March 8, 2007
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The University of Dayton Flyers will play a team for the third time this season for the second time this season when they face the Xavier Musketeers Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Championship. UD advanced to take on Xavier by knocking off Charlotte in the opening game of the tournament 81-63. UD has won its last three games and is 19-11 on the year. Xavier is the tournament's #1 seed, and earned a first-round bye by finishing 23-7 (13-3 in conference) in the regular season. Thursday's game tips at 12:00 noon EST.
THE FLYERS Dayton is led by Brian Roberts, who was named team MVP for the second straight year Sunday at the team's awards banquet, and All-Atlantic 10 for the second straight year on Monday. Roberts is just the eighth Flyer to earn MVP honors as a sophomore and junior. One of the premier players in the Atlantic 10, Roberts is enjoying one of the finest seasons in Flyer history. With the season not over, only 22 UD players have averaged more points in a season, and his scoring output would be the highest at UD since Chip Jones averaged 20.2 points in 1990-91. Roberts would also rank third in FT%, third in 3-pt. FG and fifth in 3-pt. FG% on the Flyer single-season charts. He leads UD in scoring (18.4), assists (2.7), minutes (35.6), 3-pt. FG's per game (2.6), FT% (.904, 132-146) and 3-pt. FG% (.459, 79-172).
With the news that senior Monty Scott's career was over due to a knee injury on suffered against UMass, Dayton was in desperate need for a second scorer to take some of the pressure off of Roberts. Enter Charles Little. On February 18, he had no double-doubles on his college resume. In the last six games, he is almost averaging one (17.8 points and 9.3 rebounds). He is second on the team in scoring (10.5), and leads in rebounding (5.2) and FG% (.516, 132-256).
SERIES STUFF Dayton leads the series 80-63. That's the most games against any one opponent for both schools. In fact, the very first Xavier varsity basketball game was against Dayton on February 20, 1920 (UD won 24-18). The two teams have met at least once every year since 1946-47. X won both regular-season meetings this year -- 83-67 at the Cintas Center on January 27 and 75-67 on February 28. The two teams have met three times in one season on eight different occasions.
UP NEXT The Dayton-Xavier winner will advance to the tournament semifinals against the winner of Fordham and Rhode Island. That semifinal game is at 6:30 p.m. EST on Friday.
UD IN THE A-10 TOURNAMENT This is UD's 12th season in the A-10, and its 12th Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Championship. The Flyers have an overall 13-10 record in the tournament, and are 5-3 in the first round. Dayton has won the championship once (2003), placed second once (2004), and tied for third twice (2000 and 2002). UD 0-2 against Xavier in the A-10 tournament, and has never met the Muskies this early in the tournament (2002 semifinals, 2004 finals).
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, they have 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' 6th annual "Flyer Feedback Auction" live on WHIO Radio. This year, the auction raised $19,000. UD's spirit group, "The Red Scare" also supports Secret Smiles with Drive 75. This year's Drive 75 collected 3,402 pounds of food, along with $1,214.15 in cash donations for Secret Smiles.
HOME SWEET HOME The Flyers' 15-2 record at home this season matched the fourth-best efforts in UD Arena history in homecourt wins in a season and homecourt winning percentage in a season (.882). Dayton won its first 14 home games this season, the second-best streak in University of Dayton Arena history (behind only the 15 from December 17, 1984 to March 3, 1985).
TOUGH ROAD UD's nine road losses were against teams who won 74.2% of their regular season home games (92-32).
B-ROB B-GOOD One of the premier players in the Atlantic 10, junior guard Brian Roberts is enjoying one of the finest seasons in Flyer history. With the season not over, only 22 UD players have averaged more points in a season, and his scoring output would be the highest at UD since Chip Jones averaged 20.2 points in 1990-91. Roberts would also rank third in FT%, third in 3-pt. FG and fifth in 3-pt. FG% on the Flyer single-season charts. He leads UD in scoring (18.4), assists (2.7), minutes (35.6), 3-pt. FG's per game (2.6), FT% (.904, 132-146) and 3-pt. FG% (.459, 79-172). He has scored double digits in 27 of the 30 games this season. He got his first career double-double (17 points, 10 rebounds) in the WCU win. THE TOLEDO RIFLE Brian Roberts is currently 23rd in career scoring at UD with 1,313 points. Roberts is the only UD player in the school's top five in career 3-pt. FG% and FT%. His .430 (188-437) from behind the arc is second at UD and his .845 FT% (257-304) 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 24 times this season, including 17 in the second half of the Charlotte game.
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-of-14 from the floor (including 5-of-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 the Charlotte win, he had 24 point in just 10 FGA.
MONTY, MONTY, MONTY Monty Scott's playing career ended with four games left in the regular season when he suffered a partial tear in the patellar tendon of his right knee. Scott underwent successful surgery to repair the injury on February 22. A typical rehab program for an injury like this is four-to-eight weeks. Scott initially injured the knee in practice leading up to the 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. He was limited to a season-low 19 minutes, scoring just three points, although he did grab four rebounds and block two shots. Scott had started all 25 games for the Flyers up to that point, 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-A10 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 1,313 points (23rd) and is 10 behind Chip Hare. Monty Scott became the club's 40th member at Xavier and is 36th with 1,054 points. Roberts is fifth in career three-pointers (186). Norm Grevey is fourth with 208. Scott is tied for sixth (158).
LITTLE BIG MAN At 6-foot-6, 244 pounds, sophomore Charles Little might be the most inaccurately named player in the country. On February 18, he had no double-doubles on his college resume. In the last six games, he is almost averaging one (17.8 points and 9.3 rebounds). After scoring career-highs in three straight games, he had two double-doubles and he missed on his third Wednesday in the Temple win by one point, but raised his rebounding career-high to 16. 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. He is second on the team in scoring (10.5) and leads in rebounding (5.2) and FG% (.516, 132-256). 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.
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 78 sellouts in its 34-year history, including the Xavier game. UD's last 120 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 (338 of 361), including the last 156 regular season games. UD led the A-10 for the 12th straight season in attendance. This year's average was 12,266. 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.
UD AWARDS ANNOUNCED AT BASKETBALL BANQUET The day after the Dayton Flyers completed the regular season with a double overtime win over Saint Louis, UD held its annual basketball banquet. Junior guard Brian Roberts repeated as the team's MVP. He is just the eighth Flyer to earn White-Allen MVP honors as a sophomore and junior. Ryan Perryman was the last to accomplish it after the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons. He was preceded by Anthony Corbitt, Roosevelt Chapman, Jim Paxson, Johnny Davis, Donald Smith and Henry Finkel. Roberts also earned two other awards - the John L. Macbeth Memorial Scholar-Athlete Award, which goes to the member of the team with the highest cumulative grade point average after a minimum of five semesters of class work, and the Alex Schoen Memorial Free Throw Trophy. Senior forward Monty Scott was named the winner of the Dr. George Rau Spirit Award, which is given annually to the player who displays true team spirit, on and off the court. Charles Little was presented the "Shorty" Sharpenter Memorial Rebounding Trophy. Jimmy Binnie was named the first repeat winner of the Uhl Family Endowed Scholarship.
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.