Nov. 28, 2006
Complete Notes in PDF Format
The University of Dayton Flyers begin a six-game homestand tonight on Tom Blackburn Court with a game against the South Carolina State Bulldogs. Game time is 7:00 p.m. EST. Dayton is 4-1 after last Friday's exciting 68-64 win over Louisville at US Bank Arena. SC State is 0-4.
THE FLYERS Junior Brian Roberts led a total team effort in the win over Louisville. He played 40 minutes and had 20 points and three assists, while turning the ball over just one time against the vaunted Cardinal pressure. He scored 13 of his 20 points in the second half, and seven of those came in the game's final 3:08 after Louisville had come from behind to take a five-point lead. He scored an NBA-range three over 6-8 Juan Palacios that tied the game, a running banker just left of the lane that put UD up 61-60 and pair of free throws with ten seconds left that finished off the Cardinals by giving UD a five-point lead.
Roberts leads the team in scoring (23.0). Senior Monty Scott (11.6) and freshman Marcus Johnson (10.6) are the other two Flyers averaging double figures after five games. Johnson and classmate Kurt Huelsman are the team's co-leaders in rebounding (6.2). Another freshman, London Warren, leads in assists (3.8). Roberts is second (3.4).
THE BULLDOGS On paper, it looks like South Carolina State has not recovered from its season-opening three-point loss at South Carolina. The `Dogs led the Gamecocks by as much as six in the second half, and had a shot at the end of the game that could have sent it into overtime. The schedule has not done first-year coach Jamal Brown any favors either. Tonight's game finishes a five-game season-opening road swing for South Carolina State. After the South Carolina game, the Bulldogs played at South Florida, Georgia and Jacksonville.
Senior guard Travis Jones leads the team in scoring (11.8).
SERIES STUFF This is the first meeting between the two schools.
UP NEXT UD hosts Holy Cross (5-1 going into Thursday's game at Yale) Saturday at 7:00 p.m. EST.
NON-CONFERENCE NEWS UD's non-conference schedule features two top five teams from the first AP Top 25 and USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Polls. North Carolina was ranked second in both and Pittsburgh was fourth and tied for fifth. The Flyers will meet both of them on the road in 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, GW at home on January 31, and Saint Louis on February 21 (at SLU) and March 3.
HOME AWAY FROM HOME Work began 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 current wooden playing floor will be moved to the practice gym at the PAC and a new "Tom Blackburn Court" will be used at the Arena in 2007-08.
B-ROB B-GOOD It would be hard to find a player who has meant more to his team in the first month of the season than Brian Roberts. He leads UD in scoring (23.0), minutes (37.4), FG% (.493, 37-75), 3-pt. FG% (.412, 14-34) and FT% (.900, 27-30), and is also second on the team in assists (3.4) and steals (1.2). He 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-Atlantic 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%.
THE TOLEDO RIFLE Brian Roberts is now the only UD player to be in the school's top five in career 3-pt. FG% and FT%. Roberts went into the Louisville game needing four FTM to qualify to be ranked, and after he took care of that, his fifth and sixth makes of the night were memorable for a different reason. He made a pair with ten seconds left to put UD up by five and essentially clinch the Louisville win. His .411 (123-299) from behind the arc is third on the Flyer career lists. His .813 FT% (152-187) is now fourth.
THE COMPANY YOU KEEP Brian Roberts opened the year by doing something that hadn't been done at Dayton in 24 years -- score 20 points in the first three games of the season. 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). He scored 21 points (15 in the second half) at SMU. No Dayton player had opened the year with three straight 20-point games since Flyer all-time leading scorer Roosevelt Chapman did it in 1982-83. The last time a UD player scored 20 or more points in three straight games was near the end of the 1998-99 season when Ryan Perryman did it against at Duquesne, at Xavier and at the A-10 tournament against Fordham. Both Chapman and Perryman are members of the UD Athletic Hall of Fame, and Flyer basketball's All-Century Team.
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 seven of the ten halves this season (including 13 in the second half of the Louisville game), after doing it 18 times last year. He scored seven of the Flyers final 14 points in the Louisville game's final 3:08, including an NBA-range three over 6-8 Juan Palacios, and pair of free throws with ten seconds left that finished off the Cardinals. He scored all nine of UD's points in the second overtime at Creighton last season, and had at least seven in less than a four-minute stretch 14 times.
MONTY, MONTY, MONTY Senior forward Monty Scott is poised to finish his UD career with a flourish. The team's only senior, Scott is second on the team in scoring (11.6). He scored 16 points and added seven rebounds in the NC A&T win, and another 16 vs. Yale. 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 Brian Roberts is tied for 50th in career scoring at UD with Norm Grevey. Both have 875 points. Monty Scott is in 52nd place with 863. Roberts and Mark Jones are tied for ninth in career three-pointers (125). Scott is next at 124.
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, had his first double-double (11 points/10 rebounds) in the Yale win. He is UD's third-leading scorer (10.6) and is tied with classmate Kurt Huelsman for team honors in rebounding (6.2).
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.
LITTLE BIG MAN Sophomore Charles Little scored a career-high 15 points in the Louisville win. He set the tone for the game on the Flyers' first possession, driving down the lane for a dunk. He has scored 25 points in the last two games.
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. Huelsman leads UD in rebounding this year (6.2), tied with Marcus Johnson).
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 (3.8) and steals (1.6).
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. Against Louisville, he had eight points (two more than he had in the previous four games combined).
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.
STORMIN' NORMAN Norman Plummer missed the first two games and the two exhibition games for disciplinary reasons. He returned to action at SMU, getting five points and nine rebounds (six offensive). Last year, he was UD's leading rebounder (6.5), was third in scoring (10.0) and second in minutes (26.5).
HERE COMES THE SAND MAN Junior point guard Andres Sandoval's recovery from a broken bone in his foot is coming on nicely. He has begun running on it and could be back in uniform by the end of the week.
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 107 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 (346 of 348), including the last 143 regular season games. UD averaged 12,422 last season, 2,500 higher than any other A-10 team and 23rd in the country.
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 UD 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. 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 #5 -- DAYTON 68, LOUISVILLE 64 The Flyer duo of Brian Roberts and Charles Little dealt Dayton a 68-64 victory over Louisville on Friday at U.S. Bank Arena. In an intense finish, Brian Roberts dropped 20 points including a key three-pointer with 3:08 left in the game to lift the Flyers to a four-point win over the Cardinals. Little added 15 points on 5-for-10 shooting from the field including nine points in the second half as Dayton won for just the fourth time in 14 games at US Bank Arena. Down 57-54 with 3:11 left in the game, Roberts stared Louisville's Juan Palacios straight in the eye at the top of the key. After two head flinches, Roberts pulled up and hit a three in Palacio's face with 3:08 left to tie the game at 57 all, ending a 12-7 run by the Cardinals. Dayton then went on to close out the game on a 9-4 run of their own including a crucial layup by freshman Marcus Johnson with 27 ticks left on the clock to close out the win, 68-64. Senior Monty Scott finished with nine points and six rebounds while Johnson added six points and eight rebounds of his own as the Flyers held a 28-26 edge in points in the paint. David Padgett paced the cardinals with 14 points-going 6-for-6 from the foul line-and Palacios added 13 of his own to go with 11 rebounds. The Flyers got off to a commanding start early. After an air-ball on the three-point attempt by Louisville's Terrence Williams, Little found an opening in the lane and threw down a powerful dunk to put UD up 2-0. The next six minutes were all Dayton. A layup by freshman Kurt Huelsman and back-to-back jumpers by Little and Johnson put Dayton up 8-0 with 15:58 left in the half. The Flyer defense forced three Louisville turnovers and held the Cardinals scoreless through the first six minutes of play. Louisville finally got on the board at 13:49 on a layup by Palacios and started to find their rhythm by hitting two baskets from beyond the arc by Palacios and Williams cutting the lead to16-10 at the 9:39 mark. Junior Jimmy Binnie came off the bench with 9:12 left in the half and hit two back-to-back three-pointers for six of his eight points overall, helping UD to their largest lead of the game at 25-16 with 6:24 left until the break. The Flyer defense held Louisville in check during the first half, forcing nine Cardinal turnovers and holding them to only 33 percent shooting (8-for-24) as UD took a 29-23 lead into the locker room at halftime. In the second half, Louisville started to find their big man Padgett. The 6-11 center led the Cardinals on a 17-11 run to tie the game at 42-all with 9:06 left in the game. With the game tied at 47, Louisville hit three-straight buckets to take a 53-48 lead with just under six minutes remaining. After a layup by Edgar Sosa put U of L ahead 55-50 with 5:22 left, Norman Plummer and Little responded with a pair of jumpers to pull the Flyers within one with 4:18 remaining. Padgett responded with an emphatic dunk to give Louisville a 57-54 lead, but Roberts came back with his one-on-one three-pointer from the top of the key to tie the score and send the US Bank Arena crowd to its feet as the score was knotted at 57-all. UD would outscore U of L, 11-7 for the remainder of the game as it made 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch.
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.