Xeyrius Williams: It’s a ‘special feeling’ starting with four seniors

Published: Saturday, March 04, 2017 @ 8:11 AM

Dayton's Xeyrius Williams cuts down the net after a victory against Virginia Commonwealth on March 1, 2017, at UD Arena.
David Jablonski - Staff Writer
Dayton's Xeyrius Williams cuts down the net after a victory against Virginia Commonwealth on March 1, 2017, at UD Arena.(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

Xeyrius Williams climbed the ladder Wednesday at UD Arena with the confidence of someone who had been there and done that.

The Dayton Flyers sophomore cut down the net as a senior at Wayne High School after winning the state championship. He cut down the net as a freshman at UD after the Flyers beat Virginia Commonwealth 68-67 in overtime on Senior Night to clinch a share of the Atlantic 10 regular-season championship. He cut down the net on another Senior Night on Wednesday as the Flyers celebrated a 79-72 victory over VCU and their first outright A-10 championship.

RELATED: Voice of Flyers puts championship in perspective

It has been quite a ride this season for Williams, who hit two late 3-pointers to beat Rhode Island in a key February game and earned a starting job in the final weeks of the season next to the four seniors.

“It’s a special feeling being trusted out there with some upperclassmen,” Williams said Wednesday.

Williams and fellow sophomores Ryan Mikesell, Sam Miller and John Crosby are the only players in UD history to win regular-season conference championships in their first two seasons. UD had never won back-to-back championships.

RELATED: A real gem, UD Arena shines brightest on A-10 title clinching night

Foul trouble limited Williams to 10 minutes Wednesday. He was held scoreless for the first time since the second and third games of the season but was on the court for the opening minutes when Dayton took a 4-0 lead. That was key after the Senior Night ceremony.

“All the traditions of senior night, they tend to lull you to sleep,” Williams said. “It takes longer than expected. It was tough to get out there at the beginning, but we knew we had to come out strong off the bat and be ready to play.”

WATCH: Dayton Flyers celebrate after beating VCU to clinch A-10 title.

Williams has been a key cog for the Flyers all season. He scored 17 points in the previous game against Davidson. He’s averaging 7.9 points and 4.7 rebounds. He has 35 blocked shots.

PHOTOS: 24 photos for 24 wins — Dayton vs VCU

The Flyers return to action at 8 p.m. Saturday, playing George Washington in the regular-season finale at the Smith Center in Washington, D.C. The A-10 tournament in Pittsburgh follows. The A-10 will release a bracket not long after the conclusion of Dayton’s game, the latest of the seven A-10 games today.

“Were happy about the moment now, but we’ve talked about it,” Williams said. “We have to be ready to go. We’ve got George Washington, and then we’ve got to be ready for the A-10 tournament.”

WATCH: Some of the top plays from Dayton's 79-72 win over VCU

WATCH: 5-year-old dancer steals the show at Cavs-Warriors’ game

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 4:46 PM

From the Facebook page of the NBA.
From the Facebook page of the NBA.

The halftime show of Monday night’s game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors featured a dancing 5-year-old whose moves amazed thousands of NBA fans around the world. 

With the Cavaliers’ Scream Team in the background, young Tavaris Jones danced to the song “Rolex” by Ayo and Teo, according to media reports. 

The video has gone viral as nearly 50,000 people have watched in on YouTube alone. 

Roger Goodell may see clown towels in his image for Patriots-Chiefs game

Published: Thursday, September 07, 2017 @ 4:30 PM

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is slated to attend the NFL's opening game on Thursday as the New England Patriots host the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium. He may not get the warmest welcome from Pats fans.

Dave Portnoy, founder of Barstool Sports, is a native of Massachusetts. In a recent Barstool post, Portnoy said he had ordered towels that feature an illustration of Goodell as a clown. Portnoy had originally ordered 30,000 towels, but that number has grown to 70,000.

He is asking for volunteers to join him in distributing towels during tailgating festivities before the game.

Why do Patriots fans have such hard feelings about Goodell? The Deflategate saga, which ultimately led to quarterback Tom Brady being suspended for four games last season.

Greenville advances to regional final for third straight season

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 4:11 PM

Greenville softball three wins from first state title since 2007

The third-ranked Greenville Lady Wave will play for a spot in the state final four for the third straight season, advancing with a 14-4, six-inning victory in a Division II regional semifinal against No. 6 Clinton-Massie on Wednesday at Mason High School.

Greenville last reached the state final four in 2012. Last season, the Lady Wave lost 4-0 to Hamilton Ross in the regional final. In 2015, they lost 7-1 to Granville.

Greenville won the state title in 2007, made the final four in 2010 and lost in the state final in 2012.

Of the many big hits Wednesday, the biggest was a three-run home run by Alli Hill in the sixth inning. Greenville has scored 10 or more runs in 22 games.

Greenville (28-3) will play No. 8 Shawnee or No. 9 Jonathan Alder at noon Saturday at Mason.

10 things you missed from Dayton Flyers coach Anthony Grant’s interview on WHIO Radio

Published: Wednesday, May 10, 2017 @ 10:59 AM

Anthony Grant talks on WHIO Radio on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, in Dayton. Jeremy Ratliff/Staf
David Jablonski
Anthony Grant talks on WHIO Radio on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, in Dayton. Jeremy Ratliff/Staf(David Jablonski)

Six weeks into his tenure as head coach of the Dayton Flyers, Anthony Grant stopped by WHIO Radio to talk to the voice of the Flyers, Larry Hansgen, on the Miami Valley Morning News. 

Here are some highlights from the interview Wednesday morning:

• On putting the coaching staff together: “It has been hectic, but it’s been good. I’m really happy with the staff we’ve put together. We’re moving in the right direction in terms of finishing things out.”

RELATED: A look back at Grant’s playing career

•  On associate head coach Anthony Solomon: “He’s a former head coach, a guy who’s been a lot of different places and has a lot of relationships. He’s very good on the floor.”

• On assistant coach James Kane: “He’s a guy I knew when I was at the University of Florida. He was a student there. Long story. We used to play a 3-on-3 challenge against the students. We were undefeated for a long time, and James’ team actually beat us. It’s the only time anyone beat us in my time there.

EXCLUSIVE: A sneak peak at UD Arena renovations

• On assistant coach Ricardo Greer: He played 14 years overseas, and actually in a week and a half, he’s going into the hall of fame in France for his playing career.”

• On special assistant Darren Hertz: “Darren has an important role for us in terms of analytics, breaking down our team and helping me to analyze what we’re doing offensively and defensively.”

• On new recruit Jalen Crutcher: “Once he saw this place and saw the resources we have here and the commitment on and off the court, academically, athletically, socially, I think he saw this will be a great fit for him.”

• On John Crosby returning to the team: “John, obviously, is a guy who has had kind of a rocky road a little bit, I think it would be fair to say, in terms of his production on the court. He’s a guy who really has a lot of pride in terms of wanting to do well and wanting to showcase what he’s capable of doing. I think he just wanted some reassurance that he would have an opportunity to compete and earn playing time and help the team. When you talk to his teammates, they all said great things about him in terms of who he is as a person. Once we worked all that out, in terms of his understanding the direction we were taking the program and his role in it, I think he felt very comfortable moving forward. He did a great job finishing out academically. We’re excited to have him back on the team.”

RELATED: Crosby has a change of heart

• On getting to know his new players: “My first order of business for them was to take care of the classroom, to make sure they finished strong academically. We really didn’t do much on the court. I was able the last couple of weeks, before they had preparation for finals, to get them on the court and just see where they’re at. This will be a big summer. Some of the guys will be here first summer session. Then we’ll have pretty much everybody here for the second summer session.”

• On two of the biggest influences on him, Don Donoher and Billy Donovan: “The common thread between those two guys is their understanding of what it takes to win, not only on the court but in life.

• On what his time as a player at UD meant to him: “I talked to the guys who just finished their careers here and about their passion for their place. This is a special place and will always be a special place for those who played here.”