Josh Benson has scored in double figures in five of his last six games.
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FLYERS CONCLUDE NON-CONFERENCE PLAY AT HOME AGAINST OLE MISS
Looking for their sixth consecutive season with 10 or more non-conference victories, the University of Dayton Flyers will face the Ole Miss Rebels on Friday at 7 p.m. ET on Tom Blackburn Court. The game will be televised on WHIO-TV, carried by WHIO Radio and is available with live streaming video, stats and audio at DaytonFlyers.com.
Dayton has had five consecutive seasons with 10 or more non-conference victories. The Flyers are 9-4 overall and has won four of its last five. Scoring balance continues to be this year’s theme as the Flyers have six players who average more than seven points per game. Kevin Dillard leads the offense averaging 12.0 points per game. Meanwhile, Josh Benson has scored in double figures in five of his last six games. Benson is second on the team in scoring with 11.2 points per game and leads the Flyers in shooting with a .622 field goal percentage. At UD Arena during the 2011-12 campaign, the Flyers are 6-2 and limiting opponents to 60.9 points per game.
ABOUT OLE MISS
The Ole Miss Rebels enter the game 9-3 overall, but on a two-game losing skid. The Rebels do have victories against TCU, Miami, DePaul and Penn State. Four Rebels average 9.9 points or more, and six players have led the team in scoring at least once this year. Murphy Holloway ranks third among SEC players and in the Top 50 nationally in rebounding (9.6). Dundrecous Nelson is the Rebels’ top scorer averaging 13.0 points per game while hitting a team-best 24 shots from three-point range. Ole Miss defensively are limiting opponents to 63.7 points per game and a .397 field goal percentage.
Dayton leads the all-time series 3-0. Last year, the Flyers rallied from a 16-point deficit and won in overtime 78-71 at Ole Miss. In that game, Chris Johnson had a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
THE JOSH & JOSH COMBO
During the month of December, Josh Benson and Josh Parker have been under the radar in terms of their performance for the Flyers. Benson has scored in double figures in five of his last six games. In December, Benson is UD’s top scorer averaging 11.8 points while shooting 31-of-45 from the field (.689). During that same span, Parker averages 9.5 points and has a 2.2 assist-to-turnover ratio (13 assists, 6 turnovers).
The Flyers have proved they can handle the big-name programs. Dayton is 15-6 in the last five years against BCS programs. They have won nine of the last 11 and five of its last eight games against BIG EAST opponents. Dayton’s 15 victories have come against Ole Miss (twice), Alabama, North Carolina, Minnesota, Illinois, Louisville, West Virginia, Georgia Tech, Marquette, Auburn, Cincinnati, Seton Hall, Wake Forest and Pittsburgh. Dayton is 3-1 this season against BCS opponents with wins against No. 16/15 Alabama, Wake Forest and Minnesota.
The month of December has been kind to the Flyers in recent years. Dayton has had a winning record in the month of December in the last nine seasons, which includes the 2011-12 season. Dayton is 51-16 (.761) during the previous nine campaigns. This year, Dayton is 4-2 in December. UD has won 30 of its last 35 dating back to the 2007-08 campaign.
SEASON’S GREETINGS, PART 2
The Dayton men’s and women’s basketball teams took a quick break from finals to help Santa deliver toys to approximately 50 children at the Dayton YMCA’s day care at Grace Methodist Church on Dec. 15.
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 1,200 points rank him 31st all-time in scoring. Next up is Ken May with 1,207 points. CJ also ranks sixth on UD’s all-time list for 3-pointers made (192). Norm Grevey is next at 208. Johnson also ranks seventh in career offensive rebounds (254).
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 third on the team in scoring (10.1) and rebounding (4.8). 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 versus Wake Forest. He added 18 points, six rebounds and five assists against Minnesota. He led UD with 12 points versus Buffalo. Johnson led all scorers with 20 points against No. 16/15 Alabama. He scored 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting versus Seton Hall. CJ had eight points and seven rebounds against UIC.
THAT’S SOME WILL-POWER
Paul Williams ranks fourth on the team in scoring, averaging 9.3 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. He scored 12 points at Murray State. He had 10 points and a career-high eight rebounds versus USC-Upstate. He had 12 points versus FIU. Williams ranks 10th in the A-10 3-point field goal percentage (.434) and tied for ninth in 3-pointers made per game (1.8).
Paul Williams has scored double figures six times this year and in three of his last six contests. Williams ranks second minutes played (29.2) and 3-pointers made (23).
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. Parker came back the next night to score 12 points versus Minnesota. As a starter, Parker scored 11 points and had six assists to one turnover versus Western Illinois. Parker scored 12 of his 17 points in the first half against No. 16/15 Alabama. Parker added 14 points and five assists against FIU. In his last five games, Parker averages 9.8 points and has a 2.8 assist to turnover ratio (11 assists, four turnovers).
COOL HAND LUKE
Luke Fabrizius adds a veteran presence as one of the four Flyer captains. 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. Fabrizius added 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting versus Minnesota. He connected on 3-of-4 shots from beyond the arc in the USC-Upstate win. He sat out the last three games with an injured rib.
KD IS AN MVP
Kevin Dillard was named the 2011 Old Spice Classic Most Valuable Player after a spectacular three-game run. In the tournament, Dillard led the Flyers in scoring (15.3 ppg), assists (15), steals (11), blocks (4) and converted 10-of-11 free throws (.909).
DILLARD NAMED A-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
On Nov. 28, Dayton junior point guard Kevin Dillard was named Co-Player of the Week in the Atlantic 10 Conference for his performance in leading the Flyers to the championship of the Old Spice Classic. Dillard has at least one steal in eight consecutive games.
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. Against Minnesota he dazzled with his first double-double in a Flyer uniform, tallying 19 points and 10 assists. Dillard scored 11 versus Buffalo. Dillard had 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists against No. 16/15 Alabama. He scored 10 points, all in the second half, against USC-Upstate. Dillard added 14 points versus Seton Hall. He scored 11 points versus UIC.
Kevin Dillard not only leads the Flyers in many statistical categories, he is among the A-10 leaders as well. Dillard ranks third in the A-10 in assists (4.9), fifth in steals per game (2.2) and 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7).
BOOM BOOM BENSON
Josh Benson has been one of UD’s most pleasant surprises. 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 had three steals against Wilmington to go with seven rebounds. He added 10 points and eight rebounds against Wake Forest. He added 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting against Minnesota. He scored 17 points, all in the second half, on 8-of-8 shooting from the floor at Murray State. Benson was just as good against No. 16/15 Alabama with 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting. He added 10 points versus USC-Upstate. Benson was just shy of a double-double with 14 points and nine boards against Seton Hall. He added 13 points and eight rebounds versus UIC. Benson is third in the A-10 in field goal percentage (.622). He’s scored in double figures in five of his last six games.
Matt Kavanaugh is a true road-grader down low. He ranks second in the Atlantic 10 in offensive rebounding with 3.2 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. He added 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting against USC-Upstate. Kavanaugh scored nine points against Seton Hall and added a career-best three steals versus UIC.
Devin Oliver continues to show a great ability to rebound the basketball. He corralled seven boards to against UNC-Wilmington. Oliver opened the year a career-high four assists versus Western Illinois. He added four points and five rebounds at Miami and three rebounds apiece against Wake Forest and Fairfield. Oliver hauled in a team-high seven rebounds in just 14 minutes against Minnesota. Oliver had seven points and a team-high seven rebounds against Buffalo. He had a career-high 12 points and five rebounds versus USC-Upstate. Oliver added nine points and eight rebounds against UIC.
ALEXANDER THE GREAT
Alex Gavrilovic was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week on Dec. 19 after he had 14 points and six rebounds versus Florida International. He topped his season point total of 13 in one night. Gavrilovic opened the season with two points and two rebounds against Western Illinois. He finished with four points and five rebounds against UNC-Wilmington. Gavrilovic scored six points versus UIC.
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. Hill had a rebound versus Buffalo. He sank a 3-pointer against USC-Upstate and had an offensive rebound against FIU.
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).
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.
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’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.
CHRIS WRIGHT BEGINS NBA CAREER
Christmas Day is the day that wishes become reality. Usually that means a present under a tree. But for the University of Dayton’s Chris Wright, it’s an opportunity that begins on the basketball floor at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calf. That’s where the 2011-12 season opens for the Golden State Warriors. Wright is one of four rookies on the Golden State roster. Wright, who graduated from the University last May, had one of the best four years in Flyer basketball history. The greatest above-the-rim player to ever wear the Red & Blue, Wright is the school career record holder in dunks (177) and blocked shots (162). He is only the third UD player to be named All-Atlantic 10 conference three times.
EYE 75 ON THE SCOREBOARD
The Flyers are 56-8 in the last nine seasons when they score 75 or more points. The Flyers are 3-0 this season and went 7-2 in 2010-11 when reaching the 75-point mark. UD has a 26-4 record the previous four seasons.
THIRD IS THE WORD
Dayton has hit at least one 3-point shot in 94 straight games.
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.
OLD SPICE CLASSIC NOTES
Dayton defeated the Minnesota Golden Gophers 86-70 to capture the 2011 Old Spice Classic championship. In that game, Dayton rewrote program records for in-season tournaments. The Old Spice Classic was Dayton’s 14th in-season tournament championship. UD has won three of the last five it has participated in and this is the first since taking the 2008 Chicago Invitational Challenge. In the program’s history, Dayton had also never beaten a Big Ten team by double-figures before the Minnesota win.
TO INFINITY & BEYOND THE ARC
Dayton ranks fifth the Atlantic 10 in three-point field goals made per game, connecting on 7.0 per contest. UD has hit 91 shots from beyond the arc and shooting at a .340 clip.
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. In the Minnesota win, UD had 18 assists. The 74 points against Alabama, who had the 8th-best scoring defense in the NCAA, are the most the Crimson Tide allowed this season. UD had 17 assists and five players score in double figures against USC-Upstate. This season the Flyers are 6-2 when forcing more turnovers than their opponents.
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 held UNC-Wilmington to 4-for-20 shooting in the opening 12 minutes. Fairfield went 2-of-11 (.182) on 3-point attempts against UD. Dayton held No. 16/15 Alabama to 4-of-16 (.250) shooting from 3-point range. In the FIU win, UD held the Panthers to 10 second half points, the third-fewest allowed in Flyer history (modern era) and fewest since they gave up eight points to Richmond in the first half on Jan. 20, 2007. It also matched the lowest scored by a Flyer opponent in the second half (Roanoke on Jan. 9, 1978). UD held UIC to 27 percent shooting from the floor in the second half to rally for the victory.
LINE THEM UP
Shooting at a .726 clip, the Flyers are second in the Atlantic 10 in free throw percentage. UD has six players who are shooting better than 70 percent at the charity stripe. Luke Fabrizius (1.000), Chris Johnson (.833), Matt Kavanaugh (.813), Josh Parker (.806), Paul Williams (.783)and Kevin Dillard (.707) lead the way. Last season, the Flyers shot .677 at the free throw line.
DOUBLE THE PLEASURE, DOUBLE THE FUN
Numerous players scoring in double figures has been a regular occurrence for Dayton this season. In the Wake Forest win, all five starters reached double figures in points. Against No. 16/15 Alabama, the Flyers had four reach double figures. Nine of Dayton’s 10-man rotation have scored in double figures this season. Dillard leads the team in double-figure scoring efforts with 10. Next up are Josh Benson (8), Chris Johnson and Paul Williams (6), Josh Parker (5), Matt Kavanaugh (3), Devin Oliver, Alex Gavrilovic and Luke Fabrizius (1).
ATLANTIC 10 RANKINGS
UD is among the Atlantic 10’s best in several categories. Dayton is second in free throw percentage (.726), fourth in assists (14.2) and fifth in scoring defense (63.8), 3-pointers made (7.0) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.1).
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.
THE EUROPEAN UNION
This summer, Dayton went on an 11-day European exhibition tour, where the Flyers went 4-0 in games against the Netherlands National U-23 team and three professional teams from the Netherlands, Belgium and France. Dayton had four players who averaged in double figures: Kevin Dillard (13.0 ppg), Chris Johnson (11.8 ppg), Josh Parker (11.5 ppg) and Luke Fabrzius (11.0 ppg).
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 in 2009-10. 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 193 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 (432 of 435), including the last 231 regular season games.
UD LOCKED IN TO REGULAR SEASON INVITATIONALS THROUGH 2013
Continuing a commitment to enhancing the non-conference schedule and increased national exposure, the University of Dayton Flyers were announced as a part of the 2012 DIRECTV Charleston Classic eight-team field. Dayton will be a part of a competitive field that includes Baylor, Boston College, Charleston, Colorado, St. John’s and Southern Illinois. An eighth team will be announced at a later date. 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 84-14. The 84 victories are the eighth-most in the NCAA since the 2006-07 season. Just ahead of UD are Ohio State (97), Kansas (95), Syracuse (92), Pittsburgh (92), Texas A&M (88), UNLV (87) and Florida (86). Dayton won its 500th game at UD Arena on Dec. 29, 2009 and is 526-189 in 41 seasons at the Arena. The Flyers have a home all-time winning percentage of .780 (783-221).
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.
ANALYZING THE ATLANTIC 10
The Flyers will be entering their 17th season in the Atlantic 10 and possess a 143-177 overall record in conference play. Dayton has finished .500 or better in 10 of the previous 12 seasons. The Flyers clinched a bid to the 2011 A-10 Championship for the 16th consecutive season. Dayton also advanced to the A-10 Championship Final last season.
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 43-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. This year’s annual home game against Xavier is a sellout.
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.