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Dayton Flyers Top 10: Memorable openers of past 30 years

Published: Monday, November 06, 2017 @ 9:00 PM

The Flyers celebreate after a 3-pointer by Jordan Sibert with 1 second left beat IPFW 81-80 on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, at UD Arena.
David Jablonski
The Flyers celebreate after a 3-pointer by Jordan Sibert with 1 second left beat IPFW 81-80 on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, at UD Arena.(David Jablonski)

To kick off coverage of the 2017-18 Dayton men’s basketball season, David Jablonski will publish 17 top 10 lists on various topics between now and the season opener on Nov. 10.

The last three season openers the Dayton Flyers have played won’t take up much space in the memory banks of their fans. UD has routed Alabama A&M, Southeast Missouri State and Austin Peay by a combined margin of 83 points.

It’s unlikely the Flyers will have such an easy time at 7 p.m. Friday when they play Ball State in the 2017-18 season opener at UD Arena. The Cardinals are coming off back-to-back 21-win seasons.

DAYTON TOP 10: Freshman seasonsA-10 wins; conference gamesbest recordsworst recordstop statsbest namesbest players from Detroitbest players from Chicago; fun facts

This game comes four years and one day after one of the most memorable openers in UD history. Here’s a look back at that game and nine other season openers to remember from the past 30 years through the game stories from the Dayton Daily News:

Devin Oliver picks up Jordan Sibert after Sibert's game-winning 3-pointer with 1 second left against IPFW on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, at UD Arena. Guard Kyle Davis is at left.(David Jablonski)

1. Nov. 9, 2013: Dayton 81, IPFW 80

What we wrote: Jordan Sibert had never hit a shot like this. Not when he was 5. Not when he was a senior at Cincinnati Princeton High School. Not when he was a freshman with the Buckeyes.

Even in his dreams — and he had a lot of time to think, sitting on the bench last season after transferring from Ohio State — Sibert didn’t imagine his Dayton career starting like this. His 3-pointer with one second left gave the Flyers an 81-80 victory over IPFW on Saturday at UD Arena in the season opener for both teams.

Fans with their arms crossed across their chests seconds before, silently contemplating a devastating start to the season, found themselves on their feet marveling at November Madness as Sibert’s shot dropped through the net.

“I did want to move the crowd,” Sibert said. “That’s what we apparently were able to do. I give the credit to my teammates for that play. My shot was good, but the effort my teammates gave was great.”

Former UD basketball player Keith Waleskowski acknowledges the crowd as he’s inducted into the Dayton Hall of Fame on Saturday, March 8, 2014, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

2. Nov. 20, 2000: Dayton 80, Connecticut 66

What we wrote: After looking at videotape of Connecticut's season-opening victory over Quinnipiac, the University of Dayton Flyers believed they could beat the 13th-ranked Huskies.

On Monday, in front of 2,500 spectators in sauna-like heat at the Lahaina Civic Center, the Flyers proved their point by thoroughly outplaying UConn en route to an 80-66 triumph in the 17th Maui Invitational.

In doing so, Dayton earned a date with No. 1-ranked Arizona tonight at 9:30 (EST). The game will be televised by ESPN.

RELATED: Momentum builds for Ohio’s version of Crossroads Classic

The Flyers are convinced that they can compete with the Wildcats, but there is a sobering statistic in the UD media guide. This will be only the 13th time UD has played a team ranked No. 1 in the country by The Associated Press, and the Flyers were able to win on only two of the first 12 occasions. Dayton is winless in nine games against No. 1s during the last 40 years.

That doesn't take anything away from Monday's stunning upset of the Huskies.

The biggest question mark about this year's UD team was how well its undersized post players would fare against taller, stronger opponents. Yuanta Holland, Nate Green and Keith Waleskowski answered that question with solid performances against UConn.

The 6-foot-7 Holland, playing a sensational game, scored a career-high 24 points and grabbed six rebounds.

"Yuanta stepped up big time," guard David Morris said. "He's a prime-time player."

SPECIAL FOR THE DAYTON DAILY NEWS--New University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran, left, talks with Dayton head basketball coach Oliver Purnell, right, before the start of their game agaisnt St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia Saturday, Feb. 23, 2002.(AP Photo/Chris Gardner)(CHRIS GARDNER)

3. Nov. 19, 1999: Dayton 70, New Mexico 57

What we wrote: The University of Dayton Flyers got their season off to a rousing start Friday night with a 70-57 upset victory over host New Mexico in the CoSIDA Classic.

Capitalizing on some kick-out passes from Mark Ashman, sophomore point guard David Morris had a career-high 17 points, and the Flyers ended New Mexico's 41-game winning streak against nonconference foes at The Pit.

The Flyers (1-0) and Samford (1-0), who were expected to collide in the consolation game tonight, will instead meet for the championship at 10:35 p.m. Dayton has never met the Birmingham, Ala., school in basketball.

Samford spoiled the expected St. John's-New Mexico matchup by upsetting the 15th-ranked Red Storm, 68-60, in Friday's first game. Now New Mexico will play St. John's in the preliminary.

"We felt very comfortable about coming in here and winning," UD coach Oliver Purnell said. "The most important thing was our players felt that way."

Dayton's Brian Roberts floats a shot over Mike Smith of East Tennessee State University on Nov. 10, 2007. PHOTO ERIK SCHELKUN(Stringer/Erik Schelkun/Elsestar Images)

4. Nov. 10, 2007: Dayton 78, East Tennessee State 74

What we wrote: Brian Roberts and his Dayton teammates knew facing East Tennessee State would be about as much fun as a migraine, and they got exactly what they expected: a worthy foe capable of scoring in bunches, applying relentless pressure and keeping the outcome in doubt until the final minute.

But the one thing the defending Atlantic Sun Conference champions couldn't do was get the Flyers rattled.

"We have some guys with a lot of experience on this team," Roberts said. "We've been through a lot. ... We know if we keep fighting and scrapping, everything will be all right in the end."

Roberts scored 19 of his 31 points in the second half, and Chris Wright racked up 22 points and 13 rebounds in his collegiate debut to lead the Flyers to a taut 78-74 victory before 12,115 nervous fans Saturday afternoon.

5. Nov. 28, 1987: Dayton 63, Wittenberg 61

Highlights: Negele Knight scored 24 points, hitting the winning jump shot with 3 seconds to play. The Flyers overcame a 34-24 halftime deficit.

This was the last time Dayton played Wittenberg in a regular-season games. The teams met 43 times between 1905 and 1987 with all but five of those meetings coming before 1950.

6. Nov. 25, 1992: Illinois 86, Dayton 78

What we wrote: It happened without warning

The University of Dayton Flyers appeared to be on the way to an upset victory over the University of Illinois Wednesday night in the Great Alaska Shootout.
They were playing confidently. They had a 68-60 lead with 2:20 remaining. And then they came apart like a chunk of ice separating from the front end of a glacier and crashing thunderously into the water. It was a classic collapse.

As soon as the Fighting Illini discovered a crack in Dayton's exterior, they went after the Flyers aggressively and turned them into a few harmless chunks of floating ice.

Andy Kaufmann, an 82 percent career free throw shooter for the Illini, sank a pair with 11 seconds remaining to tie the game at 70 and send it into overtime.

Illinois outscored the Dayton 16-8 in the five-minute overtime to hand the Flyers a heartbreaking 86-78 loss.

Dayton's Chip Hare in the early 1990s. Archive photo(David Jablonski)

7. Nov. 23, 1991: Dayton 101, Austin Peay 94

What we wrote: The University of Dayton Flyers pulled away from a stubborn Austin Peay team in the last seven minutes Monday night and defeated the Governors, 101-94, for their 41st consecutive victory in a home opener.

A crowd of 11,525 watched the Flyers struggle through much of the game against the smaller but aggressive visitors, but they got down to business when the game was on the line.

Chip Jones scored 31 points and Makor Shayok added 20 to lead Dayton in scoring, but the game will be remembered for the successful debut of 6-foot-10 freshman Chip Hare, who contributed 13 points and several rebounds.

Dayton’s Kurt Huelsman pulls down a rebound and picks up a foul against Wofford College at UD Arena on Nov. 16, 2008.(Jim Witmer)

8. Nov. 16, 2008: Dayton 52, Wofford 49

What we wrote: University of Dayton coach Brian Gregory was happy to see he could count on his defense being there when it was needed, but his team probably can't expect too many more happy endings to games unless it masters the other facets of the game.

The Flyers were bludgeoned on the boards and looked like a two-man operation too often on offense, but they produced enough clutch plays to pull out a 52-49 squeaker against Wofford on Sunday night, Nov. 16.

Marcus Johnson, who had 17 points, had a steal and dunk to break a 44-all tie with 3:03 to go, and Chris Wright, who also had 17, then made a steal and was fouled on a breakaway, and he sank one of two free throws for a three-point edge.

But the Terriers, a middle-of-the-pack team from the Southern Conference (where Davidson reigns), wouldn't go away. They cut the deficit to two with 1:20 to go, but junior college transfer Rob Lowery, who missed his first five shots in his debut with the Flyers, drilled a 15-foot jumper with 48 seconds to go to push the lead back to four and swished two free throws with 15 ticks left to seal the decision.

"You've got to have a short memory," Lowery said. "Nobody remembers the first five or six shots, they just remember the last one.

Dayton's Marcus Johnson (32) and Chris Johnson (4) team up to block a shot by Creighton's Darryl Ashford.The Flyers won their season opener 90-80 against Creighton on Saturday, November 14, 2009.(Erik Schelkun)

9. Nov. 14, 2009: Dayton 90, Creighton 80

What we wrote: After studying Creighton like scientists going over a dinosaur fossil, University of Dayton coach Brian Gregory and his staff were convinced they'd see nothing but man-to-man defense in their team's season-opener Saturday.

But Bluejays coach Dana Altman, who didn't have his top rebounder and two frontcourt subs because of illness and injuries, threw the Flyers a twist with a soft fullcourt press and 2-3 zone, and it befuddled the nation's 21st-ranked outfit for a half.

"I'm just happy in the last two days we did some zone work," Gregory said. "We watched every game film from last year, and I think they played zone one game or two games. They played man on every one of their possessions in the exhibition games. We got more comfortable with it in the second half, no doubt about it."

The Flyers overcame a 10-point first-half deficit by hitting 18-of-32 shots (56 percent) after the break to pull away for a 90-80 victory before a sellout crowd of 13,435 at UD Arena.

10. Nov. 24, 1995: Hawaii 78, Dayton 72

What we wrote: It is a matchup that is sure to bring back fond memories for even the relatively young University of Dayton basketball fans: Dayton vs. LSU.They'll meet for only the second time tonight in the United Air Lines Tip-Off Tournament.
The first time they played was 12 years ago. Dayton won 74-66 in the first round of the 1984 NCAA Tournament. It was the year Roosevelt Chapman would lead the Flyers to upset victories over Oklahoma and Washington before they lost to Georgetown (with Patrick Ewing) in the West Regional final.

Those were the good times; these are the bad times.

Dayton doesn't figure to be in the NCAA Tournament this year. The Flyers, who lost their season opener 78-72 to the University of Hawaii on Friday, bring an 11-game losing streak into this game against Louisiana State, which dropped a 79-70 verdict to St. Louis on Friday night.

It was Dayton's 30th consecutive loss on the road and the Flyers botched an excellent opportunity to pull themselves out of the rut. They played a crippled and mediocre Hawaii team that had access to only two players from last year's roster because two other key returners were under suspension.

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Dayton strength coach: Bittersweet leaving program after one year

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 9:19 PM

Interview with new Dayton men's basketball strength coach Casey Cathrall

Casey Cathrall left the Dayton Flyers men’s basketball program after one season as the strength and conditioning coach for a dream job at the University of Miami. He has the same position with the Hurricanes men’s basketball team, and his first day was Monday.

» WATCH: Drone video of UD Arena renovations

Cathrall couldn’t pass up the opportunity to return to Florida — he was a graduate assistant with the Hurricanes in 2013 when they won the ACC championship and earned his master’s degree in exercise physiology there in 2014 — in part because his wife Grace is from Vero Beach, Fla., two hours north of Miami, and her family still lives there.

“It’s just something we always dreamed about,” Cathrall said Monday night. “If they ever came calling, we couldn’t say no.”

» LOOKING BACK: Cathrall on his strength and conditioning philosophy

Dayton hired Cathrall in May 2017. He said it was bittersweet leaving the job.

“Dayton was awesome,” Cathrall said. “Obviously, the year didn’t go the way we would have hoped, but that really had no impact (on his decision). Grace had so many close friends (in Dayton). I really enjoyed working with the staff there. Coach (Anthony) Grant is a phenomenal guy. Everyone there was straight first class. Nothing but good things to say. It’s just bittersweet. I really feel we made some strides there in terms of trying to establish a culture and where the kids we’re at. I’m really excited for that program and where it’s headed.”

» GRANT WINS GOLD: Dayton coach helps lead USA U-18 team to title

Dayton posted Cathrall’s job last week and is also looking to hire a new assistant coach for the men’s basketball team after James Kane left for Iowa State.

In his final weeks on the job, Cathrall got to work with two of the newest Flyers: Michigan transfer Ibi Watson and Chattanooga transfer Rodney Chatman.

“Ibi got there the first week of summer school, somewhere around May 12 or 13th,” Cathrall said. “Rod was the week after or two weeks after. I spent a couple weeks with Ibi and at least two weeks with Rod. The takeaway from those two guys if the fans at Dayton are interested is they’re unbelievable people.”

Of Watson, Cathrall said, “Ibi, from day one, wants to win. He wants to be the best. Incredible competitiveness in him. He wants to do the extra miles, showing up early, staying after. Just very, very mature. What he brings to the program is more of what we need and more of where it’s going in terms of the culture and in terms of an unbelievable amount of discipline and habits and what it takes to be successful. He’s got a personality that he was able to mesh with the guys right away. I think the chemistry will show when he’s finally able to get out there on the floor.

Speaking of Chatman, Cathrall said, “Rod’s a softer-spoken guy. You can tell he’s a guy that’s played college basketball before. I think he’s adjusting to the physicality we have at Dayton, but in terms of his skill set, his basketball IQ, his unselfishness and his demeanor and habits, I just think he’s another home-run addition of what coach Grant and the staff are building.”

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Urban Meyer offers perspective on Ohio State QBs, new NCAA rules

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 4:12 PM

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 31:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on against the Clemson Tigers during the 2016 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 31, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 31: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on against the Clemson Tigers during the 2016 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 31, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)(Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer spoke about quarterback and a couple of changes to NCAA rules Friday night in Columbus. 

The Buckeyes mentor confirmed in the clearest language yet Dwayne Haskins will be his starting quarterback when preseason camp commences in late summer. 

“Dwayne is the starter and Tate (Martell) is in full competition mode,” Meyer told reporters at the annual Ohio State football job fair. “Matt Baldwin is our three and he’s doing very well now.” 

Haskins, a sophomore from Maryland, became the assumed starter when Joe Burrow transferred to LSU last month

Meyer told the Pro Football Hall of Fame luncheon crowd in Canton in mid-May Haskins would get “the first opportunity to be the starter,” and his latest comments further confirmed that intention. 

RELATED: Urban Meyer talks about Ohio State QBs past, present and (potentially) future

In Columbus, Meyer also said he has maintained contact with Burrow, who graduated in May and is eligible for the Tigers right away. 

“Joe did a lot for us, and we did a lot for Joe, so it was a very amicable relationship,” Meyer said. 

The appearance was also the first for Meyer since the NCAA announced a pair of changes to player eligibility last week. 

Beginning this fall, players will be able to play up to four games without losing the ability to take a redshirt season

“It’s a good rule, and I’m glad they did that,” Meyer said. “It’s good for most importantly the student-athlete.” 

Previously participating in one play meant a year of eligibility was used — unless that player later became injured and certain other specifications were met. 

That is no longer the case. 

“I think it’s just going to be easier (for coaches). Usually you play a guy early and then if they get hurt, you redshirt them,” Meyer said. “Now there is going to be, do you hold onto them until the stretch run when it gets really hard and you need them? Because usually when you get into the end of the season you’re dealing with injuries.” 

Meyer also said the new rule preventing coaches from blocking transfers is good — as long as players still have to sit out a year before being eligible. 

“I’m not a big fan of all the transfers,” Meyer said. “I think that’s an easy way out, but I get it. I’m a big fan graduate transfers. When they fulfill their obligation, go, but I also understand the other part.” 

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All-Star voting update: Gennett still third among NL second basemen

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 1:47 PM

The Reds Scooter Gennett drives in a run with a double against the Pirates on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff
Contributing Writer
The Reds Scooter Gennett drives in a run with a double against the Pirates on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff(Contributing Writer)

Scooter Gennett, of the Cincinnati Reds, remains ranked third among second basemen in voting for the National League All-Star team.

Gennett has received 743,979 votes, the league announced Monday in its second release of the voting results. He trails the Braves’ Ozzie Albies (915,736) and the Cubs’ Javier Baez (767,417). All three have a wide lead over the fourth-ranked second baseman: the Giants’ Joe Panik (194,634).

»RELATED: Gennett, Suarez, Votto among all-star candidates

Joey Votto also remains fifth in voting among first basemen (189,364), well behind the league’s overall leader in votes, the Braves’ Freddie Freeman (1,433,140).

Eugenio Suarez, who ranked fourth last week, remains fourth this week among third basemen with 228,806 votes. He leads NL third basemen in RBIs (52) and ranks second in the league among all players. The Rockies’ Nolan Arenado (1,124,563) has a wide lead among third basemen.

Voting began June 1 and continues until 11:59 p.m. July 5. The All-Star Game will be played July 17 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

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Is Joey Votto a Hall of Famer? What the stats say through 1,500 games

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 9:19 AM

Who is Joey Votto: Ten facts about Reds first baseman

Joey Votto played in his 1,500th career game for the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. He went 2-for-4 with two RBIs in an 8-6 victory at PNC Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Before the game, the Reds shared the numbers on how Votto compares to Hall of Fame first basemen from the last 50 years, including Jim Thome, who will be inducted this summer.

» DRAGONS: Dayton ends first half with loss

Here’s how Votto, at age 34, in his 12th season, stacks up against 12 of the greats through the first 1,500 games of their careers. In short, he compares well — especially in on-base percentage and walks, as you might expect.

Batting average: Rod Carew (.335); Frank Thomas (.321); Johnny Mize (.320); Joey Votto (.313); Jeff Bagwell (.305); Orlando Cepeda (.305); Eddie Murray (.299); George Kelly (.297); Jim Thome (.285); Tony Perez (.284); Ernie Banks (.283); Willie McCovey (.282); Harmon Killebrew (.262);

On-base percentage: Thomas (.441); Votto (.428); Bagwell (.418); Thome (.411); Mize (.406); Carew (.392); McCovey (.385); Killebrew (.375); Murray (.375); Cepeda (.355); Perez (.347); Banks (.344); Kelly (.343); 

Slugging percentage: Mize (.580); Thomas (.580); Thome (.566); McCovey (.555); Bagwell (.553); Banks (.536); Votto (.536); Killebrew (.532); Cepeda (.517); Murray (.505); Perez (.484); Kelly (.455); Carew (.450);

Home runs: Killebrew (392); Thome (368); Ernie Banks (353); McCovey (347); Thomas (339); Bagwell (316); Mize (315); Cepeda (279); Murray (275); Votto (263); Perez (246); Kelly (137); Rod Carew (71).

Hits: Rod Carew (1,924); Mize (1,776); Thomas (1,721); Cepeda (1,714); Murray (1,680); Votto (1,662); Bagwell (1,657); Kelly (1,650); Banks (1,618); Perez (1,550); Thome (1,451); McCovey (1,375); Killebrew (1,354); 

Walks: Thomas (1,172); Bagwell (1,012); Votto (1,046); Killebrew (919); McCovey (788); Mize (757); Murray (709); Carew (542); Perez (532); Banks (521); Cepeda (388); Kelly (358); Thome (108).

2018 Cincinnati Reds: 10 things to know(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

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