Game Notes in PDF Format
DAYTON VISITS GEORGE MASON IN FIRST ROAD GAME OF THE 2007-08 CAMPAIGN
The University of Dayton Flyers will participate in its first away contest of the season when the Flyers battle the George Mason Patriots beginning at 7 p.m. on Saturday. The game will be carried by WHIO Radio and WHIO-TV and be available over the Internet with live stats on Gametracker and streaming audio at www.DaytonFlyers.com.
In the first game of his Flyer career, freshman Chris Wright scored 22 points and pulled down 13 rebounds in a 78-74 UD victory over the East Tennessee State Buccaneers last Saturday. Senior guard Brian Roberts recorded game-highs of 31 points and five assists, while junior Charles Little added 13 rebounds off the bench. Although the season has just begun, Roberts' 31.0 points per game leads the Atlantic 10, while Wright and Little are tied for the conference lead in rebounds per contest with 13.0.
The Patriots, 2-0 overall and at home, received three votes in each of the latest ESPN/USA Today and Associated Press Top 25 polls. Will Thomas and John Vaughan each scored 18 points and George Mason used smothering defense in the second half to beat Cleveland State 56-47 Tuesday night. The Patriots return all five starters from last year's 18-15 team. Thomas was selected to the preseason first-team All-Colonial Athletic Association team while Folarin Campbell was chosen preseason second-team All-CAA.
This is the first meeting between the two programs.
UD's non-conference schedule features two top 20 teams from the AP Top 25 and USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll Louisville is ranked sixth and Pittsburgh is 19th in both. Four other Flyer opponents are receiving votes.
QUICKLY ABOUT DAYTON
The Flyers are coming off a 19-12 season in 2006-07, return four starters and their top two scorers in 2007 Second Team Atlantic 10 Selection Brian Roberts and the 2007 A-10 Sixth Man of the Year Charles Little. UD finished the 2006-07 season ranked No. 75 nationally in the RPI.
UD A NATIONAL LEADER IN LATEST GSR REPORT
The University of Dayton Division of Athletics maintained its position as one of the top academic achievers in the NCAA in the latest breakdown of the Graduation Success Rate data released on Tuesday. UD has an institutional GSR of 95 percent which ranks first among the Atlantic 10 Conference and is tied for the fourth best score and 16th overall in the nation. The men's basketball team had the second highest GSR in the Atlantic 10 Conference at 82 percent. Success in the classroom is nothing new for UD student-athletes. The Flyers combined cumulative grade point average is above a 3.0. In addition, UD has had 27 Academic All-Americans in the last six years. Also, at least one Dayton student-athlete has been named an Academic All-American for 22 straight years.
UD SIGNS TOP RECRUITING CLASS OF BENSON, FABRIZUS, JOHNSON AND WILLIAMS
University of Dayton men's basketball coach Brian Gregory and his staff landed their fifth strong recruiting class in his five years at UD, as the Flyers received National Letters of Intent Nov. 14 from their 2008 incoming freshman class. The newest official members of the Flyer family are 6-10 forward/center Josh Benson of Dayton Dunbar High School, 6-9 forward Luke Fabrizius of John Hersey High School (Arlington Heights, IL), 6-5 guard/forward Chris Johnson of Columbus (OH) Brookhaven High School and 6-3 guard Paul Williams of Detroit Renaissance High School.
The 2007-08 signing class is ranked as high as 37th in the country (HoopScoopOnline.com) and features three Street & Smith's High School All-Americans. Benson, Johnson and Williams each received High Honorable Mention notice. In addition, Rivals.com lists Benson, Williams and Fabrizius as the best members of this class in the Atlantic 10 at power forward, shooting guard and small forward respectively.
ROBERTS NAMED TO PRESEASON, ALL A-10 TEAM
Senior guard Brian Roberts was named to the Preseason First Team All-Atlantic 10 squad. Roberts was the only player listed among the Atlantic 10's top five in scoring (3rd), minutes (2nd), FT% (2nd), 3-pt. FG% (2nd) and 3-pointers per game (5th) in 2006-07. This season Roberts leads the Atlantic 10 in points per game (31.0) and leads UD in points, assists, 3-pointers per game and minutes played.
A two-time All-Atlantic 10 selection and UD Most Valuable Player, Roberts is just the eighth Flyer to earn MVP honors as a sophomore and junior. Last season, he led UD in scoring (18.5), assists (2.7), minutes (35.6), 3-pt. FG's per game (2.7), FT% (.899, 133-148) and 3-pt. FG% (.458, 82-179) in 2006-07. Roberts is also the only UD player in the school's top five in career 3-pt. FG% and FT%. His .431 (191-452) from behind the arc is second at UD and his .842 FT% (267-317) is third.
THE TOLEDO RIFLE
Already having scored 1,366 career points, Brian Roberts is projected to finish in the Top Five in Flyer scoring. He has a more than solid chance to be the first UD player to lead the team in scoring three times since Jim Paxson Jr. did it in 1978-79. It just so happens that Paxson was also the last Flyer to be named an All-American. Roberts needs eight points to become part of UD's Top 20 career scorers.
MR. ROBERTS = MR. EFFICIENCY
Over his career, Roberts has demonstrated a knack for two things: scoring his points in short amounts of time, and playing well on the road. He scored at least 10 points in a half 25 times in 2006-07, and has done it 52 times in his career. Over his college career, Roberts' road scoring average of 15.5 points is actually better than his home average of 14.2. Roberts scored 31 points while taking just 15 shots in UD's home opener.
LIFE OF BRIAN
Not just a strong performer on the court, Roberts is also one of just four Dayton players to be named winner of the White-Allen MVP Award and the John L. Macbeth Memorial Scholar-Athlete Award (top grade point average). He is also the only Flyer men's basketball player to be named all-conference and academic all-conference in the same season.
ESPN THE MAGAZINE RECOGNIZES ROBERTS
In the 2007-08 college basketball preview, ESPN the Magazine's Dick Vitale selected Dayton's Brian Roberts as the best player that few have heard about.
THE WRIGHT STUFF
After a eye-popping debut in the Flyers opener, freshman Chris Wright earned the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week award. Wright picked up a double-double with 22 points and 13 rebounds against East Tennessee State. Wright also earned a spot on the Preseason A-10 All Rookie Team. Three respected ranking services - HoopScoop, Rivals.com and Scout.com - rate UD's group of three incoming freshmen the best in the Atlantic 10. Considered by many experts to be the top incoming freshman in the A-10, Wright was ranked as high as the 18th-best prospect in the country. He averaged 19.2 points and 12.8 rebounds for Trotwood-Madison High School while earning First Team All-Ohio Division I honors. At the Jordan Brand All-America Game played in Madison Square Garden, the 6-8 high "Flyer" turned in a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double.
THE COMPANY YOU KEEP
UD forward Chris Wright was one of the best 20 high school basketball players in the country and was selected to play in the 2007 Jordan Brand All-American Classic at Madison Square Garden. Wright performed very well with a 10-point, 10-rebound performance. Recent participants include NBA stars Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Amare Stoudemire, Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.
LITTLE BIG MAN
At 6-foot-6, 237 pounds, sophomore Charles Little might be the most inaccurately named player in the country. On February 18, 2007 he had no double-doubles on his college resume. In the last six games, he was almost averaging one (17.8 points and 9.3 rebounds). Little hauled in a career-high 16 rebounds at Temple last year. He had a career-best-tying 21 points and career-high 10 rebounds against UMass, raised his career high in points to 23 at Saint Louis, and then raised it again with 28 points (with 10 rebounds) against Xavier. Little finished last season second on the team in scoring (10.5), led the team in rebounding (5.2) and was named the 2007 A-10 Sixth Man of the Year. In his first game of the season, Little came off the bench to haul in 13 rebounds to go with seven points in the Flyers win over ETSU. Little is tied with Chris Wright for the A-10 lead in rebounds per game.
CHARLES IN CHARGE
As UD's top rebounder, Little took home the "Shorty" Sharpenter Memorial Rebounding Trophy. Little averaging 5.1 rebounds a game in 2006-07. He closed the regular season with three double-digit rebounding performances in the last five games, including a career-high 16 at Temple. Little's 34 dunks (32 over in the last 23 games of the 2006-07 season) were more than twice as many as anyone else on the team, and more than half of UD's 55 dunks last year.
Marcus Johnson played in the season's first 30 games in 2006-07, and only an ankle injury suffered in the Flyers' A-10 tournament win over Charlotte kept him from making all 31 contests. While classmates Kurt Huelsman and London Warren were named recipients of UD's Top Defender and Most Improved Awards respectively, Dayton's top freshman award, the Thomas Luppe Memorial Award, went to Johnson. Johnson averaged 6.6 points and 3.7 rebounds a game. Last year Johnson set a UD record with the most points scored by a Flyer freshman in their first-career game with 23. This season Johnson is averaging 11.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.
THE JACKSONVILLE JET
London Warren (a.k.a. the "Jacksonville Jet," as dubbed by the WHIO Radio team of Larry Hansgen and Bucky Bockhorn) came on in the last 14 games of the 2006-07 season, a time when most freshmen have hit the proverbial wall. A jet-quick guard known for his explosiveness and defensive tenacity, his play down the stretch was clearly better than the first 19 games of the season. After averaging just 7.7 minutes, 0.7 points, 1.2 assists and 1.7 turnovers in the first six league games, Warren has averaged 18.1 minutes, 4.2 points, 3.4 assists and just 1.8 turnovers in the last 14 games, earning earned starts in the last seven games. He shot .250 (8-32) from the floor in the first 19 games, but shot .487 (19-39) in the final 14 games.
Jimmy Binnie, along with classmate Brian Roberts, are the first Brian Gregory players to live the college basketball experience from start to finish - recruiting, verballing, signing, playing and, come spring, graduating. Binnie started 15 games and played in all 31 games for the Flyers, and averaged 4.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 18.8 minutes played. He saw action at every position except point guard in 2006-07, and overcame a poor shooting start to turn in another solid season. After shooting .241 (7-29) from three-point in non-conference action (including missing his first ten shots), Binnie reversed field to hit .377 (23-61) after the first of the year. This season Binnie is shooting 33 percent from the floor and averaging 3.0 points per game.
Andres Sandoval began last season on a downer, breaking a bone in his foot that required a titanium screw to be placed in it. He was expected to be out 4-6 weeks, but apparently didn't get the memo. He was back on the court exactly 19 days after the surgery to place the screw in the foot. Sandoval bounced back in league action later in the year with performances like a career-high 21 points (previous UD high was nine, and Richmond high was 15) and adding six assists and six rebounds in the win over George Washington. He was big in the Saint Louis win, coming off the bench to score 14 points and grab six rebounds. At Rhode Island, he scored nine points, had five rebounds and four assists off the bench. At Duquesne, he scored seven points (4-4 FT) and tied his college career high with seven assists. He had ten points in the Xavier game in Dayton. For the year, he was third on the team in assists (2.3) and averaged 5.9 points and 2.8 rebounds.
BEING "KURT" TO THE OPPOSITION
Sophomore Kurt Huelsman was the only player to start every game last year for the Flyers. Huelsman averaged 3.8 points and 3.5 rebounds, and was second on the team in blocked shots (0.6). He earned UD's Best Defender Award for 2006-07 and 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 was the primary defender in holding Pittsburgh's seven-footer, Aaron Gray, the preseason Big East Player of the Year and a member of the Chicago Bulls, to a season-low five points. In two games against Gray and North Carolina All-American Tyler Hansbrough, Huelsman had 12 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks. In exhibition play this year, Huelsman averaged six points and 4.5 rebounds per game. This year against ETSU, Huelsman hauled in three rebounds to help the Flyers pick up a 78-74 victory.
ON THE GO WITH THIAGO
After leading all junior college players in blocked shots per game last season, junior Thiago Cordeiro looks to bring a strong presence to the middle of the Flyers lineup. In his Flyer debut, Cordeiro converted his only field goal of the game.
DIALING LONG DISTANCE
Against East Tennessee State's zone defense, the Flyers shot 46 percent from beyond the arc, including 50 percent in the second half. Leading the way was Brian Roberts who hit 4-of-8 three pointers. Jimmy Binnie connected on his lone three-point attempt and Chris Wright went 1-for-2 from long range. Last season the Flyers shot 38 percent from beyond the arc.
EYE 75 ON THE SCOREBOARD
The Flyers are 20-3 under head coach Brian Gregory when they score at least 75 points.
OUT OF THE BLOCKS, TO THE FINISH LINE
UD's 10-1 start last season matched its best start to a season since the Flyers won their first 14 games in 1955-56. UD's 10-3 non-conference record marked just the third time in school history the Flyers have reached 10 wins before January 1. Dayton 18 wins in the regular season marked the seventh time in the last eight years UD has won at least 18 games.
DOING IT WITH DEFENSE
Last year the UD defense recorded an impressive feat. The Flyers held six straight opponents to 55 points or less, the first time that had happened at UD in 56 years and the only time in the shot clock era.
TO BE THE BEST, YOU HAVE TO BEAT THE BEST
When the University of Dayton men's basketball team plays the 2007-08 season, the Flyers will take on the challenge of one of the toughest home schedules in school history. UD will play nine non-conference home games against teams that averaged more than 20 wins last season, and eight games against their top ten Atlantic 10 opponents in last year's RPI rankings. The Flyers will play four teams that played in the 2007 NCAA tournament (Holy Cross, Louisville, Miami and Pittsburgh), two that were conference regular-season champions (East Tennessee State and Toledo) and three more that reached the finals of their respective conference tournaments (Akron, American and George Mason).
FAB FRESHMEN TOP THE A-10
UD landed what Scout.com considers the top recruiting class in the Atlantic 10 last season with the signings of 6-8 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.
But they aren't the only newest members on the Flyer roster. Phillip "Mickey" Perry transferred to the Flyers from the University of Wisconsin on January 8. Perry, a 6-2 guard who graduated from Proviso East High School in 2005, will become eligible to play at UD after the fall 2007 semester. In addition, Dayton added to their already strong recruiting class with the addition of forward Thiago Cordeiro (pronounced Tee-AH-go COOR-dair-oh), a 6-foot-9, 220 pound forward from Barton (Kansas) County Community College. Cordeiro, a native of Pernambuco, Brazil, led all junior college players in blocked shots per game (145, 4.3 per game) last season.
NEW ADDITIONS EXTEND TO THE BENCH
Over the summer UD head coach Brian Gregory announced the completion of the Flyer basketball coaching staff for the 2007-08 season. Former St. Bonaventure head coach Anthony Solomon and former UD Director of Basketball Operations Jon Borovich were selected as the team's new assistant coaches, joining assistant coach Billy Schmidt on Gregory's staff. Also joining the staff is new the Director of Basketball Operations Matt Farrell.
UD ATHLETICS ANNOUNCED ALL-TIME ONE-ON-ONE TOURNAMENT
As the University of Dayton was planning the "Celebration of Flyer Basketball," a very interesting question was raised. What if all of the great players in our history were to play in one-on-one tournament and who would prevail? The question intrigued us, so we decided it would be fun to find out.
UD Athletics designed a seeded and bracketed the "All Time One-on-One Tourney" presented by National City using a combination of experts, statistics, and computer input to determine the champion. The tournament is available only through the Flyers official website - DaytonFlyers.com.
GAME #1 - ROBERTS, WRIGHT DUO HELPS FLYERS DEFEAT EAST TENNESSEE STATE 78-74
In the first game of his Flyer career, freshman Chris Wright scored 22 points and pulled down 13 rebounds in a 78-74 UD victory over the East Tennessee State Buccaneers at UD Arena on Saturday. Senior guard Brian Roberts recorded game-highs of 31 points and five assists. Roberts led UD down the stretch collecting 19 of his 31 points in the second half.
FLYERS PICKED TO FINISH SIXTH IN A-10 POLL
After a 19-12 season in 2006-07, the Dayton Flyers were picked to finish sixth in the league according to a poll of the Atlantic 10's head coaches and media. Xavier was named the preseason favorite, with 42 of the 59 first-place votes. Rhode Island garnered five first-place votes and placed second in the preseason poll. Saint Joseph's was tabbed third, while Fordham earned a pair of first-place votes and was chosen fourth. Saint Louis was selected fifth in the poll, while Dayton garnered a pair of first-place votes and was tabbed for sixth. Defending A-10 champion George Washington was picked seventh, while 2007 regular season co-champion Massachusetts received a first-place vote and was selected eighth, followed by Temple, Charlotte, Duquesne, Richmond, La Salle and St. Bonaventure.
The NCAA Division I Tournament will make its start at UD Arena this season for the seventh 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 2008. UD has hosted the game since its inception in its current form in 2002. When the 2008 NCAA Tournament is over, UD Arena will have been an NCAA site in 22 of the last 39 years and will have hosted 77 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 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.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Flyers' 15-2 record at home last season matched the fourth-best efforts in UD Arena history in home court wins in a season and home court winning percentage in a season (.882). Dayton won its first 14 home games during the 2006-07 season, the second-best streak in UD Arena history (behind only the 15 from December 17, 1984 to March 3, 1985).
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.
UD Arena has 78 sellouts in its 38-year history. UD's last 121 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 (360 of 362), including the last 157 regular season games. Also the University of Dayton finished in the Top 30 in men's basketball attendance for the tenth straight season in 2006-07, according to a report by the NCAA released earlier this week. The Flyers finished 28th in the NCAA in attendance with an average of 12,266 fans a game. Since UD Arena opened in 1969, Dayton has been in the NCAA`s top 35 in attendance every season. The Flyers led the Atlantic 10 in attendance for the 11th straight season. UD averaged more than 2,300 fans a game better than any other team in the conference.
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.