Nov. 17, 2006
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The University of Dayton Flyers play in the red version of their new uniforms for the first time Saturday when they travel to Dallas to take the court against Southern Methodist. Game time is 8:00 p.m. EST (7:00 p.m. CST). This is UD's first game in the state of Texas since the Flyers played in Austin in the 1990 NCAA tournament. The Flyers beat Illinois 88-86 and then lost to Final Four-bound Arkansas 86-84.
THE FLYERS Dayton is 2-0 after wins over Austin Peay 78-62 in the season opener on Saturday, November 11, and 79-66 over North Carolina A&T on Wednesday. Junior guard Brian Roberts scored 29 and 30 points respectively in the two wins. He is joined in double figures by freshman guard Marcus Johnson (15.0) and senior forward Monty Scott (12.5). Johnson's 23 points were the most-ever by a Flyer freshman in his debut game.
In the post, freshman Kurt Huelsman leads the team in rebounding (8.5), blocked shots (3.0) and FG% (.750, 3-4). After not taking a shot in the opener, he had nine points (3-4 FG, 3-3 FT), eight rebounds and two blocked shots against North Carolina A&T. He tied the Flyer freshman record for blocked shots (4) in the opener.
THE MUSTANGS SMU is 2-1 on the young season under new coach Matt Doherty. Doherty inherited four starters and nine letterwinners from last year's 13-16 team. SMU lost in the finals of the Colonial Classic to host Florida State 59-52 on Monday, after defeating Illinois State 57-55 and McNeese State 70-54 in the first two games of the tournament. Five players average nine points or better so far this year, led by Ike Ofuegbu (14.7) and Jon Killen (10.7). Ofuegbu and Killen combined to average 5.8 points a game last season.
SERIES STUFF SMU leads the series 1-0, with only meeting coming almost 50 years ago in the University of Kentucky Invitational Tournament. The Mustangs won 67-59 on December 22, 1956.
UP NEXT UD will return home to face Yale Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. That game is the second game of a Flyer basketball doubleheader that will also feature the home opener of the UD women's team. They will host Drexel at 5:00 p.m. The UD men will then play Louisville at U.S. Bank Arena on Friday, November 24 at 5:00 p.m. before a six-game homestand that begins with South Carolina State on Tuesday, November 28.
NON-CONFERENCE NEWS UD's non-conference schedule features two top five teams from the first AP Top 25 and USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll North Carolina is ranked second in both and Pittsburgh is fourth and tied for fifth. The Flyers will meet both of them on the road on consecutive games -- UNC on December 31 and Pitt on December 23. If the pre-season rankings hold, it will be the first time UD has played back-to-back games against top ten teams on the opponents' home court in school history. The #18/#23 team, Creighton, will visit the Arena on December 6. Dayton also has six games among teams in the also receiving votes category. UD plays Louisville at US Bank Arena on November 24, Xavier on January 27 (at X) and February 24 (at home), George Washington at home on January 31, and Saint Louis on February 21 (at SLU) and March 3 (at home),
HOME AWAY FROM HOME Work began on November 6 on the renovation of the vacated Physical Activities Center. The PAC was the University's campus recreation center until January of 2006, when the $25.3 million RecPlex was completed. The renovated PAC will provide quality indoor practice space for 11 Flyer sports teams, including a dedicated full-court practice area for basketball. At the end of the 2006-07 season, the wooden playing floor currently at the Arena will be moved to the basketball practice gym at the PAC and a new "Tom Blackburn Court" will be used at the Arena in 2007-08.
B-ROB B-GOOD Brian Roberts was named Pre-Season All-Atlantic 10 Second Team in a vote of the league's coaches and selected media. Last year, Roberts was the first Dayton basketball player to be named All-A 10 (second team) and Academic All-A10 (first team) in the same season. UD's 2005-06 MVP led UD in scoring (16.0), minutes (33.4) and three-pointers (68) and was seventh in the league in scoring. He was the only player in the A-10's top dozen players in scoring, assists, three-pointers, FG% and 3-pt. FG%. In the season-opening win over Austin Peay, he scored a game-high 29 points, the most he had scored in a regulation game until four days later when he scored 30 against North Carolina A&T (his career high of 34 points came in a double-overtime game at Creighton).
THE TOLEDO RIFLE Brian Roberts is 16 FTM away from becoming the only UD player to be in the school's top five in career 3-pt. FG% and FT%. Roberts is already there in 3-pt. %. His .422 (119-282) is third. His .807 FT% (134-166) would be fourth if he were not short of the minimum needed.
BRIAN'S BURSTS Brian Roberts has demonstrated a knack for scoring his points in short amounts of time. He scored at least ten points in all four halves this season (including 19 in the second half of the NC A&T game), after doing it 18 times last year. He scored all nine of UD's points in the second overtime at Creighton, and had at least seven points in less than a four-minute stretch 14 times last season. 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 Senior forward Monty Scott is poised to finish his UD career with a flourish. The team's only senior, Scott is third on the team in scoring (12.5). He scored 16 points and added seven rebounds in the NC A&T win. He was UD's second-leading scorer (11.2) and rebounder (4.3) in 2005-06, despite missing six games and being limited in practices and games for much more than that with a stress fracture in his left foot. Dayton's MVP and an all-conference selection two years ago, there is little coincidence that the Flyers fast 8-3 start in 2005-06 came with a healthy Scott starting at forward, and UD's struggles came after the injury.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS Monty Scott is 52nd in career scoring at UD with 830 points. Next is Bob Sullivan with 833 points. Brian Roberts is 57th with 789 points, just behind Tom Crosswhite's 798. Roberts is ninth in career three-pointers (119). Next is Mark Jones at 125. Scott is one behind Roberts in threes.
LIVING UP TO HIS INITIALS, NUMBER AND TEAMMATE Freshman Marcus Johnson's "basketball karma" has to be high. He has ties to the last three generations of great NBA players. His number is the same as another famous Johnson, who was simply known as "Magic." His initials call to mind one of the greatest winners in the history of the league. And in high school, Marcus Johnson had the pressure of becoming the next star at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary's after LeBron James took his game to the NBA. And none of this matters unless you can play. Luckily for the Flyer Faithful, it appears that Johnson can indeed play. He scored 23 points in his first game as a Flyer, and is UD's second-leading scorer (15.0) and rebounder (6.0, tied with Jimmy Binnie).
JOHNSON SETS BAR ABOUT AS HIGH AS HE CAN JUMP Flyer freshman guard Marcus Johnson scored a UD debut record 23 points in the season-opening win over Austin Peay on November 11. He is only the ninth Flyer freshman to score as many points in a game. Shawn Haughn's 30 points against Saint Louis in the 20th game of the 1993-94 season is the best (he also tied the NCAA mark for 3-pt. FG% in a game by making all eight of his treys in the game). Although he had played extensively in UD's preseason exhibition games, Johnson was only inserted into the starting lineup two days before the game when junior Andres Sandoval was sidelined with a broken foot. When UD's All-Atlantic 10 guard, Brian Roberts, moved from two-guard to point, Johnson became a starter. Roberts and Johnson combined to score 52 points in the game. He was named the 2006-07 season's inaugural Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week, sharing the honor with Massachusetts guard Tiki Mayben.
BINNIE'S BOX SCORE Junior forward Jimmy Binnie demonstrated his overall game numerically by filling every column of the box score in the Georgetown exhibition game. He was 3-4 FG, 2-3 3-pt., 1-1 FT for nine points, with one offensive rebound, three defensive boards, two assists, a steal and a block. In the Austin Peay win, he did not make a field goal, but had seven rebounds (four offensive) and three assists. NICK'S NEW NUMBERS Junior Nick Stafford played just 16 minutes last season, scoring four points and grabbing two rebounds. After busting his butt in the off-season and stepping up when the team needed him to, Stafford's payoff was a five-point and four-rebound effort in 16 minutes of playing time in the Austin Peay win.
WARREN REPORT Freshman London Warren had a big hand in UD's win over Austin Peay in the season opener. He led the Flyers in assists (5) and steals (3) while committing only two turnovers of his own. He also scored six points. "The Jacksonville Jet" (as WHIO Radio's Larry Hansgen and Bucky Bockhorn have dubbed him) came in with the score tied 5-5 and sparked Dayton to a 31-13 run to take control of the game. He leads UD in assists (5.0) and steals (3.0).
BEING "KURT" TO THE OPPOSITION Freshman Kurt Huelsman tied the UD freshman record for blocked shots in a game (and the most in a first game as a Flyer) when he swatted four in the Austin Peay win. Huelsman tied Keith Waleskowski, who had four against George Washington on February 17, 2001 during his redshirt freshman season. Huelsman also grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Flyers in the game. After not taking a shot in the opener, he scored nine points (3-4 FG, 3-3 FT, seven points in the second half) in the NC A&T game. He also had eight rebounds and blocked two shots.
STORMIN' NORMAN Norman Plummer missed the first two games and the two exhibition games for disciplinary reasons. He will be in uniform at SMU. Last year, he was UD's leading rebounder (6.5), was third in scoring (10.0) and second in minutes (26.5).
EYE 75 ON THE SCOREBOARD The Flyers are 17-2 under head coach Brian Gregory when they score at least 75 points. Both of the losses are in double overtime.
DOING IT WITH DEFENSE Dayton held its opponent under 50 points six times in the 2005-06 season. That had happened a total of five times in Flyer coach Brian Gregory's first two seasons at UD.
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.
TOURNEY TOWN The NCAA Division I Tournament will make its start at UD Arena this season for the sixth 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 2007. UD has hosted the game since its inception in its current form in 2002. When the 2007 NCAA Tournament is over, UD Arena will have been an NCAA site in 21 of the last 38 years and will have hosted 73 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 2007 NCAA D-I NCAA Women's Regional 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 in 2004-05, 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 106 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 (345 of 347), including the last 142 regular season games. UD averaged 12,422 last season, 2,500 higher than any other A-10 team and 23rd in the country.
EXHIBITION STATS Four Flyers averaged double figures in the two exhibition wins over Northwood and Georgetown. Brian Roberts led with a 16.5 average, followed by Marcus Johnson (16.0), Monty Scott (11.5) and Jimmy Binnie (10.0). Johnson and Binnie came off the bench for their points. Kurt Huelsman led in rebounding (7.0), backed by Charles Little (5.0) and Nick Stafford (also 5.0). Backup point London Warren led in assists (5.5), followed by Little (3.5) and Andres Sandoval (3.0). As a team, the Flyers shot .500 (59-118) from the field. The leaders were Johnson (.636, 14-22), Little (.600, 6-10) and Scott (.563, 9-16).
FLYERS GO 2-0 IN CANADA Dayton took a two-game international swing to Toronto over Labor Day, beating York University by the score of 76-67 on September 2, and Humber College 64-47 on September 3. Freshman Marcus Johnson led UD by scoring 23 points (11.5 avg.) in the two games. Also averaging double figures were Brian Roberts (11.0) and Desmond Adedeji (10.5). Roberts also led the team in assists (4.0) and rebounds (7.0, tied with Jimmy Binnie.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES Ten days ago Dayton had won both of its exhibition games handily and UD coach Brian Gregory had settled on a starting lineup with one senior, two juniors, a sophomore and a freshman. But one day later, the news that projected starting point guard Andres Sandoval was out of the lineup with a broken foot changed all that. Starting two guard Brian Roberts slid over to take Sandoval's place at point, a role Gregory reluctantly put him in periodically last year. But last year, when Roberts played point in place of a slumping Warren Williams, there was no one stepping in Roberts' place as a productive two guard. And with Williams struggling, there was no relief in sight for Roberts the point guard. But now everything has changed. In the win over Austin Peay, freshman Marcus Johnson was the epitome of a "productive two guard" with his 23 points and seven rebounds, and classmate London Warren provided a big spark off the bench at the point, leading UD in assists (5) and steals (3) while scoring six points.
FLYERS LAND TOP A-10 CLASS UD head coach Brian Gregory and his staff landed what Scout.com considers the top recruiting class in the Atlantic 10 on November 8 with the signings of 6-7 forward Chris Wright of Trotwood-Madison (Trotwood, OH) High School, 6-9 forward/center Devin Searcy of Romulus (MI) High School, and 6-1 guard Stephen Thomas of Indianapolis Cathedral High School. As a group, the newest Flyers chose Dayton after getting scholarship offers from schools that included members of the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC and Atlantic 10. Each player signed with UD on the first day of the signing period. Wright was Third Team All-Ohio as a junior after leading Trotwood-Madison a 22-6 overall record and the state championship game, where they lost to perennial powerhouse Canton McKinley. He averaged 17.5 points, 10.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 5.2 blocks a game. Considered one of the top candidates for Ohio's Mr. Basketball, Wright will be the second member of his family to play at UD. His uncle on his mother's side, J.D. Grigsby, played at UD from 1971 to 1973. Scout.com has named him the top player in the A-10 for this recruiting class. Searcy is another recruit who will put the "Fly" in "Flyers." Not only is he an athletic 6-9, he has a 37-inch vertical leap and a seven-foot fingertip-to-fingertip reach. He was a sophomore starter for 2005 Michigan Class A runners-up, and averaged 8.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocked shots. Last season, as the only returning starter for Romulus, he averaged 12.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.7 blocked shots and was named honorable mention all-state. He is the fifth Romulus player in the last four years to earn a Division I scholarship. Thomas is the #9 prospect in his state of Indiana. A heady player with a classic Hoosier-guard outside shot, Thomas led a young Cathedral team to the Indianapolis City Tournament Championship. The Irish closed the 2005-06 season strong, finishing 17-6. They return all five starters and are expected to be one of the top teams in Indiana this season. In leading his team to the city title, the Indianapolis Star named Thomas one of its two annual Players of the Year. Thomas was the Indianapolis Player of the Year, and national player of the year Greg Oden was named Marion County Player of the Year. A three-year starter, Thomas averaged 15.5 points, 5.0 assists and 3.1 rebounds as a junior. The Bob Gibbons All-Star Report has three Top 150 players heading to the Atlantic 10 from the fall signing period, and two (Wright and Thomas) are future Flyers.
GAME #2 -- DAYTON 79, NORTH CAROLINA A&T 66 A strong second-half from homestanding Dayton and 30-point effort from junior Brian Roberts led the Flyers to a 79-66 victory over North Carolina A&T in front of 11,666 fans at UD Arena on Wednesday. UD scored 15 of its first 16 second-half field goals in the paint to pull away and improve to 2-0 overall while NCA&T fell to 0-4 overall despite leading by as many as 13 in the first half. Roberts led all scorers with 30 points on 11-of-20 shooting from the floor. Roberts, who added seven rebounds and four assists, has scored at least 10 points in each half this season. UD senior Monty Scott added 16 points and seven rebounds, while sophomore Charles Little recorded 11 points and six boards. The Flyer post players led Dayton to victory as they out rebounded the Aggies 46-30 and held a 33-8 advantage on second chance points. Freshman Kurt Huelsman nearly had a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds for the Flyers. Junior guard Austin Ewing scored 13 of his 16 points in the first half for the Aggies, while guard Steven Rush added a team high 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the floor. North Carolina A&T forward Jason Wills added 16 points for the Aggies which connected on 14-of-33 shots from beyond the arc. In the first meeting between the two programs, North Carolina A&T led 35-29 after the first half of play capitalizing on sharp shooting from the outside and UD turnovers. The Flyers turned the ball 14 times, while the Aggies hit nine shots from beyond the arc and connected on 40 percent of its field goal attempts. NCA&T capitalized on Dayton's first half mistakes with a 16-8 advantage in points off turnovers. Dayton adjusted in the second by scoring its first 13 baskets after the intermission in the paint to rally back from a 35-29 halftime deficit. It wasn't until Roberts hit a three-pointer with 3:38 remaining in the game that UD picked up its first converted field goal from the perimeter. In fact, it was the first basket for the Flyers from the outside since the 5:28 mark of the first half - a span of 21:50. The Flyers opened the second half with a 19-6 run thanks to three buckets apiece from Roberts and Little. After trading baskets, UD took its first lead with 14:29 remaining in the second half when Roberts connected on a three-point play. UD would extend the lead to 48-41 before the Aggies would slice the deficit to 48-46 with 12:06 to play. That would be as close as North Carolina A&T would get as Roberts and freshman Marcus Johnson helped UD on a 10-2 run to extend the lead out of reach for the Aggies. The Flyers collected nine offensive rebounds in the second half and turned those opportunities into 18 second chance points. Overall, UD shot 47 percent from the floor and 85 percent from the charity stripe hitting 11-of-13 free throws. The Flyers defense improved in the second half holding the Aggies to 40 percent shooting from the floor and forcing 19 North Carolina A&T turnovers.
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.