March 6, 2006
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The University of Dayton men's basketball team will begin play in its 11th Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Championship Wednesday when the Flyers take on the Saint Joseph's Hawks at US Bank Arena. The game is the second game of a doubleheader, and is scheduled to start at 2:00 p.m. EST. Dayton finished the regular season 14-16 overall and 6-10 in the A-10. UD tied Richmond for 11th place, and is the tournament's 12th seed by tiebreaker. St. Joe's is the fifth seed with a 9-7 conference record and 15-12 overall mark.
Wednesday's winner will play Saint Louis, the #4 seed, on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. EST.
Dayton is led by sophomore guard Brian Roberts, who is seventh in the Atlantic 10 in scoring with a 16.1 average. He is the only player in the A-10 among the conference's top ten in scoring who is also in the conference's top dozen players in assists, three-pointers, FG%, and 3-pt. FG%. His 11 games of 20 or more points this season are tied for second in the A-10, only behind 2004-05 Player of the Year Steven Smith's 14.
The Flyers have also benefitted from the "Full Monty" after junior forward Monty Scott missed five games with a stress fracture in his left foot. After being out, basically not practicing since Christmas and being limited to no more than 18 minutes in his first three games back, Scott put his best foot forward in the win at Saint Louis last Wednesday. He scored a game-leading 23 points (including the game-winning free throws with 5.9 seconds left in overtime) in 34 minutes. The 14 points he scored in the second half and overtime matched what the Preseason First Team All-Atlantic 10 selection scored in the entire month of February. Scott added 14 points Saturday against Rhode Island.
Another player picking up his game has been freshman forward Charles Little. Once conference play began, Little has all but doubled his scoring, rebounding and playing time from the non-conference season. Inserted into the starting lineup at GW, he has averaged 8.7 points a game as a starter.
Saint Joseph's brings a five-game winning streak with it to Cincinnati. Coach Phil Martelli's Hawks have four double-digit scorers -- sophomore guard Abdulai Jalloh (14.7), senior Chet Statchitas (12.9), senior Dwayne Lee (11.0) and sophomore Rob Ferguson (10.2).
SERIES STUFF Dayton leads the series 14-9, and has won five of the last six. The Flyers won this year's meeting 77-69 at the UD Arena on February 1 (five weeks ago to the day), behind 22 points from Brian Roberts (17 in the second half) and a career-high 19 points from Warren Williams. UD's 77 points against Saint Joseph's was just the fifth time this year the Hawks have allowed more than 70 points in regulation. The others were Gonzaga, GW, Ohio State and Villanova. UD has won all three meetings played as part of the Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Championship. The series began in 1939-40.
STORIES THE STATS TELL UD leads the Atlantic 10 in 3-pt. FG% defense (.303, 167-551), and is second in FG% defense (.403, 632-1568), 3-pt. FG% (.377, 180-478)...Included in Dayton's 16 losses are ten that have been by nine points or less. Five of the eight (Creighton, Vanderbilt, Richmond, Temple and Xavier) were a two-point game, or closer, in the final minute...Brian Roberts leads UD in scoring (16.1), minutes (33.2), starts (28, tied with Norman Plummer) and three-pointers made (66)...Chris Alvarez leads UD in steals (30) and blocked shots (19)...Six Flyers have led the team in scoring this season (Roberts, Monty Scott, Plummer, Desmond Adedeji, Charles Little and Warren Williams).
GRAD RATES GREAT IN DAYTON Dayton was listed as one of the nation's leaders in the 2005 NCAA Division I Graduation Rates Report. The Flyers were one of 28 schools (out of 327) with a GSR of at least 94. 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 A-10 (tied with Richmond). Overall, 11 Flyer teams had a GSR of 90 or higher including six men's programs. Last year's report also noted that every one of the 229 scholarship student-athletes who entered UD from 1988-89 to 1997-98 and completed their eligibility at UD graduated. The A-10 was fifth as a conference.
HEAD COACH Brian Gregory Third-year head coach Brian Gregory (56-36 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. For his performance in 2004-05, he was named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year by CBS SportsLine and collegeinsider.com. Gregory is the only coach to lead his team to the Maui Invitational championship in his first season as a head coach.
COMMITMENT EQUALS CONTRACT Just after practice began in October, UD Vice-President and Director of Athletics Ted Kissell announced that the University and head men's basketball coach Brian Gregory agreed to a new contract that will run through the 2012-13 season. "This new contract includes incentives for performance and longevity." Kissell said at the contract's announcement.
DOING IT WITH DEFENSE Dayton has held its opponent under 50 points six times already this season. That had happened a total of five times in Flyer coach Brian Gregory's first two seasons at UD.
NON-CONFERENCE NEWS Before conference play began, UD had six games against teams in the top 30 of the RPI. Only Memphis, also with six, played as many.
B-ROB B-GOOD Flyer sophomore guard Brian Roberts has led the Flyers in scoring 18 of the 30 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 scored 28 of UD's 50 points at Richmond. At Xavier, he played all 40 minutes and led all scorers with 20 points. In the St. Joe's win, he scored 20 of his 22 in game's last 20:03 (including 15 straight UD points in the second half). SJU held him without a field goal until a long trey just before the halftime horn, and he simply exploded in the second half. In the Saint Louis win at home, his 12-footer with 3.6 seconds left won the game. At SLU he scored just six points, but led UD with a career-high 12 rebounds and seven assists. On the year, he leads UD in scoring (16.1), minutes (33.2) and is second in assists (3.5). He is seventh in the A-10 in scoring, and is the only player in the top seven who is also in the A-10's top dozen in assists, three-pointers, 3-pt. FG%, and FT%.
RISING TO THE OCCASION In the seven games pre-season First Team All-Atlantic 10 performer Monty Scott did not start due to injury (six DNP's and one game off the bench), sophomore guard Brian Roberts elevated his game to an all-league level. Despite being a marked man, and the target of box-and-one and triangle-and-two defenses, Roberts averaged 20.3 points a game in Scott's absence.
B-ROB LIKES TO B-GONE Brian Roberts has played in 26 games away from UD Arena in his career and has scored in double figures in 18 of them. He averages 14.3 points a game away from UD Arena, and 11.0 at home. In 12 games away from home this season, he is averaging 18.5.
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 18 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 14 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, seven in 2:59 vs. Vanderbilt, eight in 3:23 at Richmond, seven in 2:57 at Xavier, 12 in 3:46 vs. St. Joe's, nine in 3:59 at Charlotte, and seven in 2:45 and eight in 1:42 at La Salle. He actually scored 15 straight points for UD in the win over Saint Joseph's, taking UD from one down to nine up in just under five minutes.
MONTY, MONTY, MONTY Junior forward Monty Scott had been out since January 25 with a stress fracture in his left foot, before returning for 16 minutes at La Salle. He returned to the starting lineup for the Xavier win, and returned to form at Saint Louis, with 23 points (including the game-winning free throws with 5.9 seconds left in OT). He followed that up with 14 points against Rhode Island. He 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.
GREAT SCOTT Junior forward Monty Scott is second on the team in scoring (11.1) and rebounding (4.4, tied with Chris Alvarez) and is third in FT% (.795, 35-44). 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 14 of his 24 games.
STORMIN' NORMAN Norman Plummer is UD's leading rebounder (6.6) and is third in scoring (10.1). Over the last 11 games, he is averaging 11.5 points. He was named the Blackburn/McCafferty MVP in the Xavier win after leading UD with 15 points and seven rebounds, and scoring UD's last five points in the final minute. In the Saint Louis win, he had his fourth double-double of the season with 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Against Duquesne, despite battling strep throat, he had 18 points and eight rebounds. He bettered that in the first half alone in the SBU win, scoring a season-high 23 points (19 in the first half). He made 10 of 12 shots from the field. He had 15 points in the St. Joe win, and 11 at Charlotte. He turned in three double-doubles in the four-game Las Vegas Holiday Classic and was named to the all-tournament team. He has at least eight rebounds in 11 games this year. Ninety-one of his 198 rebounds this season are off the offensive glass. He averages 3.0 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 hardest-working player. He led the Flyers with eight rebounds vs. SJU. He had a season-high ten points (4-4 FG, 2-2 FT) in the Bona win. 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. He had eight points and six rebounds in a career-high 30 minutes at Richmond. He was a big part of the Saint Louis win at home, coming off the bench to get eight points and six rebounds, including a driving finger roll with 1:03 left in the game as the shot clock expired to put UD up by three. He led UD with five boards against Rhode Island. In the last six games, he has 26 points and 23 rebounds, and has shot .524 (11-21) FG. He is tied for second on the team in rebounding (4.4) and leads in steals (30) and blocked shots (19).
DUBYA-DUBYA'S DOUBLE-DOUBLE UD point guard Warren Williams is fifth in the A-10 in assists (4.4). He has 62 assists against 34 turnovers in UD's last 12 games. He scored a career-high 19 points (5-6 FG, 8-11 FT) in the win over Saint Joseph's. At UMass, he led the Flyers with 13 points (5-7 FG, 3-3 3-pt.). At SLU, he scored 14 (5-6 FG, 3-4 3-pt.). Over the last five games, he is averaging 10.0 points and shooting .592 (16-27) FG and .714 (10-14) 3-pt. He 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.
BINNIE ON THE SHELF Sophomore forward Jimmy Binnie is out 2-4 weeks after fracturing the fifth metacarpal on his left hand during the team workout the morning of the Xavier win. game. After shooting .250 (7-28) from beyond the arc in the first 18 games, he had shot .378 (17-45) in the last eight games. Binnie scored all ten of his points at Xavier in the game's last 4:38, leading UD back from 13 down to a one-point deficit.
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 27 games (with nine starts) and logged 430 minutes in 2005-06. He's actually had ten 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 had a critical nine points at SLU. 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, which began his move from garbage time to prime time.
ADEDIESEL Freshman center Desmond Adedeji came up huge in his first college game in his hometown, coming off the bench to score 10 points (5-6 FG) in a career-high 18 minutes at GW. He took a big step forward in the Northern Iowa game, with 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 the Duquesne win, he had 10 points (4-4 FG, two dunks) in 14 minutes.
NO LITTLE THING After averaging just 7.9 minutes, 2.7 points and 1.7 rebounds a game in non-conference action, freshman forward Charles Little has all but doubled his production in league play, picking it up to the tune of 18.1 minutes, 6.3 points and 3.1 rebounds in A-10 action. Healthy after suffering a hamstring injury during pre-season practice, he has played career-high minutes in six of the last ten games. He made his first start at George Washington, and scored a career-high 13 points to lead UD. He had 12 points (5-6 FG) in the Xavier win. He had 10 points and seven rebounds in the win at Saint Louis. He is averaging 8.7 points as a starter.
YOUNG STUFF UD has had 24 dunks in the last 12 games, and 18 were by Flyer freshmen Charles Little (13) and Desmond Adedeji (5). Monty Scott has four in the last two games.
SPEAKING OF NEW GUYS An unfamiliar face with a familiar name to long-time Flyer fans can be found on UD's bench. Monroe Douglass, Jr., son of SLU star Monroe Douglass, is now with the team as a practice player. Douglass, who is attending the University on an academic scholarship, is not practicing full-time or dressing for games to allow him some academic flexibility.
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. Sandoval played his first two years at Richmond before going to Santa Fe.
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 15-2 under head coach Brian Gregory when they score at least 75 points. The only losses are both in overtime.
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.
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 to 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 easily had half the crowd as Pittsburgh was turning its attention to a Steelers-Jets playoff game later in the day. UD Arena has 76 sellouts in its 34-year history. UD's last 104 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 (343 of 345), including the last 140 regular season games. For the entire 2004-05 season, Dayton averaged 12,569 fans per game, which was ranked 18th nationally. UD averaged 12,422 this season, 2,500 higher than any other A-10 team.
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 -- RHODE ISLAND 65, DAYTON 56 On Senior Day at UD Arena, Rhode Island played the role of party-crashers as well as board crashers. The Rams (14-13, 8-8) used an 8-0 run late in the second half to outlast the Flyers 65-56 and outrebounded UD by 13. The Flyers missed an opportunity to even their record over the regular season, and will enter the Atlantic 10 Tournament Wednesday at 14-16 overall (6-10 in conference). A total of nine seniors started the game for both teams. Rhody started all five of its seniors, duplicating the lineup that upset Temple on the Rams' Senior Night last Wednesday. Dayton started its four seniors - Marques Bennett, Jeff Penno, Logan White and Warren Williams - along with sophomore forward Norman Plummer. Penno opened the scoring for UD with a three-point basket to tie the game at three, but Dayton soon fell behind by as many as eight. UD trailed at halftime, 32-24, before climbing back into the game on the strength of 18 points from Brian Roberts and 14 points from Monty Scott. Roberts shot 7-11 from the field, and scored 12 of his points in the second half to keep it close. He was 4-6 from behind the arc. The Flyers overcame the halftime deficit and went on a 9-2 run early in the second half to cut the lead to two. The Flyers grabbed their first lead of the game, 45-44, on an alley-oop from senior Warren Williams to Scott with 11:06 left in the game. Williams finished with four assists. Dayton grabbed its largest lead of the game with 8:47 left to play, 50-46. But URI regained the lead. Dayton, however, remained close and trailed 57-56 with 4:08 left until the Rams used an 8-0 run to finish the game.