UDPride Discussion Forums    

Go Back   UDPride Discussion Forums > LATEST ARTICLES > UDPride Articles

UDPride Articles Published content from your UDPride staff

» Log in
User Name:


Not a member yet?
Register Now!
» Advertisement
Article Tools Display Modes
One Hit Wonders?
One Hit Wonders?
Published by John C.
One Hit Wonders?

CHANDLER (AZ) -- Unlike so many of the last 20 years, Dayton Flyer fans everywhere do not have to hang their heads and say “Wait until next year!” However, knowledgeable Flyer fans can say, “I can’t wait until next year!” There is good reason to not only be proud with what the Flyers accomplished this year, but also feel very good about the future. The cupboard is far from bare and there are reinforcements on their way.

The key piece of the puzzle would seem to be in place and in place for many years to come. Over the next month or so the administration will iron out a contract extension for Brian Gregory that will keep him in Dayton until Michigan State comes calling when Tom Izzo retires. I sincerely doubt that Gregory will even talk to another school until that time. Gregory is the glue that will keep the program strong over the next decade.

Next to conference affiliation there is nothing more important than who is pacing the sidelines during the games. Oftentimes, when the coach goes so does the program. Do any of you think that Memphis would continue to be strong if John Calipari decided to leave? Brian Gregory has become the face of University of Dayton Basketball. He has the right recruiting tools in place and will continue to bring top-notch players into the fold.

It has been a learning process for Gregory over the last six years, but he now seems ready to make a run at a number of consecutive trips to the tournament. He has learned what type of players to bring into the program and continues to learn. I doubt that the class of 2014 will come on board without one or two dead eye three point shooters to go along with one of the top point guards in that class in Juwan Staten. With five scholarships available, it is likely that a second point guard might be added along with one or two power forward/centers (Adrian Payne, hopefully).

Many fans still question substitution patterns and in game strategy, but it is hard to argue with success, 27 wins is 27 wins. He has learned that practices can be toned down a bit from when he first started and still be successful. He has also changed his mannerisms on the sideline becoming a more in-control coach. His play calling after a time out has improved although the success ratio for end of half plays is not yet where it needs to be.

If there is one area that seems to be lacking it would be improvement of big man offensive skills. Looking at the two centers that were available, it can easily be said that neither would ever concern an opposing coach. Although they both have their strong points, Huelsman, in particular, seemed to take a step back this season on the offensive end of the court. This is typically an area taught by assistant coaches, but it is still Gregory’s responsibility.

With the returning players, a great deal is going to be expected of this team. Losing Charles Little certainly will be noticed, but there will be more than enough returning for the team to be even better. The front line should be even better with the maturity of the returning players in addition to Benson and Kavenaugh.

This doesn’t mean that there are no concerns for next year. The point guard position might be a little shaky if Rob Lowery is not ready to go at the beginning of the season. He brought a good deal of stability to the position and offered an outside alternative to London Warren’s lay-up dominated shot selection. There is some misconception that this is an easy injury to return from. This is not always the case. A recovery period of 12 months is not unusual. The healing process itself can take up to six months with another six months for rehab. This isn’t always the case, but his return for next year is not guaranteed.


There has also been a good deal of discussion about how “lucky” Dayton was to win 27 games in 2008/2009. In fact, they have been deemed one of the top 10 lucky teams in college basketball by Ken Pomeroy. Pomeroy looks at point differential and calculates how many wins Dayton should have had. As a side note, Michigan State was number 11.

This is not a worthless statistic in most circumstances. There has been a good deal of research done on this topic by numerous statisticians including Bill James who is well know for his ability of analyzing major and minor league baseball players and teams. Typically a team that is “lucky” one year is not able to sustain that ability the next. In baseball and in many other sports, if a team won an unusually high percentage of close games in a season, it was more of a fluke than a trend.

UD was 11-1 in games decided by 6 points or less this season. If those games had been split, that 26-7 pre NCAA record would have been 21-12 and the NIT might have been out of reach. To the uninitiated it is certainly believable that Dayton may have some difficulty maintaining that level of success. However, in looking at the games themselves, there could only be one game that would be lucky. The rest were won because Dayton performed better down the stretch. This is a team that reacts well under pressure and knows it will win close games. With the senior leadership that will be part of this team next year look for more of the same. Eleven and one will be difficult to duplicate, but don’t expect a complete collapse.

Next year’s Flyers will be far more seasoned than the current model. They will have experienced the NCAA Tournament and pressures associated with it. They will be a year older with another year of buying into Gregory’s system. They understand it and should be able to run it even better. At the same time, the schedule will be more challenging than a schedule that was created with a young team in mind. The trip to Puerto Rico will tell a great deal about this team. It will be a challenge, but it could also put Dayton back on the map.

Last year at this time there were few Flyer fans that even dreamed about a trip to the NCAA this year. What a difference a year makes. This team will be expected to not only go to the dance but to make a run of some kind. It was easier this year because there were no expectations. Now we will see what they can do when the pressure to win will be with them from game one. I think they will surprise not only their fans, but college basketball as a whole. This team will be playing more than one weekend next year. One hit wonders? I don’t think so.

Tomorrow, I’ll discuss the team by position.
Article Tools
By Columbia Blue on 03-27-2009, 08:35 AM
way to keep the excitement going John C - nice article!
Reply With Quote
By UACFlyer on 03-27-2009, 12:15 PM
Nice....but a bit overly optimistic, perhaps?


A nice read; and no doubt we are on a good path;....but, it's a long, difficult path and we have a very long way to go.

As members of the "Faithful" we are ecstatic that our Flyers made the Dance and won a game. But, three of our closely watched peers, Villanova, Gonzaga and Xavier made it to the Sweet 16. Xavier lost by a whisker to the team many feel is the best team in the country, #1 seed Pitt. Villanova moved to the Elite 8 by trouncing # 2 seed Duke. Moreover, these three schools have been regulars in the Sweet 16 (and even the Elite 8) consistently over the last decade.

Those are precisely the accomplishments we long for;....and, hopefully, will achieve in coming years. But there is no guarantee and the path will not be an easy one.

True, stability at the Head Coaching position is important; and I agree that we have a good man in BG. But, the much publicized contract extension recently announced means no more than that UD has confidence in the coach. When BG achieves the success we crave, e.g., Sweet 16 next year and the Flyers becoming an NCAA regular thereafter, bigger programs will be after him, understandably. Now MSU may well be BG's dream job, I don't know. But, when a top-tier Big East, Big Ten or ACC team comes calling with twice the pay BG will be gone. The buy-out terms of his UD contract will have no effect.

That's just the way it is.
Reply With Quote

Article Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.1

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:36 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Advertisement System V2.6 By   Branden

Article powered by GARS 2.1.8m ©2005-2006

Copyright 1996-2012 UDPride.com. All Rights Reserved.