To kick off coverage of the 2017-18 Dayton men’s basketball season, David Jablonski will publish 17 top 10 lists on various topics between now and the season opener on Nov. 10.
Kendall Pollard saw the ranking of Dayton Flyers from Detroit on Tuesday and said he would love to see UD basketball alums from his hometown, Chicago, ranked.
So here you go, Kendall. The list is below.
Chicago has been kind to Dayton over the years, especially in recent seasons. When the Flyers played Northwestern at the United Center last December, they had three Chicagoans on the roster: Pollard, Kyle Davis and Josh Cunningham, though Cunningham missed the game with an injury.
Cunningham has this season with the Flyers and one more, so by the time his college career ends, Dayton will have had a Chicago native on the roster for six straight seasons. That’s a good thing because Chicago players have a style all their own.
“Chicago ball is a variety of everything,” Davis said in 2012. “We can handle the ball. We can all shoot jump shots. Everybody can jump. And the most important part to a Chicago basketball player, we have heart and we always want to win.”
Dayton’s history in Chicago goes way back to decades, however. Here’s a look at the top 10 scorers in UD history from Chicago and its suburbs:
1. Alex Robertson (1989-94, John Marshall High School): The 6-4 guard ranks 31st in school history with 1,212 points. He’s Dayton’s career leader in steals with 276. In 1990, coach Jim O’Brien told the Dayton Daily News Robertson’s hands “are faster than a snake’s tongue.”
2. Kendall Pollard (2013-17, Simeon Career Academy): The 6-6 forward finished his career in March with 1,171 points. He ranks 34th in school history, one spot ahead of his former teammate Dyshawn Pierre (1,145). Like Davis, he was part of a senior class that ranks first in school history with 102 victories.
3. Kevin Conrad (1979-83, Benet Academy): The 6-1 guard scored 983 points. He was inducted into UD’s Hall of Fame in 2009 and credited his coach, Don Donoher, for his success.
"I think as any former player, you don't really fully appreciate what he means to you as a player while you're there," Conrad said. "Once you graduate and see the impact he's had on your life not only as a player, but more importantly as a person, you're grateful for getting to play for a guy like that."
4. Kevin Dillard (2011-13, Homewood-Flossmoor): The 6-0 guard scored 913 points in two seasons with the Flyers. He played his first two seasons at Southern Illinois.
“He’s a bonafide, legitimate point guard who could play anywhere in the country,” coach Archie Miller told the Dayton Daily News in 2011. “Although he’s quiet, he’s really bought into the program, and he’s become our leader.”
5. George Janky (1967-70, Saint Rita’s): The 6-8 forward scored 910 points. He was the third-leading scorer as a sophomore (9.5 points per game) for the 1968 NIT champions. He was inducted into UD’s Hall of Fame in 1993.
6. Bob Sullivan (1962-65, Saint Procopius): The 6-3 guard from Westmont scored 833 points in his career.
7. Kyle Davis (2013-17, Morgan Park): The 6-0 guard made his mark on the defensive side but had a knack for finishing tough shots at the basket and turned into a solid 3-point threat. He finished his career with 830 points.
8. Luke Fabrizius (2008-12, Hersey): The 6-9 forward from Arlington Heights, northwest of Chicago, scored 541 points.
“Dayton basketball is the show in this town and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything in the world,” Fabrizius said in 2012. “This whole experience — all the good times and the tough ones, too — has really helped shape me.”
9. Rodney Horton (1994-97, Saint Joseph’s): The 6-5 forward scored 539 points in three seasons but left the program after his junior season, transferring to Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
10. Josh Parker (2010-12, Thornton): The 6-0 guard played his first two seasons at Drake before transferring to Dayton. He scored 538 points for the Flyers.
Dayton’s other Chicagoland-area players are: Josh Cunningham (2015-present); Morgan Park); Bobby Wehrli (2012-16, Benet Academy); Nick Haldes (2014-15, Mattawan); Eddie Eshoo (2011-13, Lisle); Brandon Spearman (2010-11, Simeon Career Academy); Mickey Perry (2007-10, Proviso East); Zach Thomas (1994-97, De La Salle); Tim Robbe (1980-82, Lisle); Mike Gorney (1978-82, Holy Cross); Willie Johnson (1978-79, Westinghouse); Ned Sharpenter (1966-69, Marion Military Academy); George Woywod (1951-54, St. George); Jack Keehan (1968-71, Serra); Ted Sharpenter (1926-28); Herbert Hart (1924-26); Joseph Windbiel (1915-18); Clarence Braun (1912-14); Lester Quinlan (1910-11); William Schoen (1905-07); J. Edward Grimes (1903-05).