Dayton will see a familiar face at 7 p.m. Wednesday when arriving in Atlanta to play Georgia Tech. Brian Gregory, who averaged 21.5 victories in eight seasons with the Flyers, is in his fourth season with the Yellow Jackets.
Three Dayton players know Gregory well. Devin Oliver, Matt Kavanaugh and walk-on Brian Vonderhaar were freshmen in 2010-11, Gregory’s last season at UD.
“You’ve got to treat it just like another game,” Oliver said. “At the same time, it’s going to be exciting. That’s my first coach here. Then he left. Me and Kav especially have the utmost respect for Coach Gregory.”
Dayton, which beat St. Francis College (N.Y.) 78-58 on Saturday at UD Arena, and Georgia Tech are off to 3-0 starts. The Yellow Jackets have defeated Presbyterian, Delaware State and Georgia.
This will be the first time the teams have met in Atlanta. Dayton beat Georgia Tech 65-63 in 1977 at UD Arena and 63-59 in 2009 in Puerto Rico.
“He’s got a terrific team right now at 3-0,” Dayton coach Archie Miller said. “He’s building like we’re trying to build. I think the big thing is going down there and competing on the glass. I know they’re going to be physical. I know they’re going to compete. I know they’re going to be big on the boards.
Dayton goes straight to Hawaii after the Georgia Tech game to play in the Maui Invitational. The Flyers’ first game there is at midnight Monday against Gonzaga.
Free throws: Dayton shot 24-of-30 at the free-throw line Saturday and is shooting 76 percent on the season. That’s just a notch below last season when they shot 78 percent.
“We shoot so many free throws every day,” Oliver said. “Coach really emphasizes that. You make free throws, and that can be the difference late in the game or in building the lead.”
Fast service: In Dayton’s previous game against St. Francis University on Wednesday, fans may have wondered how Devon Scott returned to the game so quickly after chipping a tooth in the first half.
Doug Hauschild, Dayton’s director of media relations, said the Flyers’ team dentist, Dr. Richard Quinttus, was watching the game on TV at home and drove to the arena when he saw Scott chip his tooth.
“He brought some sort of emergency tooth repair kit with him,” Hauschild said, “and patched Devon up, using some of the tooth that was on the arena floor, in time for him to be available in the second half. After the game, he opened up his office and waited for Devon to get there so he could make a more permanent repair.”