderbilt. GREAT SCOTT 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. This season, he leads the team in FT% (.821, 23-28), is second on the team in scoring (11.9) and third in rebounding (4.7). He had his first double-double of the year (and second of his career) with 21 points and 10 rebounds at Creighton. He opened A-10 play with 17 points at Fordham. He has scored double figures in ten of this season's 15 games. STORMIN' NORMAN Norman Plummer was limited to just 17 minutes, three rebounds and a season-low four points in the Vanderbilt loss after being bedridden for three days after Christmas. He bounced back with 11 points (3-5 FG, 5-6 FT) and nine rebounds in a season-high 35 minutes at Fordham. Before getting sick, he turned in three double-doubles in the four-game Las Vegas Holiday Classic and was named to the all-tournament team. He had his first double-double this season (and second of his career) with 11 points and 10 rebounds in the Arkansas-Monticello win, and came back with 13 and 10 vs. FAMU. After seven points and six rebounds against UC, he added 13 and 11 vs. Northern Iowa. He leads the team in rebounding (6.8) and is third in scoring (8.9). He has at least eight rebounds in seven games this year, including a career-high 11 twice. After being limited by foul trouble in the Tennessee Tech win, 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. Forty-eight of his 102 rebounds this season are off the offensive glass. He averages 3.2 offensive boards a game.
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 frontcourt positions at different times during the game. Versus Morehead, he had eight points (4-5 FG) and six rebounds. Against DePaul, he had a season-high nine points and four rebounds (three offensive). He had five rebounds in 11 minutes at Fordham. He is second on the team in rebounding (5.0) and tied for fourth in scoring (4.1).
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 nine wins, Williams averages 4.7 assists and 2.5 turnovers. In the team's seven losses, he averages 2.6 and 2.6. He had five assists against one turnover in 12 minutes vs. Vanderbilt.
BINNIE OFF THE BENCH Sophomore forward Jimmy Binnie came off the bench to score a season-high 12 points, all in the second half, in the FAMU win. He was the spark that ignited UD's 25-5 closing run in the CMU win. He had seven points, four rebounds and a career-high three steals in 16 minutes of action. He's been doing a little bit of everything this season. In 21 minutes in the win over Tennessee Tech, he scored seven points, grabbed five rebounds and had two assists. He did more of the same in the Arkansas-Monticello win, with seven points, two assists and two steals in 22 minutes. In Vegas, Binnie had five points, five rebounds and a career-high four assists in the Cincinnati game, and he played a career-high 30 minutes (two points, four rebounds and two assists) against Northern Iowa. He had six rebounds in 18 minutes vs. Vanderbilt. He is one of two players on the team averaging at least 4.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists (4.0, 3.3, 1.3). Brian Roberts is the other. Binnie is also one of seven Flyers averaging 4.0 points or better a game.
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 all 15 games (with five starts) and logged 240 minutes in 2005-06. He's actually had five games where he played more than the 18 minutes he played all season in 2004-05. He scored a career-high 11 points (5-7 FG) in a career-high 28 minutes at Fordham. He began his move from 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. Since then, he has played at least 14 minutes in all but one 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). He's started nine games at center for UD this season. He came off the bench for 12 points (5-6 FG) against Vanderbilt.
ADEDIESEL Freshman center Desmond Adedeji took a big step forward in the Northern Iowa game, playing a season-high 16 minutes and getting 10 points (4-4 FT) and a career-high six rebounds. He also had 13 (6-6 FG) vs. Morehead State. He made his first career start vs. Vanderbilt. In his first road start at Fordham, he had seven points (all in the second half) and three rebounds in 16 minutes of play.
NO LITTLE THING Freshman forward Charles Little had his best game in a Flyer uniform to date in the CMU win, with ten points (4-6 FG) and four rebounds, and two blocked shots.
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. 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.
A DIVERSE DAYTON ROSTER The Flyer basketball program boasts (counting the fall signees) 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. All of WHIO-TV's games are also streamed on the WHIOTV.com website for $5.00 per game.
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.
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.
WHAT THE BEST-DRESSED STUDENTS WEAR 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. And they prove it everyone the Flyers play. The approximately 600 Flyer fans at the final rounds of the Las Vegas Holiday Classic were more than the other teams in the tournament combined. Close to 300 of the "Flyer Faithful" made the trip to Maui in 2003-04 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 96 regular season home games have had attendance of at least 11,000 fans. In the last 13 years, 99% of UD's home games have drawn at least 10,000 (334 of 3364), including the last 133 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 -- FORDHAM 66, DAYTON 56 Jermaine Anderson scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half and Fordham ended a six-game losing streak to Dayton with a 66-56 victory Wednesday night. Marcus Stout had 12 points and Michael Binns added 11 for the Rams (5-8) in the Atlantic 10 Conference opener for both schools. Monty Scott had all 17 of his points in the first half for the Flyers (8-7), who lost their fourth straight, while Norman Plummer and Logan White each added 11. White's 11 points were a career high. Brian Roberts also had 10 points for UD. Fordham led 36-31 at halftime, but a jumper by Brian Roberts got Dayton within 41-40 with 14:14 to play. The Rams then went on an 11-0 run that was capped by a basket by Sebastien Greene that made it 52-40 with 11:11 left and the Flyers didn't get closer than seven points the rest of the way.