Dayton Q/A...Again

By Michael Weber

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Brian Gregory - Circa 1990
My new friends at The Blackburn Review recently sat down with me (ok we exchanged e-mails) and talked about some of the key points to this matchup between Duquesne and Dayton.  We also get into Chris Wright's overrated-ness, the A14 Tournament being at Consol and Brian Gregory's contract, which, gasp, runs until, 2018.  I think you'll enjoy this one...and if you can't figure it out, my questions are in bold...

The Q&A begins after the jump. Enjoy!

1 - With 4 games remaining(3 at home) and as easy a road trip there is in the A14, GW, can Dayton get to 10-6 and make a run in the A14 Tournament to put themselves on the NCAA Bubble or is this a lost cause and they'll have a shot to defend their Not Important Tournament(NIT) Title?

1.) One would think that Dayton could finish with a 10-6 record in the A14, which is what Blackburn and I predicted. I would say 9-7 is probably going to happen. I don't know who they'll lose to, but it will be somebody. But yeah, 10-6, would that be bubble worthy? The only think that is saving them is their win over George Mason. Their win at Seton Hall is worthless and their loss at home to East Tennessee State has crippled them even more. Let's not even get into the UC loss where they lost by like 100 points. So yeah, I think unless they go 10-6 and then make it to the finals of the A14 Tournament, they have no chance of getting an at large bid. A lot of people are saying, "Oh man! Can you imagine if they are one of the 'First Four' and get to play in Dayton?" First off, no way in hell they get to play in Dayton. The committee would either make them a 10 or 11 seed and put them in the field or not put them in at all. I'm going with the latter and Dayton will be well on their way to back-to-back NIT Championships!

2 - Funny, Chris Wright plays 14 minutes, attempts 1 shot, and scores 3 points in a road game at Charlotte; Flyers win by 18.  Am I reading into that tooooooooo much?

2.) Chris Wright is good for at least one outrageous offensive foul a game. And by outrageous, I mean it is actually a foul and it's outrageous that he does not have the wherewithal to stop doing the same thing time and time again! His ball handling skills are atrocious and he has no consistent jump shot. The majority of his points are dunks, put backs, and free throws.

He was in foul trouble during the Charlotte game, so that is the reason for his low point effort. As much as it pains me to say it, the reason Dayton played so well vs the 49ers was because Luke Fabrizius actually did what he was brought to UD for and that is making 3 pointers. Plus, Charlotte sucks. So yeah, I wouldn't read too much into it. CW is still Dayton's best player this year. Which is sad.

3 - Late in January, Dayton came to Consol Energy Center and played a decent first half.  Then, they got their doors blown off in the second half.  What in the world happened and has this team done anything to indicate to the world that they can compete with Duquesne this time around?

3.) That 2nd half at the Duquesne game was the start of the downfall for the 2010-11 Dayton Flyers. They simply gave up and have not been the same team since. Not that they were a great team going into the first game vs the Dukes, but they still controlled their own destiny. The Flyers have shown they can play with the best, as witnessed by the close loss at Xavier. But they have gotten blown out of the gym by the Dukes, Owls, and Rams of Rhode Island.

In order to compete with the Dukes this time around, the Flyers need to play better defense and need to shoot the 3 ball better. It's no secret that teams are playing zone against the Flyers because they know that this team struggles from beyond the arc.

4 - I recently saw a Dayton Daily News Blog Entry by Doug Harris indicating he'd vote for Chris Wright for first team All-A10?  Two-parter:  (A) Was he serious?  and (B) How much did the athletic department pay him to write that?

4.) Of course Doogie Harris was serious. The thing about covering the Dayton Flyers is that they run the show. The Dayton Daily News would be foolish to rip the Flyers, as the Flyers could say, "OK, you are banned from all games." There are times when Doog is negative about this team, but it's not often. Check out this article written by Doog's co-worker, Tom Archdeacon: http://www.daytondailynews.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/throughthearch/entries/2011/02/13/chris_wright_sets_himself_apar.html.

Seriously, I don't know what CW has done to brainwash everyone. I mean, he IS Dayton's all time leader in blocks and dunks. I do think that CW is in the DISCUSSION of first team, but he should probably be 2nd team. There are too many players that I'd put ahead of him, like Clark, Andrew Nicholson, Tu,etc etc. So I don't think that it was TOO crazy for Doog to put CW first team, but it was a pretty bad homer pick on his part.

5 - I guess this has to be addressed at some point, but there is speculation that Juwan Staten may elect to transfer from the Flyers at the end this season.  Can you confirm any of this and what school(s) he might be looking at?

5.) We got into a bit of trouble on our site for even bringing this subject up. It all started because of a tip we got from a source within the program, stating that Juwan's dad (Billy Staten) is always at practice and in Brian Gregory's office, demanding more plays for Juwan and a better offense. There have been rumors that Billy threatens BG by saying he'll make Juwan transfer. I do think Juwan likes playing at UD, but could I see him moving on? Possibly. The whole "sitting for a year" is definitely making him think. I would not put it past him if he left, but I would not be shocked if he stayed. As for places he'd go, I have no idea. I would think that any team would take him. He is the best guard I have ever seen at Dayton. He is quick, he is a great distributor, and if he develops a consistent jump shot, LOOK OUT!

6 - I think we touched on this last time around, but where does Brian Gregory stand among the fans at Dayton?  Apparently his contract runs until 2018...

6.) I was asked this answer by a Temple blogger, so I will share with you what I said to him.  If you have ventured over to our site recently, you probably have seen nothing but BG hate. I was never on board with this guy from day 1. I was an Oliver Purnell fan for life and when he left, part of my soul for this Dayton program left with him. I wanted someone from the inside to be promoted, or at least someone with a head coach track record.
BG won the first year with Purnell's team and has had some success. He won an NCAA Tournament game, something that Purnell never did, and won the NIT last year. He has proven he can recruit good players, but has a problem with keeping them in Dayton and having them get better over time. That last part is the main reason people are furious with BG right now, his players ALWAYS regress. He has never taken a player from day 1 and had him improve up to the last day of his college career. It's sad for players like Juwan Staten and Chris Johnson, again more on this later.
Personally, Dayton probably cannot get better than BG right now. The past few summers, BG has been a hot name to take over coaching vacancies at several universities. He is signed to the year 2018 and has fans furious as well. What they don't get is that while it now seems dumb to have signed him to such a long extension, AD Tim Wabler did the smart thing by protecting the university in case Gregory bolts, which he could have done several times. Unfortunately now, we are stuck with him because he ain't going anywhere.

7 - Staten v. McConnell - Part Deux - Care to make a prediction how this one goes down?

7.) McConnell has 15 points, 8 assists, 1 turnover.  Staten has 12 points, 3 assists, 3 turnovers. McConnell wins again.

8 - It looks like Xavier is the class of the A14 once again.  I figure they are a lock for the dance as is Temple.  Can you see anyone else making it?

8.) I do think that if Duquesne finishes up in 3rd place and makes it deep into the A14 Tournament, they are in.  Them or Richmond. I think that this is a 2 bid league, with 3 bids if some big boy conference schools lose, like Kansas State, Cincinnati, and some SEC teams.

9 - Much speculation was made about Chris Mack's comments about how Consol Energy Center should host the A14 Tournament when Atlantic City's contract runs up.  How do you view Pittsburgh as a viable candidate for the tournament?  Should it always be held in Atlantic City so as to not be in the city of one of the league teams?

9.) Personally I think Shitsburgh would be a great place for the A14 Tournament. Yinz guys have a great dahntahn and I would love to go up there and drink some Irrrrrrrrron City beer. I can't believe I have not thought about this before. It's probably because growing up in Dayton and therefore being a Bengals fan, you are taught to hate Pittsburgh. But I will say that I have been there several times due to dating a girl from there, and it is a very fun city. And don't take this the wrong way, but Duquesne is not a historical threat like Xavier or Temple. Holding the tournaments in Philly and Cincinnati were HUGE advantages to those teams. Sort of like the two years it was held in Dayton and the Flyers won one year and made it to the finals the other. The CONSOL is perfect size. Plus, let's be honest, Atlantic City is a dump. The only other place that might be as good of a fit as Pittsburgh is Washington DC.

10 - Some Duquesne fans are making the trip to Dayton.  Care to recommend any eating establishments around UD Arena? 

10.) Marion's Pizza is the only place you should go. There is not one near the arena, but about 10 minutes away in Kettering or Oakwood. It's great pizza. As for places near the arena/campus, I love Skyline Chili, but it's not for everyone. You can never go wrong with the classics like Chipotle or Jimmy John's. But if you want local food, go with Marion's or Skyline.

11 - 82-64 was the final score last time around for these two teams.  Your prediction for this one is...

11.) I like the Flyers in this one, only because I did see a little spark in the Charlotte game. It will be close and if this team truly wants to play in the NCAA Tournament, they need this win. This team gave up earlier in the year, but I think they are back on track. Foolish thinking, I know, but I think this team has something left in them. I'll go Dayton 78-67 with your boy, CW going 20 and 15.