Dayton Flyers

Dyshawn Pierre
Associated Press

Judge rejects Ohio basketball player’s reinstatement bid

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DAYTON, Ohio (AP) A federal judge on Friday again rejected a star basketball player’s bid for reinstatement to the University of Dayton after a suspension linked to a female student’s sexual assault accusation.

Dyshawn Pierre’s one-semester suspension ends soon, but he’d hoped for a ruling to help clear his record and let him rejoin the team immediately.

His attorney, Peter Ginsberg, said he and Pierre are disappointed and considering their options, such as appealing the decision or continuing with his lawsuit against the university.

The university, which declined to comment on the ruling, previously said Pierre didn’t suffer irreparable harm and there was no reason to cut short the suspension.

His lawsuit noted that Montgomery County prosecutors declined to file charges against the 6-foot-6 senior from Toronto. Pierre has said the allegation stemmed from a consensual sexual encounter, and he called the school’s investigation “fundamentally unfair” with a “wholly irrational, unsubstantiated” conclusion after a hearing that didn’t accommodate his learning disability.

“In circumstances of this seriousness, the university owed a duty to do more than the bare minimum,” Ginsberg said. “It should have been fair and thorough and professional, and Dayton has been none of those things.”

In October, U.S. District Judge Thomas Rose denied a temporary order to stop the school from enforcing the suspension. Rose ruled that the public interest is served by allowing universities to carry out disciplinary rules and procedures to keep an educational environment harassment-free.

He wrote that the school’s hearing board found Pierre was “unable to demonstrate that he received any words or actions that indicated he had effective consent for sexual intercourse or sexual contact.”

Ginsberg argued that the disciplinary board lacked training to interpret medical and law enforcement issues in the case.

It’s unclear whether Pierre will play this season. Coach Archie Miller told the Dayton Daily News on Thursday that he’ll meet with Pierre when the suspension ends Dec. 20 to gauge his physical and mental status and ability to contribute this season. Miller said Pierre will play “if it’s feasible” or sit out a year.

The Flyers are 7-1 after upsetting No. 21 Vanderbilt on Thursday.

Second-half resurgence pushes Dayton past No. 21 Vanderbilt

Kendall Pollard, Damian Jones
Associated Press
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A renewed commitment to working the ball around for quality shots led to Dayton erasing an eight-point halftime deficit (they trailed by as much as 16 in the first half) to beat No. 21 Vanderbilt in Nashville, winning by the final score of 72-67.

Archie Miller’s Flyers shot 59.3 percent from the field in the second half, with improved shot selection being a key factor. After settling for perimeter shots against a team without its leading shot blocker in Luke Kornet in the first half, attempting ten three-pointers (making three), Dayton attempted just five three-pointers in the second half.

Instead the ball went inside on a more regular basis, with Dayton scoring 24 of their 40 paint points in the game’s final 20 minutes. Kendall Pollard, who hit a huge three-pointer in the game’s final minute, scored 12 of his game-high 21 points in the second half and redshirt freshman big man Steve McElvene (ten points, nine rebounds) chipped in with six points and five rebounds.

As a team Dayton outscored Vanderbilt 40-22 in the paint while also controlling the rebounding stats (38.5 percent offensive reb. percentage, 79.8 percent defensive reb. percentage), which led to their holding a 17-2 edge in second chance points.

While Damian Jones accounted for 18 points and eight rebounds, Vanderbilt didn’t get much production from their other front court players on a night when they needed them to step up. Dayton took advantage, and they managed to pick up a result that will look good on their résumé as the season wears on. Also of note is the fact that Dayton is now 12-3 in their last 15 games against SEC opponents.

Dayton has depth, experience and talent, attributes taken into consideration by voters when they were picked to win the Atlantic 10 in the league’s preseason media poll. Yet with an eye towards the future the play of McElvene may be the biggest takeaway for the Flyers. After accounting for 14 points, ten rebounds and four blocks in a win over North Florida the redshirt freshman followed it up with another solid outing, doing so against a big man projected to be a first round pick in June’s NBA Draft.

Dayton has players such as Pollard, point guard Scoochie Smith and forward Charles Cooke to lean on for key contributions. But if McElvene can continue to develop, at his size (6-foot-11) he gives Dayton a piece they’ve lacked in recent years. And with the suspended Dyshawn Pierre expected back at the end of the semester, an already deep Dayton squad will get deeper ahead of conference play.

No. 23 Xavier makes statement, blows out Dayton

Chris Mack
Associated Press
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With in-state rivals No. 23 Xavier and Dayton meeting for the first time since 2013, there was a lot of anticipation for Sunday’s AdvoCare Invitational title game in Orlando. But after 20 competitive minutes the Musketeers removed any doubt, blowing out the Flyers by a final score of 90-61.

The depth, talent, experience and toughness of Chris Mack’s team was on display throughout the event, most especially Sunday evening. Eight players scored at least eight points against Dayton, and as they had throughout the tournament Xavier dominated on the boards. The Musketeers grabbed 37.1 percent of its offensive rebound opportunities and limited Dayton to just four offensive rebounds, turning that into a 17-2 edge in second chance points.

Add in 27 Xavier points off of 22 Dayton turnovers, and it was clear who dictated the terms of engagement in this much-anticipated meeting.

The offensive rebounding and turnovers issues took their toll on the Flyers, who managed to keep the game close until late in the first half. But Xavier was able to stretch out the margin to eight by the intermission, and a 21-0 run pushed the margin out to 29 with just over 12 minutes remaining in the game. Dayton’s gotten off to a good start, despite not having the suspended Dyshawn Pierre, and they’re going to win a lot of games this season.

But there was a clear difference between these two teams Sunday night, with the deep Musketeers looking like one that can not only build on last season’s Sweet 16 run but exceed it.

On the season six players are averaging at least 9.7 points per game, which makes it hard for the opposition to focus its defensive efforts on one or two players. Jalen Reynolds and James Farr can take control of games in the paint. Trevon Bluiett has the ability to score from just about anywhere on the floor, and this team doesn’t lack for perimeter shooters either. Add in a redshirt freshman point guard in Edmond Sumner who’s hit the ground running in filling the role left vacant by the graduation of Dee Davis, and this is a team capable of being a factor nationally.

Xavier’s reached the Sweet 16 in five of the last eight seasons, so success is to be expected from this program. And if their start to this season is any indication, this group of Musketeers is more than capable of not only challenging Villanova atop the Big East but adding to that recent run of success.

Field for 2016 DirecTV Wooden Legacy announced

Steve Alford
Associated Press
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Another in-season tournament field for next season was revealed, as the DirecTV Wooden Legacy announced the eight teams that will make the trip to Fullerton, California.

UCLA, which was led to ten national titles by the event’s namesake, will take part as well CSUN, Dayton, Nebraska, New Mexico, Portland, Texas A&M and Virginia Tech. Six of the eight teams have made prior appearances in the event, with Dayton and Nebraska being the two programs who will make their DirecTV Wooden Legacy debuts next season.

Portland and Virginia Tech reached the title game in their prior appearances, with the Pilots losing to West Virginia in 2009 and the Hokies falling to UNLV in 2010.

Dayton’s Pierre fighting suspension, allegations

during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Nationwide Arena on March 22, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio.
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Dayton senior Dyshawn Pierre will fight his suspension and is also dealing with an alleged sexual assault that could be the basis of his first-semester suspension, according to multiple reports.

In a report from Josh Sweigart from the Dayton Daily News, another Dayton student accused Pierre of sexual assault, which Pierre and his lawyer, Peter R. Ginsberg, have denied.

From Sweigart’s report:

In response to a request under Ohio public records laws for records related to criminal allegations against Pierre, UD police provided 15 pages detailing an investigation into allegations that a sexual assault occurred on campus in the early-morning hours on April 23.

The incident was reported in May and the investigation was concluded in June. It then was turned over to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office. Prosecutor’s office spokesman Greg Flannagan said his office declined to press charges “due to insufficient evidence.”

With Pierre now publicly facing sexual assault allegations due to Sweigart’s report, Ginsberg released a statement on Wednesday night, which was first reported by ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman.

“A false accusation against University of Dayton student-athlete Dyshawn Pierre has recently become the subject of media attention in light of Dyshawn’s semester-long suspension. Dyshawn adamantly denies that he engaged in any inappropriate conduct of any sort. Law enforcement clearly agreed and decided not to pursue prosecution of him. Ignoring that decision made by qualified professionals, the University of Dayton subjected Dyshawn to fundamentally defective and unfair University disciplinary procedures orchestrated to appease a broken Department of Education policy. We will be challenging the University’s handling of this matter in the near future.

Dyshawn looks forward to a full and fair hearing and, ultimately, to vindication. No one — woman or man — should be subjected to abuse, and no one — woman or man — should be deprived of fundamental rights and fair treatment. We look forward to the truth coming out, and Dyshawn looks forward to returning to the University of Dayton.”

Dayton announced that Pierre was not enrolled in classes over the weekend but the school cited federal privacy laws and declined to elaborate in the statement. The first semester at Dayton ends on Dec. 18, which means if the suspension were upheld Pierre could return as soon as Dec. 22 for the Flyers game against Miami (Ohio).

With Pierre looking to fight this suspension, we’ll have to wait and see how this unfolds and if he’ll be able to return during the first part of the season. As one of the major pieces returning to Dayton from last season’s NCAA tournament team, the Flyers need Pierre’s versatility as he tied for second on the team in scoring (12.7 ppg) and led in rebounding (8.1 rpg).

Dayton forward suspended for fall semester

Dyshawn Pierre, Ben Bentil
Associated Press
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Despite dealing with depth issues from December on, the Dayton Flyers managed to make their second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance and nearly made their way to the Sweet 16 after playing in the First Four. Thanks to the addition of some new recruits depth wasn’t expected to be an issue for Archie Miller’s Flyers this season, but on Sunday it was learned that one of the team’s top returnees will miss some time.

Senior forward Dyshawn Pierre, who along with Kendall Pollard is the team’s leading returning scorer, has been suspended for the fall semester. According to the statement released by the school he is not enrolled in classes this semester. No details were provided, with the school citing federal privacy laws as the reason why.

Not only did Pierre average 12.7 points per game last season, but he also led the Flyers in rebounding by pulling down 8.1 caroms per contest. Pierre shot 46.3 percent from the field as a junior and was fourth on the team with 36 made three-pointers. Not having a player such as Pierre who can score on multiple levels and also hold his own as a rebounder and defender will hurt the Flyers as they look to navigate their non-conference schedule.

The earliest Pierre can return to the program is at the end of the fall semester (December 18), meaning that he’ll miss games against the likes of Alabama (November 17), Iowa (November 26 as part of the Advocare Invitational in Orlando), and Vanderbilt (December 9).

With Pierre unavailable, players such as Pollard and James Madison transfer Charles Cooke become of even greater importance for Dayton. The Flyers also add three freshman forwards to the mix in Sam Miller, Xeyrius Williams and Ryan Mikesell among the team’s four newcomers.