Dayton Flyers Top 10: Best players from Detroit

Dayton has a long history of getting talent from the Motor City


Dayton senior Darrell Davis is the latest UD player from Detroit.

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.

Few cities outside Ohio — or really outside Dayton — have produced more talent for the Dayton Flyers than Detroit. The media guide lists 12 players from Detroit on the all-time roster, and there are others from the suburbs who could call the city home as well.

DAYTON TOP 10: Freshman seasonsA-10 wins; conference gamesbest recordsworst recordstop statsbest names

Thus, in honor of Dayton’s only senior scholarship player in 2017-18, Detroit native Darrell Davis, here are UD’s top-10 players from the Motor City (ranked in order of career scoring):

1. Negele Knight (1985-90, St. Martin de Porres High School): The 6-2 guard ranks eighth in school history with 1,806 points. He scored 1,699 points in six NBA seasons.

2. Johnny Davis (1973-76, Murray Wright): Dayton had a pipeline to Detroit in the 1970s, and no star shined brighter than this one. The 6-foot-1 guard Davis ranks 16th in school history in scoring (1,562) and fifth in average scoring (19.3). He’s Dayton’s third-leading scorer in the NBA with 9,710 career points.

3. Ryan Perryman (1994-98, Oak Park): The 6-7 forward ranks 18th in school history with 1,524 points. He’s fourth in the record books in rebounds (1,156).

The Flyers were 7-20 when Perryman was a freshman and 21-12 when he was a senior.

"If I could pick a single person who led the charge out of where we were, it's Ryan Perryman," said former UD Athletic Director Ted Kissell when Perryman was inducted into the hall of fame in 2003.

4. Erv Giddings (1974-78, Chadsey): The 6-7 forward scored 1,227 points and ranks 30th in school history. He’s the ninth-leading rebounder in school history (935). The New York Knicks drafted Giddings in the fourth round in 1978, but he was cut before the season began.

Former Dayton Daily News columnist Gary Nuhn ranked Giddings among his 10 favorite UD interview subjects. In 2000, Nuhn wrote, “One night (Giddings) was in a war of words with an opponent and I asked him what the other guy had said. ‘Just some mumbo-jumbo,’ Erv said. After a big night against Notre Dame, he called the win ‘monumentous.’”

5. Paul Williams (2008-12, Renaissance): The 6-4 guard scored 876 points. He scored 16 points off the bench in the NIT championship game victory against North Carolina in 2010. He averaged 9.2 points as a senior in 2011-12, Archie Miller’s first season as head coach. 

6. Allen Elijah (1972-75, Northwestern): The 6-8 forward scored 806 points.

7. Leighton Moulton (1972-76, River Rouge): The 6-4 guard scored 580 points.

8. Darrell Davis (2014-18, Frederick Douglass): The 6-4 guard has 531 points. He has 119 career 3-pointers, leaving him 36 away from moving into the top 10 in school history.

Last week, Davis talked about the upcoming season.

“I’m physically bigger,” Davis said. “I’m more in shape. I’m more mature as a person on and off the court. When I was a freshman, I wasn’t the person who had to lead the team. We had people like Scoochie (Smith) and Charles (Cooke) and Kendall (Pollard) and even Jordan Sibert, when he was here, show me the right way. Now that I’m a senior, it’s my turn to show everybody else.”

9. Bill Chmielewski (1961-62, Holy Reedmer): The 6-10 center played only season with the varsity team, but he made the most of it. He was the second-leading scorer (15.4 points per game, 462 overall) for the 1961-62 NIT champions.

MORE ON UD: 2018 guard puts Flyers in final four

Chmielewski left school in October 1962 to get a job, he told the Dayton Daily News in 2007.

"I was married at the time, and we were expecting a baby,” he said. “I needed (financial) help to make ends meet.”

10. Devin Searcy (2007-11, Romulus): The 6-10 center scored 389 points. He is currently playing pro basketball in Cyprus.

Honorable mentions: Dayton’s other players from Detroit are: Roy Gross (1909-10); Nick Ferri (1968-70, Detroit Central Catholic); Danny Jones (1974-75, Detroit Kettering High School); Mike Wilson (1975-76, Northwestern); Dave Abel (1977-80, Detroit Central Catholic); Eric Mathews (1984-88, Cass Tech); and Michael Harmon (1997-98, Murray Wright).

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