Dayton’s Frequent Flyers

by Andrew Force | January 3rd, 2009

Flight found its way home.

The new edition Dayton Flyers truly soar. A trio of starters dubbed “The Dayton Flight Club” brings fun, and the illusion of carefree play to UD Arena.

The building itself appears to have wings on which to fly. Its contours resemble Calgary’s Saddledome but with more rigidity and less abstraction.

DFC’s members are Chris Wright, Charles Little, and Marcus Johnson. They all use their superpowers for good, but each attacks differently.

The senior, Little, bears a shape similar to Little John of Robin Hood fame. Burly, powerful and overwhelmingly strong, he works the paint for the Flyers.

Most demonstrations of Little’s leaping ability are subtle and within the confines of the game. He rebounds with two hands and does not thrive on flashy plays as the other two do.

A tenacious rebounder, not-so-little Charles has the build and grit of Corliss Williamson. Can his final year be nearly as successful as the Big Nasty’s?

Chris Wright glides around like Will Smith’s Hancock. Slightly reckless but inevitably dramatic. Even teammates become awed observers when Wright lifts off.

When freakish athleticism and unwavering drive combine, a great player is destined to result. Chris Wright has a higher vertical leap than 81% of the players in the 2008 draft class. And he is 6’8”. Chris Wright gets his feet as high off the floor as Derrick Rose.

He is a long, rangy dunker with the mid-flight agility of Rudy Gay or Joey Dorsey. Early in his sophomore year, Wright has suffered through some crash landings. Because he likes to show off his hops he can be lured by pumpfakes or pursue an offensive rebound over the backs of flightless prey.

Facing Delaware State, an admittedly inferior opponent, Wright converted an alley-oop less than 30 seconds before a timeout-inducing tomahawk jam. Only one minute later, as the trailer on a fast break, Wright accepted a hand off. A blink later his powerful arms poked another one.

Wright has the chance to become the first UD player drafted since 1990. His range extends to 20 feet, while few can challenge him on the glass.

The 20-year old sophomore is the youngest player on any of the A-10 All Conference Teams.

Marcus Johnson shares more than just initials with the 90’s dunking icon. This MJ has great lift on his jumper, just like Mike. Overly comfortable chucking from the outer rim, when he does get to the basket Johnson finishes with an uncommon flair.

The only time he looks for the lane is on the fast break. The anticipatory gasp he elicits from the crowd is enough to rouse the drowsiest of spectators.

From courtside, MJ only becomes visible when he shoots. Like the Whac-A-Mole game, his head pops up quickly and often without warning. The red headband-encircled head elevates higher than any other, occasionally above the outstretched arms of the defender.

Something outrageous is coming. And its one of the three Frequent Flyers, Charles, Chris, or Marcus, floating past the head of the defender, posterizing your favorite college star.

Dayton will not be on national television (ESPN2) until Wednesday, February 11th when they host Xavier.

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