While broadcasting the basketball games for the past three decades, I have shared fans’ anguish when the Xavier Musketeers have gotten the better of the Dayton Flyers.
Starting in the 1990s the rivalry became lopsided on the court, and while Dayton has regained the ability to hold serve at home, its losing streak in Cincinnati continues.
Dayton’s NCAA appearances have been episodic compared to X’s, and the reason behind the disparity between the two programs may be evident in the hallway outside the home locker room at the Cintas Center.
Along the wall are framed NBA jerseys. Represented are those who had a cup of coffee in the league, such as Torraye Braggs and Lionel Chalmers, as well as the solid careers of Tyrone Hill, Brian Grant, Aaron Williams and James Posey, and, of course, All-Star David West.
Dayton has not produced an NBA All-Star since Jim Paxson in 1984, and only Sedric Toney and Negele Knight had played in the league since then until Chris Wright ended the drought this past season. Chris Johnson was not drafted this past week but is likely to be invited to a camp.
Former Flyer Brian Roberts will be playing on the New Orleans Hornets team in the Las Vegas summer league. He and Johnson both have legitimate shots to make a roster while Wright impressed coaches and peers with his work ethic and character, and his 25-point performance in the regular-season finale should help secure his future with Golden State.
Three Dayton players on NBA rosters would do wonders to raise the profile of the program in the eyes of recruits, which in turn could lead to wins at Xavier — on a road to the Final Four.
Larry Hansgen is the radio voice of the Dayton Flyers. Contact him at (937) 259-2071 or Larry.Hansgen@CMGOhio.com.
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