Tag:Brian Gregory
Posted on: August 2, 2011 11:34 am
Edited on: August 2, 2011 11:39 am
 

Georgia Tech's Morris sidelined with broken toe

By Gary Parrish

Georgia Tech announced Tuesday that sophomore Jason Morris will be sidelined for the next six-to-eight weeks after undergoing surgery for a broken big right toe suffered in a pickup game last month.

"The most important thing is to get him healthy now so that when we start workouts in September, he’ll be ready to go," said first-year coach Brian Gregory. "Jason had a great spring and a great summer, and he’ll overcome this challenge."

Morris played in every game and started the final five of his freshman season.

The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 6.0 points and 2.2 rebounds.

He shot 40 percent from 3-point range.
Posted on: April 24, 2011 11:46 am
Edited on: April 24, 2011 4:36 pm
 

Penn Staten: Dayton transfer big for PSU



Posted by Eric Angevine

Buried in Friday night's sports news was a very interesting tidbit. The Dayton Daily News reported that point guard Juwan Staten, who played his freshman season for his hometown Dayton Flyers, will transfer to Penn State next season.

I had openly wondered this week exactly how Ed DeChellis expected to hold on to his job in State College with both Talor Battle and Taran Buie on the way out, and this is at least part of the answer. Staten's light has been at least somewhat hidden under a bushel during his one season with the 2010 NIT champs. Had the Flyers delivered on their promise and made a run to the NCAA tournament this season, perhaps this move never would have occurred. Instead, Dayton went 7-9 in league play, lost to Richmond in the A-10 championship game, and failed to even win one game in the NIT. Following that dispiriting end to the season, head coach Brian Gregory was rather bafflingly given his ticket to the big time, hired to take over for fired Paul Hewitt at Georgia Tech.

Don't misunderstand the impact of that last sentence, either. Staten didn't leave because his coach left. There were rumblings all season long that the star guard and his father were unhappy with the way Gregory was handling the team. This was a fait accompli, likely long before the season ended.

So who is this Staten kid? A former top-50 recruit who grew up in Dayton, Staten was hotly recruited, but gave his allegiance to his hometown program. He averaged 29.1 minutes, 8.5 points and 5.4 assists per game last season. The huge, glaring weakness in his game was shooting. His .15 three-point percentage contributed to a miserable 38 percent from the floor overall.

So, Dayton was no picnic, and Staten wasn't quite as good as he should have been. Let's call this a no-fault divorce and move on. Why Penn State? The answer to that question is still a mystery. Staten's comments to the Harrisburg Patriot-News seem to be a little out of synch with reality.

“Me and my AAU coach and father and mother all got together to try to find a school with a style that played like I play," Staten said. "A school that would be a good fit for me. ... They play fast and play loose, and the coach allows them to play their game.”

The Daily News refutes that assertion fairly well.

If Staten is looking for a fast pace from the Nittany Lions, he’ll likely have to speed them up himself. Coach Ed DeChellis’ team averaged just 63.1 points last season, the lowest output in the Big Ten.

Staten had interest from Louisville and also looked into transferring to Cleveland State. The former top-50 national recruit might have some competition at point guard for Penn State, though. Tim Frazier, who finished fourth in the league in assists at 5.1 per game, will be a senior when Staten becomes eligible.

Clearly, question marks abound here. If DeChellis makes it to his tenth season at PSU, he could have his hands full trying to incorporate Staten into his program, and dealing with the Staten family dynamic sounds challenging as well.

Nonetheless, Staten is a quality player who will be able to energize the fan base when he steps on the floor. He clearly has chops as a scorer and distributor, and a year off to learn under the new regime could cure his shooting form and selectivity. His choice of Penn State as a new home is a tad baffling (OK, a lot baffling), but it's a shot of positive news at a time when Ed DeChellis and Nittany Lions fans can really use some.

Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: March 28, 2011 10:07 am
Edited on: March 28, 2011 11:24 am
 

Gregory to Georgia Tech a bit of a puzzler

Posted by Eric Angevine

As my colleague Gary Parrish reported earlier today, Dayton's Brian Gregory will become the next head coach at Georgia Tech, succeeding the recently fired Paul Hewitt.

Dayton fans are actually kind of happy to be losing their coach. That should be a red flag.

I'm pretty sure Tech fans are pulling some pretty puzzled expressions out there at this news. This is unlikely to be a popular hiring down in Atlanta. Not Jeff Bzdelik to Wake Forest confusing, but only slightly north of that low-water mark.

I'm not saying Gregory is a bad coach - far from it. But his resume isn't going to assuage any fears that backers of the Ramblin' Wreck have accumulated during the past decade.

The knock on Paul Hewitt has been that he is able to occasionally bring in superior talent, but for all that, has been unable to do much with what he has. I'd argue that the same can be said of Gregory.

Look at the past three seasons in Dayton. In 2009, Gregory had Brian Roberts leading his backcourt and scoring over 18 points per game. Alongside him, promising sophomore Chris Wright and junior Marcus Johnson gave the Flyers plenty of dynamic scoring options. That team went 11-5 in the A-10, lost in the second round of the league tourney, but got an at-large bid anyway. The Flyers nipped West Virginia and lost to Kansas. Not a bad showing at all.

Last year, the Flyers had a perfect storm of naming synchronicity: Chris Wright, Marcus Johnson and Chris Johnson put on a show from time to time and had Flyers fans thinking of a repeat trip to the Big Dance. Not so. The Flyers were 8-8, lost in the second round of the conference tourney, and went to the NIT. They won the whole schmear, taking down North Carolina to do so. It wasn't the NCAAs, but Gregory's name was still red-hot in the summer coaching rumors.

This year, Wright and Johnson were back, and local stud point guard Juwan Staten joined them in the backcourt as a freshman. Excitement surrounded the program once again. The hope was to build on the NIT championship momentum and get back to the NCAA tourney. Instead, UD went 7-9 in league play, lost to Richmond four games deep in the A-10 tourney, and lost to College of Charleston by ten in the first round of the NIT. Staten announced his intention to transfer from the program shortly thereafter.

The knock on Gregory has been that his offense is rather staid. It hasn't been terribly efficient, either. Slow and ineffective isn't going to thrill ACC fans used to something more fluid.

All of this is unlikely to scan properly for folks in Atlanta today. It doesn't mean Gregory is a bad coach, but it's not likely to convince anyone that he's the guy to resurrect the once-proud Yellow Jackets program, either. The first thing Gregory is going to have to do is sell himself to the local fans, who are going to wonder why they should embrace this compact Midwestern fellow as the savior of their team. Then he'll have to sell himself to the players, and then make a splash on the recruiting scene, especially within the city limits.

It's a tall order, and it's proper to question if Gregory is up to the task. If I have to some day eat my words with a side of Sriracha hot sauce, I'll do it with gusto. I'd rather see Gregory succeed than fail, as would fans of the 'Jackets. But right now, the only defensible stance to take is a somewhat skeptical wait-and-see attitude.

More NCAA tournament coverage
Posted on: January 6, 2011 10:46 am
Edited on: January 6, 2011 6:12 pm
 

Dayton hopes to turn NIT title mojo into NCAA bid

Posted by Eric Angevine

The Dayton Flyers are 'flying' low, in spite of a hot end to last season that saw the team defeat blue-blood UNC to claim the NIT crown. That's because the Atlantic 10 conference is getting better every year, and it's absolutely loaded this season as well.

The three teams that made the Big Dance last season -- Temple, Xavier and Richmond -- are a combined 30-11 following non-conference play. Each has won games against multiple power-conference teams (Seton Hall, in particular, may want to schedule elsewhere in the future). If Dayton is to get back to the NCAAs this season, head coach Brian Gregory must make full use of the tools at his disposal.

For instance:

Chris Power – Senior Chris Wright (right) is the engine that makes Dayton go. He scores more than 20 percent of the team’s points night in and night out. His athleticism is NBA-worthy, and his leadership has helped the Flyers come back from big deficits to win three times this season. Junior Chris Johnson is just behind Wright in terms of production, and the two complement one another well. Johnson contributes more deep shooting and hits the offensive boards to great effect.

Hometown Hero – Freshman point guard Juwan Staten drew attention from in-state powers like Xavier, Cincinnati and even Ohio State during the recruiting race, but the Dayton native decided to stay put and play for the Flyers. The youngster’s passing chops and decision-making skills are already highly developed: he sports a 2.4 to 1 assist to turnover ratio and has begun to flirt with the points/assists double-double on a nightly basis. Staten’s offense has played second fiddle to his role as distributor thus far, but he uncorked a memorable driving dunk in Dayton’s win over New Mexico that had the local press buzzing.

Continuity - Over the summer, Brian Gregory's name came up frequently when open DI jobs were discussed. Not as often as Brad Stevens of Butler, but probably pretty close. Gregory didn't jump, for whatever reason, and that gives his team a sense of security that he'll stick around and get the job done. The A-10 has improved by leaps and bounds as it becomes a destination for talented coaches instead of a short-term stepping stone. That' doesn't mean Gregory will never leave, but he's obviously not jumping at the first chance he gets, either.

Size - Gregory's team has excellent size. There's legit 6-foot-10 Devin Searcy alongside three other guys 6-8 or above who can spell him in the post. The most promising is sophomore Matt Kavanaugh , a 250-lb load who is gradually learning how to combine his bulk with brains to become a lethal weapon down low.

University of Dayton Arena - It's one of college basketball's oldest and most cherished arenas. It's a great place to play home games. It serves as carrot in that sense, but it should also be used as a stick to motivate the team to achieve. The Flyers do not want to play there in March, because that's where the First Four of the new 68-team format will play. Dayton has seen the good and bad side of the bubble, and they want to put themselves squarely in the 'lock' category as soon as possible. Aside from the scheduled league game with St. Louis on 3/2, No Home Games in March should be the rallying cry for this team.

Dayton has a marvelous opportunity to build a tourney-worthy resume within their own conference. The A-10 is easily a four-bid-worthy conference in the age of 68 teams. Dayton has what it takes to be one of those teams.

For more on Dayton, check out this video of  Pete Gillen's interview with Brian Gregory following the Flyers' A-10 opener.

 
 
 
 
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