UD begins 7-game homestand tonight

Published: Wednesday, December 07, 2011 @ 11:48 AM
Updated: Wednesday, December 07, 2011 @ 11:48 AM

Beginning a stretch of seven consecutive home games, the University of Dayton Flyers will face the No. 16/15 Alabama Crimson Tide on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on WHIO-TV, carried by WHIO Radio and is available with live streaming video, stats and streaming audio at DaytonFlyers.com.
Dayton, 5-3 overall, is looking to snap a two-game losing skid. The Flyers are hosting a ranked opponent in non-conference play for the first time since Dec. 29 2008. Dayton faced the No. 6 Pittsburgh Panthers and won 80-55. When Dayton is most successful, it’s because of a potent offensive attack. In Flyer victories, UD averages 76.6 points, shooting .453 from the field and out-rebounding opponents by 3.8 per game. Conversely, in the three Flyer losses, Dayton’s averages drop to 60.0 points per game, a .417 field goal percentage and being outrebounded by 7.3.
Kevin Dillard leads the Flyers in several categories including scoring (12.4 ppg), assists per game (5.1), steals (19), minutes (30.8) and blocks. In his last three games, Josh Benson has averaged 13.3 points and shot .696 (16-of-23) from the field.
No. 16/15 Alabama arrives with a 7-1 overall record, but lost its last contest to Georgetown. The Tide’s defense has retained its status as one of the top in the nation by allowing just 53.1 points per game this season, the eighth-best average in the nation. Only two of Alabama’s opponents have even reached the 60-point mark this year. Junior forward Tony Mitchell, the 2011 Puerto Rico Tip-Off MVP, leads Alabama averaging 15.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Senior forward JaMychal Green, a preseason All-SEC first team selection, leads the Crimson Tide averaging 15.4 points per game and is second in rebounding at 7.4 per game.
Alabama leads the series 1-0. The Crimson Tide won 77-76 on Dec. 23, 1972 in the finals of the 1972 University of Dayton Invitational Tournament.

UD is home again on Sunday, facing South Carolina Upstate at 2 p.m. ET.  That game will be televisedc on Fox Sports Ohio.
• Wednesday’s game is a homecoming for Alabama head coach Anthony Grant. Grant played his collegiate career at UD from 1983-87, helping the Flyers to a 70-49 (.588) overall mark, a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances, and one NIT berth.
• The Flyers are 14-5 against BCS opponents in the last five seasons. Dayton’s 14 victories have come against Ole Miss (twice), Wake Forest, Minnesota, North Carolina, Illinois, Louisville, West Virginia, Georgia Tech, Marquette, Auburn, Cincinnati, Seton Hall and Pittsburgh.
• Dayton has also won eight of its last nine contests against BCS schools.
• Dayton won the 2011 Old Spice Classic after defeating Wake Forest, Fairfield and Minnesota. Kevin Dillard won the tournament Most Valuable Player award after averaging a team-best 15.3 points and 5.0 assists per game.
• Kevin Dillard leads the Flyers in scoring (12.4 ppg), assists per game (5.1), steals (19), minutes (30.8) and blocks (5). He was named the A-10 Co-Player of the Week on Nov. 28.
• Chris Johnson scored 18 points against Minnesota in the Old Spice Classic title game. Johnson is fourth on the team in scoring (10.3 ppg) and second in rebounding (5.5 rpg).
• Josh Benson continues to produce, averaging 11.4 points and leading the Flyers with 5.5 rebounds per game and field goal percentage .623. He was 8-for-8 from the floor and scored a team-high 17 points at Murray State. Benson is third in the A-10 in field goal percentage.
• Matt Kavanaugh leads the A-10 in offensive rebounding with 4.0 per game. He has more offensive rebounds (32) than defensive (24). Kavanaugh recorded his first career double-double with 15 points and a career-high 13 rebounds versus Wake Forest.
• Paul Williams is third in scoring, averaging 10.4 points per game. He has tallied double figures four times this season. He scored 12 points at Murray State on 5-of-8 shooting from the field.
• Josh Parker has been on fire of late, averaging 10.5 points per game in his last four contests.
• Alex Gavrilovic missed the Murray State game (ankle injury). He will not play against Alabama.
• The Flyers were picked to finish sixth in the 2011-12 Atlantic 10 preseason poll. Chris Johnson, a three-time Atlantic 10 award winner, was named a preseason A-10 Second Team selection.
• The NCAA Graduation Success Rate report released on Oct. 25 placed 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 placed the University tied for 21st in the nation and tied for first in the Atlantic 10.
• Dayton has advanced to the postseason in four consecutive seasons going 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.

New Miami coach sees positives despite 0-2 start

Published: Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 12:00 AM
Updated: Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

OXFORD – Cleve Wright is off to an 0-2 start as head coach of Miami University’s women’s basketball team, but he sees some positives that the RedHawks can build on.

Miami fell at home to Eastern Kentucky, 59-55, Nov. 8, then went on the road Tuesday and dropped a 90-63 decision to Wright State University at the Ervin J. Nutter Center.

“I saw a lot of things we need to continue to work on and continue to teach and preach and coach,” Wright said after the EKU loss. “I told the team, win or lose, it would be a learning experience. If not, it’s a wasted day.”

Despite the opening night loss, Wright was encouraged by his team’s persistence.

“I’m certainly very happy with the situation,” the former Gannon coach said. “We have players who want to learn – who want to get better. I was excited.”

Wright pointed to Miami being outrebounded, 36-32, as a key in the loss to EKU. The ‘Hawks turned that around against Wright State, winning the battle of the boards, 40-32. The rebounding edge, though, wasn’t enough to offset Miami’s 29 turnovers against the Raiders (2-0).

After scoring 13 points against Eastern Kentucky, freshman forward Nicole Anderson continued her strong start by posting her first career double-double at WSU. She led the RedHawks with 17 points and 16 rebounds in 31 minutes of action.

Jillian Spurlock, a freshman from Hamilton High School, added 13 points against the Raiders, while Haley Robertson had 10. Miami shot 19-for-47 (40 percent) from the field, while the Raiders shot 25-for-61 (41 percent). WSU finished 13-for-36 (36.1 percent) from behind the arc.

Junior guards Kindsay Brandt and Courtney Larson led the ‘Hawks with three assists apiece.

Miami returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Chicago State at 2 p.m.

Transfer eligible to play for Miami this season

Published: Thursday, October 03, 2013 @ 12:00 AM
Updated: Thursday, October 03, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

OXFORD — Cincinnati native Willie Moore, a sophomore who transferred from the University of Oregon, has been granted a waiver by the NCAA and is eligible to play for the Miami University men’s basketball team during the upcoming season.

“We’re extremely excited for Willie and his family. In many ways it shows the process really does work,” said Miami University head coach John Cooper. “Without getting into particulars, it was a situation that we thought warranted him being able to get back home and also be eligible to play right away, and we are extremely thankful to the NCAA and happy with their findings.

“I think this is a big burden off of Willie’s shoulders now and will allow him to become more focused because he knows he will have the opportunity to play this year. He makes us a better team. There’s a long way to go before the season starts, but we’re thrilled with this news.”

As a freshman at Oregon, Moore played in 26 of the Ducks’ 37 games and made two starts. His two starts were in the first two games of his collegiate career. Moore, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound guard, scored seven points and had three steals in 20 minutes of action in his first collegiate game against Northern Arizona. He finished the season averaging 2.0 points per game. While at Aiken High School in Cincinnati, Moore was named a Division II-IV first team selection by the Cincinnati Enquirer as a senior, averaging 16.8 points, 9.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. As a junior, Moore averaged 14 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.9 steals for Aiken.

After an exhibition game against Northwood on Oct. 30, Miami opens the 2013-14 campaign at Notre Dame on Friday, Nov. 8. The RedHawks host Wilmington College in their home opener on Saturday, Nov. 23.

NCAA noncommittal on First Four future in Dayton

Published: Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 10:22 AM
Updated: Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 10:22 AM

            North Carolina A&T took on Liberty during the NCAA tournament First Four basketball games at University of Dayton Arena on March 19, 2013. Barbara J. Perenic/Staff
            Barbara J. Perenic
North Carolina A&T took on Liberty during the NCAA tournament First Four basketball games at University of Dayton Arena on March 19, 2013. Barbara J. Perenic/Staff(Barbara J. Perenic)

Dayton was turned down in its bid to host the NCAA First Four beyond 2015 — for now, at least.

The NCAA lauded the school for what it’s done with the event since its inception in 2011, selling out both doubleheaders last year. UD also hosted the NCAA tournament opening-round game with great success beginning in 2001.

But Ron Wellman, the chairman of the NCAA men’s basketball committee, said the NCAA decided against awarding a long-term contract because of the upheaval in Division I athletics and what that might do to the tournament.

UD still is considered the front-runner to host the First Four from 2016-18 when bids are considered in May 2014.

“I know first-hand what a great basketball town Dayton is, and while we know we can always count on Dayton’s support of the men’s basketball championship, the changing landscape in collegiate athletics makes it difficult to be certain what the future will bring,” Wellman said.

“Because of this, our committee felt that the best course of action would was not to enter into any long-term commitments for any portion of the tournament until the future becomes more defined.”

Could Kentucky start the NCAA tourney in Dayton?

Published: Sunday, February 10, 2013 @ 8:31 PM
Updated: Sunday, February 10, 2013 @ 8:31 PM

Could the defending national champions really start the NCAA tournament here in Dayton?  One bracket expert doesn’t think it’s out of the question.    

“Kentucky is a two game losing streak from being projected in Dayton and maybe being projected out of the bracket,” Jerry Palm says.  “You know, the problem is the SEC just isn’t that good.”

Palm currently has Baylor, Wichita state, Iowa state, and Indiana state as his last four at-large teams in the field. 

He’s also forecasting Bryant university, Southern University, Niagra, and UNC-Asheville as the other four teams coming to Dayton for the First Four next month. 

Palm says the other end of the bracket is just as difficult this season.  “There’s no dominant team and that makes it hard this year,” he said.  “I think it’s going to make it a very interesting tournament because we have a wide open top of the bracket this year.”

You call follow jerry palm’s weekly projections at cbssports.com.