Feb. 20, 2007
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The University of Dayton will play Saint Louis two times over the last four games of the season, and the first of those meetings is Wednesday night in St. Louis. The Flyers are 16-9, and 6-6 in the Atlantic 10, which ties tem for seventh place with SLU in the 14-team A-10. The Billikens are 16-10 overall.
THE FLYERS The Flyers are led by one of the premier players in the Atlantic 10 Conference, Brian Roberts, but they are also one of the deepest teams in the Atlantic 10. Roberts leads UD in scoring (18.8), minutes (35.2), three-pointers per game (2.7), FT% (.904, 113-125) and 3-pt. FG% (.469, 68-145). He is among the top 15 in the A-10 in seven categories (including first in FT%, second in scoring and third in 3-pt. FG% and 3-pt. FG's per game), but has not yet been named A-10 Player of the Week this season. He had 25 points (6-8 3-pt., 5-6 FT) in vs. Massachusetts.
Dayton will have to play the rest of the season without its only true senior, forward Monty Scott. An MRI examination evealed that Scott has a partial tear in the patellar tendon of his right knee, ending his playing career with four games left in the regular season. Scott will undergo surgery to repair the injury on Thursday afternoon. A typical rehab program for an injury like this is four-to-eight weeks.
THE BILLIKENS Saint Louis has arrived at its 6-6 conference record in the same manner that Dayton has -- protect the home court and find pickings slim on the road. In fact, both teams are 5-1 at home and 1-5 on the road. SLU is led by sophomore guard Tommie Liddell. Liddell leads the team in scoring (16.2) and is tied for team honors in reobunding (7.2). He is the best rebounding guard in the A-10, and a strong candidate for Chris Daniels Memorial Award, which goes to the league's most improved player. After making just two threes last year and shooting .0095 from beyond the arc, he is shooting .505 (46-91) from "downtown." He has made more than two treys in eight games this year. In league play, he is averaging 19.8 points a game, and shooting an A-10 best .561 (32-57) from three. Joining Liddell in double figures for the year are Kevin Lisch (14.6) and Ian Vouyoukas (11.0).
SERIES STUFF Dayton leads the series 18-17, and has won the last three meetings. Last year, Dayton swept the two games with a pair of two-point wins. UD won at home 46-44 on February 11, and at SLU 72-70 in overtime on March 1.
UP NEXT Dayton is home to meet Xavier on Saturday, February 24 at 6:00 p.m. EST. That is the second of five games in 14 days that the will close out UD's the regular season. The fifth of those games will be against SLU on March 3.
SECRET SMILES AUCTION A BIG SUCCESS UD coach Brian Gregory's dedicated cause is a charity called "Secret Smiles," a program that delivers beds and bedding to children of families who cannot provide for them. Since 2002, Secret Smiles of Dayton has assisted more than 600 families in living up to their slogan "Because Every Child Needs A Bed." After UD's win over GW, Gregory participated in Secret Smiles' sixth annual "Flyer Feedback Auction" live on the post-game show hosted by Mark Adams on WHIO Radio. This year, the auction raised $19,000. UD's spirit group, "The Red Scare" also supports Secret Smiles with Drive 75, an on-campus competition to see what organization can raise the most for charity.
HOME SWEET HOME Dayton won its first 14 home games this season, the second-best streak in University of Dayton Arena history. Here are the best Arena win streaks: 15--December 17, 1984 to March 3, 1985 14--November 11, 2006 to February 18, 2007 13--Twice
TOUGH ROAD UD's eight road losses are against teams who have won 78.0% of their home games (85-24) through Monday.
B-ROB B-GOOD One of the premier players in the Atlantic 10 Conference, Brian leads UD in scoring (18.8), minutes (35.2), three-pointers per game (2.7), FT% (.904, 113-125) and 3-pt. FG% (.469, 68-145). He is among the top 15 in the A-10 in seven categories (including first in FT%, second in scoring and third in 3-pt. FG% and 3-pt. FG's per game). Roberts has scored double digits in 22 of the 25 games this season. He got his first career double-double (17 points, 10 rebounds) in the Western Carolina win. 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-A-10 (first team) in the same season. UD's 2005-06 MVP led UD in scoring (16.0), minutes (33.4) and was seventh in the league in scoring.
THE TOLEDO RIFLE Brian Roberts moved into the Top 25 in Dayton career scoring during the UMass game. He is currently 25th with 1,231 points. Roberts is the only UD player in the school's top five in career 3-pt. FG% and FT%. His .432 (177-410) from behind the arc is second on the Flyer career lists, .0017 behind record holder Norm Grevey. His .844 FT% (238-282) is third.
ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END Brian Roberts' streak of 34 consecutive free throws made that ended at St. Bonaventure tied the second-best run in UD history (Bobby Joe Hooper also made 34 during the 1965-66 season) and was just two away from the school record of 36 by Damon Goodwin in 1983-84.
BRIAN'S BURSTS Brian Roberts has demonstrated a knack for scoring his points in short amounts of time. He has already scored at least ten points in a half 22 times this season, after doing it 18 times in 2005-06.
MR. ROBERTS=MR. EFFICIENCY Brian Roberts scored his 34 points in the La Salle game in just 28 minutes of playing time, and he did it by taking just 14 shots from the field. He was 9-for-14 from the floor (including 5-for-8 from three), and made a career-high 11 free throws (in 12 attempts). In the GW win, Roberts scored 23 points with only nine field goal attempts. He was 6-for-9 from the floor, 4-for-4 from three-point range and seven-for-seven from the line. Against UMass, he was 7-for-12 FG, 6-for-8 from three-point and 5-for-6 FT. In A-10 play, he is averaging almost two points for every FG attempt (1.61).
MONTY, MONTY, MONTY An MRI examination has revealed that University of Dayton senior forward Monty Scott has a partial tear in the patellar tendon of his right knee, ending his playing career with four games left in the regular season. Scott will undergo surgery to repair the injury on Thursday afternoon. A typical rehab program for an injury like this is four-to-eight weeks. Scott initially injured the knee in practice leading up to Sunday's game against Massachusetts. After responding to treatments, he was able to start against UMass, but as the game went on it was apparent Scott could not continue to play. He was limited to a season-low 19 minutes on Sunday, scoring just three points, although he did grab four rebounds and block two shots against the Minutemen. Scott had started all 25 games for the Flyers this season, averaging 10.0 points and 4.4 rebounds a game. 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. He was UD's MVP and an all-conference selection two years ago.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS Brian Roberts became the 39th Flyer to reach the 1,000 point mark in his career in the Charlotte win. He now has 1,231 points (25th) and is 17 behind Mike Sylvester. Monty Scott became the club's 40th member at Xavier. He is now 36th with 1,054, five points behind Bobby Joe Hooper. Roberts is fifth in career three-pointers (179). Norm Grevey is fourth with 208. Scott is tied for sixth (158) with Alex Robertson.
LIVING UP TO HIS INITIALS, NUMBER AND TEAMMATE Freshman Marcus Johnson's "basketball karma" has to be off the charts. 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, and have the makeup to handle such alliteration. Luckily for the Flyer Faithful, it appears that Johnson has both requirements covered. He scored 23 points in his first game as a Flyer, the most by a Dayton player in his debut game. He played just five minutes against UMass due to a knee injury, and is doubtful for SLU. He is one of five Flyers averaging over six points a game (6.8), and one of six averaging at least three rebounds a game (3.7). MORE MARCUS Marcus Johnson has scored in double figures six times this season, including 13 (and a game-high eight rebounds) at SBU and 14 at North Carolina. He had his first double-double (11 points/10 rebounds) in the Yale win. In the win over Western Carolina, Johnson scored 13 points (5-6 FG) and grabbed six rebounds. He also had two assists, a steal and a blocked shot and drew the primary assignment of guarding Western Carolina's leading scorer, Antonio Russell. Russell came into the game averaging 17.9 points and shooting 57% from the field, but finished with five points, and a percentage-killing 1-for-14 from the floor. For the season, Johnson is shooting .445 (65-146) from the field, but inside the arc he is shooting 55 points higher (.500, 53-106).
LITTLE BIG MAN At 6-foot-6, 244 pounds, sophomore Charles Little might be the most inaccurately named player in the country. He has scored 210 points and is shooting .556 (90-162) in the last 22 games. He is third on the team in scoring (9.2), and leads UD in FG% (.538, 99-184). Little's 24 dunks (22 in the last 17 games) are more than twice as many as anyone else on the team, and more than half of UD's 43 dunks this year. He had his first double-double against the A-10's most intimidating front line in the UMass game, tallying career highs in points (21) and rebounds (10). He also had 21 points at Duquesne.
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 was the primary defender in holding Pittsburgh's seven-footer, Aaron Gray, the preseason Big East Player of the Year, 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 blocked shots.
GLASS CLEANER Freshman Kurt Huelsman pulled down 26 rebounds in his first three games as a Flyer. That's more than the two most recent Flyers to get 1,000 rebounds in their careers. Ryan Perryman grabbed 24, and Keith Waleskowski had 21, respectively in their first three college games.
STORMIN' NORMAN Norman Plummer leads the team in rebounding (5.0), and is fourth on the team in scoring (8.4). He is also second in FT% (.742, 49-66) and third in FG% (.469, 68-145). He scored a game-high 19 points (6-8 FG, 7-8 FT) in the Holy Cross win and a team-high tying 13 (5-7 FG) in the Creighton win. He had 11 rebounds in the Miami win. Against Charlotte at home, he had 11 points, a game-high seven rebounds and was five-for-five from the line (including a game-clinching pair with 18 seconds left). Last year, he was UD's leading rebounder (6.5), was third in scoring (10.0) and second in minutes (26.5).
BIG START BINNIE A strong contributor off the bench for most of the season, junior forward Jimmy Binnie has started the last eight games and has scored UD's first three-pointer in five of them. In those eight games, Binnie is averaging 5.9 points and shooting .500 (17-34) from the field and .480 (12-25) from three-point range. In the Richmond game he outscored the Spiders in the first half (9-8). He scored the first six points of the game and finished with a season-high 12 points. Against Louisville, he had eight points (two more than he had in the previous four games combined). In the Creighton win, he had eight points, three assists and two rebounds in 13 minutes. After shooting .241 (7-29) from three-point in non-conference, Binnie is hitting .438 (14-32) in A-10 play. He leads the team in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.40).
HERE COMES THE SAND MAN Junior point guard Andres Sandoval had a breakout game in the GW win, scoring a college career-high 21 points (previous UD high was nine, and Richmond high was 15) and adding six assists and six rebounds. He was expected to be out 4-6 weeks with a broken bone in his foot, but apparently he didn't get the memo. He was back on the court exactly 19 days after his surgery to place a titanium screw in the foot. He played nine minutes in a shakedown cruise against South Carolina State on November 28, and has averaged 22.0 minutes in the 15 games since then. At Rhode Island, he scored nine points, had five rebounds and four assists off the bench. He has started the last seven games. At Duquesne, he scored seven points (4-4 FT) and tied his college career high with seven assists. On the year, he leads the team in assists (2.9) and is second in steals (0.80) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.34).
THE JACKSONVILLE JET Freshman point guard London Warren (a.k.a. the "Jacksonville Jet," as dubbed by the WHIO Radio team of Larry Hansgen and Bucky Bockhorn) scored a career-high 10 points at SBU with two assists and no turnovers. He leads UD in steals (0.84) and is third in assists (2.1) in just 12.4 minutes a game. In the last six games, he has 19 points, 16 assists and six turnovers, while shooting .583 (7-12) from the field. Prior to that, he shot .250 (8-32) in the first 19 games.
TEAM EFFORT Dayton's road to a 16-9 record is a "sum of the parts" kind of blueprint. The Flyers have just two players (Brian Roberts at 18.8, Monty Scott at 10.0) averaging in double digits, but six others average at least 4.0 points a game. They are Charles Little (9.2), Norman Plummer (8.4), Marcus Johnson (6.8), Andres Sandoval (5.6), Kurt Huelsman (4.0) and Jimmy Binnie (4.0). In conference play, eight Flyers average at least four points a game -- Roberts 20.6, Scott 10.3, Little 9.8, Plummer 7.9, Sandoval 6.8, Binnie 5.1, Johnson 4.5 and Huelsman 4.1. Also in A-10 action, four Flyers are shooting 49% or better -- Little (.563), Scott (.506), Huelsman (.500) and Roberts (.490).
EYE 75 ON THE SCOREBOARD The Flyers are 18-3 under head coach Brian Gregory when they score at least 75 points.
DOING IT WITH DEFENSE Earlier this season, the Flyers held six straight opponents to 55 points or less, the first time that had happened at UD in 56 years.
OUT OF THE BLOCKS UD's 10-1 start 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.
GRAD RATES GREAT IN DAYTON Dayton was listed as one of the nation's leaders in the 2006 NCAA Division I Graduation Rates Report. The Flyers' GSR is 96, up two points from last year and 18th out of 320 schools Division I school rated. UD's 91 percent graduation rate for its men's basketball program is best in the A-10. Men's basketball is one of 15 (out of 17) Flyer athletic teams with GSR's of 90 or better. 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. Nearly two-thirds (303 of 473) of all Flyer student-athletes carry a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.
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 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. UD Arena has 76 sellouts in its 34-year history. UD's last 118 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 (336 of 359), including the last 154 regular season games. UD averaged 12,422 last season, 2,500 higher than any other A-10 team and 23rd in the country.
THE COMPANY YOU KEEP UD recruit Chris Wright is one of the best 20 high school basketball players in the country selected to play in the 2007 Jordan Brand All-American Classic on Saturday, April 21 at Madison Square Garden. It will be shown on ESPN2. Among the players selected to this year's game are O.J. Mayo, Derrick Rose and Eric Gordon. Recent participants include NBA stars Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Amare Stoudemire, Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.
FLYERS LAND TOP A-10 CLASS UD landed what Scout.com considers the top recruiting class in the Atlantic 10 on November 8 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. 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. 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. A consensus top 50 player, 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 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, 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. The Bob Gibbons All-Star Report has three Top 150 players heading to the A-10 from the fall signing period, and two (Wright and Thomas) are future Flyers.
AND THAT DOES NOT INCLUDE THE LATEST ADDITION 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. He will have two-and-a-half seasons of basketball eligibility remaining. After averaging 20.0 points, 7.1 assists and 5.0 rebounds a game as a senior at Proviso East, Perry redshirted the 2005-06 season at Wisconsin. In seven games this season for the Badgers, he averaged 3.0 minutes, and 1.0 points a game.
GAME #25 -- MASSACHUSETTS 77, DAYTON 69 A double-double effort from sophomore Charles Little was not enough on Sunday afternoon as the Dayton Flyers were defeated at home for the first time this season by the University of Massachusetts Minutemen 77-69. Junior guard Brian Roberts added 25 points for the Flyers (19 in the second half), but it was not enough too win a game which was a constant uphill battle for UD. It was a career-high day for Little, however, as the forward matched his career best in points with 21 and set a new personal best in rebounds with 10. It was his first career double-double. The Flyers never led the Minutemen in the contest and UMass led by as many as 15. Every time the Flyers would creep back, it seemed UMass had an answer. Dayton allowed UMass to record an eye-popping 20 offensive rebounds, while shooting just 46 percent from the free throw line (15-32).
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. They're .729 (207-77) winning percentage ranks eighth in the 1960s.