Every once in a while, a special guest visits the Anthony Grant Show at Fricker’s on Woodman Drive. James Haring, the Dayton Flyers director of basketball operations, was there Monday and took the Bud Lite mic to quiz his boss about his go-to beverage.
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“Our managers could probably tell you better because those guys really take care of me,” Grant said, “but I’ve got to have some type of a latte in the afternoon.”
Also at the show on Monday was UD strength coach Casey Cathrall, who picked a good moment to ask Grant two “tough” questions. The Flyers are 7-1. They’re ranked 14th in the nation by the Associated Press. If the enthusiasm surrounding this season was charted on a graph, it would be spiking up on a dramatic angle. In short, if you’re going to ask Grant about his go-to Karaoke song and whether he lifted weights that day — the answer to the second question was no — this is the perfect time to do it.
“I have a feeling you know the answer to the questions you’re asking me,” Grant said with a laugh.
“I just want everyone to hear it from the man himself,” Cathrall said.
After trying to sidestep the Karaoke question with a generic answer — “80s rap” — Grant was forced to get more specific by Cathrall and did.
“Maybe I’ve been known to know a few bars from Rapper’s Delight,” Grant said. “Maybe.”
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Maybe that 1979 song by the Sugar Hill Gang won’t become the theme of the season, but the fact that Grant and his staff are singing at all should tell fans where this season is going. Dayton plays Drake (8-2) at 7 p.m. Saturday at UD Arena in its first game following exams week.
The Flyers have a long way to go and have not won anything yet — except the kind of national recognition that has been rare for this program — but there are plenty of reasons to feel good about this team and this season. In honor of their national ranking, here are 14 facts that tell just how well the Flyers have played.
1. Dayton has led at halftime in every game and has owned double-digit leads at halftime five times.
2. Dayton has led with five minutes to go in every game.
3. Dayton has not faced a double-digit deficit this season.
4. The largest deficit Dayton faced in its only loss was six. That was the final margin Kansas won by (90-84 in overtime) on Nov. 27 in the Maui Invitational championship.
5. The only team to build a significant lead (nine points) against Dayton was Houston Baptist, which also lost by the widest margin (99-68) of any Dayton opponent.
6. Two of Dayton’s opponents never owned a lead: Charleston Southern and Georgia.
7. Three of Dayton’s opponents didn’t lead by more than four points and had those slims leads only in the opening minutes: Omaha, Virginia Tech and Saint Mary’s.
8. Dayton ranks second in the country in scoring (87.4 points per game), trailing only Central Michigan (90.0).
9. Dayton leads the country in assists per game (20.3). The Dayton record of 20.2 per game was set in 1977-78.
10. Dayton leads the nation in 2-point field-goal percentage (65.9). That’s a full four points better than second-place LSU (61.9).
11. Dayton leads the nation in effective field-goal percentage (63.5). That number combines 2 and 3-pointers and gives more weight to 3s.
12; Dayton ranks 17th in the country in 3-point percentage (40.3). No Dayton team has shot better than 39.2 percent (1989-90) in a season.
13. Dayton is beating teams by an average of 17.5 points per game. The school record of 16.1 was set in 1955-56.
14. Dayton has the third most efficient offense in the country, according to the Ken Pomeroy ratings.
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