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DAYTON HOSTS EAST TENNESSEE STATE IN 2007-08 SEASON OPENER
The University of Dayton Flyers open their 100th season of basketball Saturday when the Flyers host the East Tennessee State Buccaneers on Tom Blackburn Court at 2 p.m. ET. Saturday's game will be the season opener for both teams. The game will be available over the Internet with live stats on Gametracker and free streaming video at www.DaytonFlyers.com.
The Flyers and National City are also teaming up to honor breast cancer survivors during an on-court ceremony at halftime. The 10 survivors who will be recognized were chosen from more than 200 nominees. The entire coaching staff will wear matching pink ties to show support for the fight against breast cancer. The activities are part of National City's "Real Men Wear Pink" campaign, featuring Dayton head coach Brian Gregory.
Team play was key as UD tallied a 62-49 victory over the California (Pa.) Vulcans in exhibition action on Monday at UD Arena. All 15 uniformed players saw playing time. Sophomore Marcus Johnson led the Flyers with 10 points and six rebounds as UD went unbeaten in exhibition play at 2-0. One of those wins came against the Findlay Oilers who beat last year's NCAA Runner-Up, the Ohio State Buckeyes, on Tuesday 70-68 in exhibition action.
The Bucs went 24-10 overall and 16-2 in Atlantic Sun Conference play last season winning the Atlantic Sun regular season title. ETSU returns several of its key contributors from that championship squad from a year ago, including 2007 A-Sun Player of the Year Courtney Pigram and All-Freshman Team pick Mike Smith. Pigram is coming off a season in which he averaged 18.1 points and 3.7 assists per game.
This is the first meeting between the two programs.
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.
EXHIBITION WRAP UP
The most impressive aspect of the pre-season games are how the Flyers are embracing the team concept. Depth also looks to be weapon for UD's opponents to be concerned this season. A minimum of 11 Flyers played at least 10 minutes in both exhibition games. Senior Brian Roberts led the Flyers with 14 points per game, while freshman Chris Wright averaged five boards per contest.
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.
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.
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. In two exhibition games this year, Roberts led UD with 14.0 points per game and 4.0 assists per game. 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 .430 (191-444) from behind the arc is second at UD and his .843 FT% (258-306) is third.
THE TOLEDO RIFLE
Already having scored 1,335 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.
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 50 times in his career. And he averaged 17.9 points a game away from UD Arena last year. Over his college career, Roberts' road scoring average of 15.5 points is actually better than his home average of 14.0.
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 GPA). He is also the only Flyer men's basketball player to be named all-conference and academic all-conference in the same season.
THE WRIGHT STUFF
Roberts wasn't the only one to receive Atlantic 10 accolades. Freshman forward Chris Wright 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 is 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). After scoring career-highs in three straight games, he had two double-doubles and he missed on his third a win over Temple 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. In exhibition play this year Binnie shot 50% from the floor and 43&% from beyond the arc.
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.
MEET THE NEWEST FLYERS
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.
But they aren't the only newest members of the Flyer family. 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.
EYE 75 ON THE SCOREBOARD
The Flyers are 19-3 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).
UD RELEASES GAME & TV TIMES FOR 2007-08
The University of Dayton released tentative game times and a television schedule that will include at least 12 men's basketball broadcasts. All times and broadcasts are subject to change and can be found on the men's basketball schedule page at www.DaytonFlyers.com.
The Flyer schedule features four nationally televised broadcasts including ESPN2 games at Louisville on Sat., Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. ET and the Pittsburgh game at UD Arena on Sat. Dec. 29. Both of the matchups with rival Xavier will be televised nationwide on CSTV including the meeting in Cincinnati on Thurs., Jan. 24 at 8 p.m. ET and the battle on Blackburn Court on Sun., Feb. 24.
Dayton will host eight weekend home games at UD Arena this season including the regular-season opener against East Tennessee State on Sat., Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. ET as well as meetings with Southern Methodist (Sat., Nov. 24 at 2 p.m. ET), Coppin State (Sat., Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. ET), Loyola (MD) (Sat., Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. ET), Pittsburgh (Sat., Dec. 29 at 8 p.m. ET), Temple (Sat., Feb. 16 at 4 p.m. ET), Xavier (Sun., Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. ET) and the regular-season finale against Saint Joseph's (Sat., Mar. 8 at 2 p.m. ET).
EXHIBITION #1 - DAYTON 81, FINDLAY 78
Brian Roberts started the Flyers off on the right foot in 2007-08 by scoring a game-high 25 points in Dayton's defeat of the Findlay Oilers 81-78 on Thursday at UD Arena. The senior tri-captain sank 5-of-8 from the three-point line, and was 7-of-16 from the field. However, it was freshman Chris Wright who ignited the crowd of close to 8,000 as he scored 20 and sparked a late second half comeback.
NEWCOMERS SHINE AT RED & BLUE GAME
Flyer fans got their first look at the 2007-08 squad and saw a pair of other newcomers made a big impact to complement the Dayton Flyer veterans. Junior Thiago Cordeiro, a 6-9 transfer from Barton Community College, scored eight points and Wisconsin transfer sophomore Mickey Perry tallied nine points as the red team won two out of three periods for a 43-37 victory. Senior Jimmy Binnie led all scorers with 14 points, while junior Charles Little chipped in with 12.
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.
UD TEAMS UP WITH ADVENTURES FOR WISH KIDS 2007 SHOT-A-THON
The University of Dayton teamed up once again with Adventures for Wish Kids to raise money for the organization by hosting the 2007 AFWK Shot-a-Thon. UD and Adventures for Wish Kids raised close to $10,000 this year.
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 120 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 (359 of 361), including the last 156 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. In conference games only, Dayton averaged 12,595 (up 118 from a year ago).
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.