Kevin Dillard in the Old Spice Classic is Daytons leading scorer averaging 13.5 points per game.
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FLYERS TO BATTLE MINNESOTA FOR THE OLD SPICE CLASSIC CHAMPIONSHIP
Looking for their first in-season tournament championship since 2008, the University of Dayton Flyers return to action to face the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET from the HP Pavilion in Orlando, Fla. The game will be televised on ESPN2, carried by WHIO Radio and is available with live streaming video, stats and streaming audio at DaytonFlyers.com.
Dayton enters the championship game 4-1 overall and has won three straight. The Flyers ground out a 56-49 win against Fairfield on Friday in the semifinals thanks in part to 15 points off the bench from Josh Parker. Kevin Dillard in the Old Spice Classic is Dayton’s leading scorer averaging 13.5 points per game. Matt Kavanaugh has been a beast down low in the tournament averaging 10.0 points and12.0 rebounds. Paul Williams leads UD in scoring averaging 12.6 points and is one of four UD players whose scoring average is in double figures. Dillard on the year averages 12.2 points, while Josh Benson (10.2 ppg) and Chris Johnson (10.0 ppg) are close behind.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers enter the championship with a 6-0 record. Last year, Minnesota went 3-0 to capture the Puerto Rico Tipoff title. Minnesota has led the Big Ten Conference in blocked shots during the last three seasons. The Golden Gophers have blocked 32 shots already this season, led by Trevor Mbakwe with 10. Mbakwe, a Second Team, All-Big Ten selection last year, is averaging a double double this season. Minnesota got to the Old Spice Classic title game with a 76-69 victory over Indiana State in the semifinals and hung on for a 86-85 triumph against De Paul.
Minnesota leads the all-time series 2-0 with the two meetings back in 1981 and 1982.
The Flyers have proved they can handle the big-name programs. Dayton is 13-5 in the last five years against BCS programs and won five of its last seven games against BIG EAST opponents. Dayton’s 13 victories have come against Ole Miss (twice), North Carolina, Illinois, Louisville, West Virginia, Georgia Tech, Marquette, Auburn, Cincinnati, Seton Hall, Wake Forest and Pittsburgh.
IN-SEASON TOURNAMENT NOTES
The University of Dayton has won two of the four early-season basketball tournaments it has played in since 2003. The Flyers won the EA Sports Maui Invitational in 2003. In 2008, Dayton defeated No. 15 Marquette in the finals of the Chicago Invitational Challenge. The Flyers’ in-season tournament history goes all the way back to 1949 when they placed second in the National Catholic Invitational in Denver. In addition to the 2003 Maui Invitational, UD has won 11 other in-season tournament championships, including the 1955 University of Kentucky Invitational and the 1999 CoSIDA Classic played at The Pit in Albuquerque.
NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER
Dayton has had six consecutive winning November months dating back to the 2005-06 season. Over the last six seasons, UD is 27-6 (.818 winning percentage) during the November months.
COACHING TREE HOUSE
Archie Miller is part of the most prolific active coaching tree in college basketball. A total of nine of Arizona State coach Herb Sendek’s former full-time assistant coaches (not former players, managers or GA’s) are currently Division I head coaches. They are Jim Christian (TCU), Charlie Coles (Miami of Ohio), John Groce, (Ohio), Larry Hunter (Western Carolina), Ron Hunter (Georgia State), Thad Matta (Ohio State), Archie Miller (Dayton), Sean Miller (Arizona) and Mark Phelps (Drake). Rick Pitino has seven branches on his coaching tree, while Jim Calhoun and Mike Montgomery each have six.
WELCOME HOME CJ
Chris Johnson will have quite a cheering section with his family and friends in attendance. Johnson lived in Orlando until high school, when his family moved to Columbus. They have since moved back to Orlando.
CHRIS CROSSING THE CHARTS
Chris Johnson, a 2010-11 Atlantic 10 Honorable Mention selection, is quickly moving up the charts in the program’s history. CJ became UD’s 43rd member of the 1,000 point club in the final regular season game of 2010-11. Johnson’s 1,119 points rank him 33rd all-time in scoring. Next up is Frank Case with 1,175 points. CJ also ranks sixth on UD’s all-time list for 3-pointers made (177). Norm Grevey is next at 208. Johnson also ranks seventh in career offensive rebounds (242).
Chris Johnson has earned Atlantic 10 accolades in each of his previous three seasons – All-Rookie, Chris Daniels Most Improved, Honorable Mention All-Atlantic 10. Johnson is second on the team in rebounding (6.4) and ranks fourth in scoring (10.0). CJ opened the season with eight points and 10 rebounds versus Western Illinois. He broke out against UNC-Wilmington with 19 points and six rebounds. Johnson scored 12, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 36 seconds left and the game-clinching free throws with 3.5 seconds remaining versus Wake Forest. He scored five points against Fairfield.
THAT’S SOME WILL-POWER
Paul Williams leads the Flyers in scoring averaging 12.6 points per game. He opened the year notching 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting against Western Illinois. Williams added to that by scoring a career-high 20 points at Miami. In the Wake Forest win, Williams scored 18 points. Williams is among the Atlantic 10 leaders in 3-pointers made (2.8) and 3-point field goal percentage (.519).
Paul Williams has scored in double figures three times this season. He came alive on the offensive end last season, scoring in double figures 14 times. Williams also leads the Flyers in 3-pointers (11) and is second in minutes played (28.8) and field goals (23).
After primarily serving as a backup last year, Josh Parker has been another solid veteran presence on the court. He busted out in a big way with 15 points off the bench in UD’s win over Fairfield. As a starter, Parker scored 11 points and had six assists to one turnover versus Western Illinois.
COOL HAND LUKE
Luke Fabrizius is an incredibly accurate outside shooter. Fabrizius is among the Atlantic 10 leaders in 3-point field goal shooting, hitting at a .500 clip. He was 3-of-3 from the field and connected on his two 3-point attempts en route to eight points against Western Illinois. He had five points at Miami. Fabrizius added nine points off the bench against UNC-Wilmington. He added seven points & two blocks against Wake Forest.
BOOM BOOM BENSON
After closing last year well, Josh Benson began his junior season with a career-best performance. Benson scored a career-high 21 points (8 more than his previous career best) on 10-of-13 shooting in the opener against Western Illinois. Benson shot 4-of-6 from the floor en route to eight points at Miami. Benson had a career-high three steals against Wilmington to go with seven rebounds. He added 10 points and eight rebounds against Wake Forest. Benson scored nine points versus Fairfield.
Matt Kavanaugh is a true road-grader down low who uses his muscle to clear out and keep balls alive on the offensive end. He leads the Atlantic 10 in offensive rebounding with 5.2 per game. Kavanaugh opened the year with 15 points and seven rebounds versus Western Illinois. Against UNC-Wilmington, seven of his eight boards were on the offensive glass. Kavanaugh recorded his first career double-double with 15 points & 13 boards versus Wake Forest. He came back with 11 rebounds, seven on the offensive end, against Fairfield.
DILLARD DISHING DIMES
Kevin Dillard is quickly making a name for himself as one of the top point guards in the Atlantic 10. He scored 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting versus UNC-Wilmington. In the opener against Western Illinois, Dillard had nine assists with zero turnovers. Dillard then added 11 points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals at Miami. Against Wake Forest, Dillard scored 12 points. Dillard also scored 12 versus Fairfield with three steals.
Devin Oliver continues to show an uncanny ability to rebound the basketball. He corralled seven boards to go with three points against UNC-Wilmington. Oliver opened the year with four points, a career-high four assists and two rebounds versus Western Illinois. He added four points and five rebounds at Miami and three rebounds apiece against Wake Forest and Fairfield.
ALEXANDER THE GREAT
Alex Gavrilovic was the first recruit signed by Archie Miller. He was a member of the French U-20 that won the European championship in 2010. Gavrilovic opened the season with two points and two rebounds against Western Illinois. Gavrilovic followed that up with three points and three rebounds at Miami. He finished with four points and five rebounds against UNC-Wilmington. Gavrilovic had a bucket and a block against Wake Forest.
KING OF THE HILL
Ralph Hill looks to improve upon a freshman season where he averaged 1.9 points and 1.1 rebounds per game. Hill had a rebound against Western Illinois. He connected on a 3-pointer and had two assists against UNC-Wilmington.
UD ADDS SANFORD & DERENBECKER
Continuing to add to the Flyers’ talent pool, head coach Archie Miller added transfers Vee Sanford (Georgetown) and Matt Derenbecker (LSU) over the summer. At Georgetown, Sanford played in 27 games in his sophomore year averaging 6.6 minutes a game. Derenbecker, a two-time Louisiana High School Gatorade Player of the Year, played in all 32 of LSU’s games in 2010-11. He started 16 games and averaged 6.5 points and 2.1 rebounds a game.
IT’S ALL ABOUT WINNING
The 2010-11 Dayton Flyers recorded 22 victories. That team became just the 19th squad in the program’s history to have won 22 or more games. The Flyers also reached the postseason in four consecutive seasons. The last time that happened was during a stretch between the 1999-2000 and 2003-04 campaigns.
Dayton’s Archie Miller is the fourth-youngest NCAA Division I head coach. At age 33, Miller is behind Robert Morris’ Andy Toole (31), Appalachian State’s Jason Capel (31) and Wisconsin Green Bay’s Brian Wardle (32). Tony Jasick at IPFW is 33 as well, but has an earlier birthday than Miller.
MILLER ANNOUNCES 2011 RECRUITING CLASS
Head Coach Archie Miller has announced the signing of three top high school players to letters of intent. They are 6-foot-9 high school teammates Jalen Robinson and Devon Scott from Ohio powerhouse Columbus Northland High School, and coveted 5-foot-11 point guard Jevon Thomas from Queens, N.Y. by way of Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem, N.C.
DAYTON PICKED SIXTH IN ATLANTIC 10 MEN’S BASKETBALL PRESEASON POLL
The University of Dayton men’s basketball team was picked to finish sixth in the Atlantic 10 this season in a poll of coaches and media. Senior forward Chris Johnson was a preseason Second Team All-Atlantic 10 pick.
BALL CONTROL OFFENSE
One of the building blocks to coach Archie Miller’s offense is sharing and taking care of the basketball. In the Flyers’ opener against Western Illinois, Dayton dished out 25 assists with only eight turnovers. In Dayton’s loss at Miami, the Flyers committed 22 turnovers. That’s the most UD has turned the ball over since their 22 miscues against Georgia Tech on Nov. 19, 2009. The Flyers got back on the plus side with 17 assists versus UNC-Wilmington.
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
While UD’s offense has garnered the headlines, the defense has been impressive as well. Against Western Illinois, the Flyers clamped down in the second half limiting the Leathernecks to 5-of-26 shooting from the floor and 0-for-7 from 3-point range. The Flyers came out with great resolve defensively against UNC-Wilmington, holding the Seahawks to 4-for-20 shooting in the opening 12 minutes. Fairfield went 2-of-11 (.182) on 3-point attempts against UD. Opponents this season are shooting just .281 (25-of-89) from beyond the arc against UD.
THIRD IS THE WORD
Dayton has hit at least one 3-point shot in 87 straight games.
EYE 75 ON THE SCOREBOARD
The Flyers are 55-8 in the last nine seasons when they score 75 or more points. The Flyers are 2-0 this season and went 7-2 in 2010-11 when reaching the 75 point mark. UD has a 25-4 record the previous four seasons.
POSTSEASON STRING OF SUCCESS
Dayton has advanced to the postseason in four consecutive seasons. UD went to the NIT three times and NCAA Tournament once. The last time that happened was when the Flyers made it to the postseason in five straight seasons from 1999-2000 to 2003-04.
GRADUATION SUCCESS AT UD
The NCAA Graduation Success Rate report on Division I student-athletes released places the University of Dayton in familiar territory – among the nation’s best in graduating its student-athletes. UD’s 95 GSR in this year’s report places the University tied for 21st in the nation and tied for first in the Atlantic 10. The Flyer men’s and women’s basketball teams both have 100 GSR scores. UD’s men’s team is the only one in the Atlantic 10 with a perfect GSR, while the women are one of five. Dayton is one of just four institutions whose men’s and women’s basketball programs have perfect GSR numbers and both won at least 20 games last season.
AMONG THE BEST IN NCAA ATTENDANCE
The University of Dayton finished in the Top 30 in men’s basketball attendance for the 14th straight season in 2010-11. The Flyers finished 27th in the NCAA in attendance with an average of 12,567 fans a game, after averaging 12,259 a year ago. 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 14th straight season. UD averaged more than 2,400 fans a game better than any other team in the conference.
AND THE CROWD GOES WILD
More than 8 million fans have attended UD Arena in the last 43 seasons. UD’s last 187 regular season home games have had attendance of at least 11,000 fans. In the last 15 years, 99% of UD’s home games have drawn at least 10,000 (426 of 429), including the last 225 regular season games.
UD LOCKED IN TO REGULAR SEASON INVITATIONALS THROUGH 2013
Dayton announced they will compete in three consecutive regular season tournaments in the next three seasons. UD has signed deals to play in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando in 2011 and an ESPN Regional-sponsored event in 2012. The Flyers will return to the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational in 2013, 10 years after the Flyers won the event.
HOME SWEET HOME
Over the last six years on Tom Blackburn Court, the Flyers are 78-10. The 78 victories are the eighth-most in the NCAA since the 2006-07 season. Just ahead of UD are Kansas (91), Ohio State (89), Pittsburgh and Syracuse (84), Florida (80), Texas A&M and UNLV (79) and Dayton (77). Dayton won its 500th game at UD Arena on Dec. 29, 2009 and is 522-187 in 41 seasons at the Arena. The Flyers have a home all-time winning percentage of .781 (779-219).
The Flyers celebrated their 500th win at UD Arena on Dec. 29, 2009. The Arena opened in 1969. UD Arena is one of just 27 active facilities to have hosted at least 500 wins for its home team, and only one of two built since 1969. The list includes Cameron Indoor Stadium, The Palestra, Pauley Pavilion, Freedom Hall, Allen Fieldhouse, The Pit and Hinkle Fieldhouse. Only four facilities – Pauley Pavilion, The Pit, Freedom Hall and the Huntsman Center – had 500 wins faster than UD Arena.
THE 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 Jan. 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 had 99 sellouts in its 40-year history. The record for sellouts is eight in the Arena’s first season (1969-70). The Flyers finished the 2010-11 regular season averaging 12,567 fans a game.
DAYTON THE HOST FOR THE NCAA FIRST FOUR ONCE AGAIN
The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee announced that the Road to the Final Four will begin once again at the University of Dayton Arena this year. In fact, it will begin in Dayton for at least the next two years as the NCAA’s “First Four” event will be held in at the Arena March 13-14, 2012 and March 19-20, 2013. UD served as the host for the inaugural First Four last March. The games drew more than 10,000 fans each night to UD Arena, and a national viewing audience of over five million people.
MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN
The University of Dayton Arena has hosted NCAA tournament events in 25 of the 42 years since opening its doors in 1969. The NCAA First Four games made UD Arena the most-used tournament venue in NCAA history. To date, UD Arena has hosted 86 NCAA men’s tournament games, tying it with Kansas City’s Municipal Auditorium.
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.