Dayton Flyers arrive in Indianapolis for NCAA Tournament

Published: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 8:42 PM

Dayton’s Scoochie Smith leaves the bus after the team arrived in Indianapolis on March 15, 2017. David Jablonski/Staff

Ben Sander would know better than anyone in the Dayton Flyers program the last time the team took a bus to a road game. The second-year graduate assistant manager from Cincinnati handles all the travel plans. He knows when the team has to leave. He knows when it will return. He plans meals and practice times, you name it.

“I make sure if something goes wrong,” Sander said earlier this season, “I have a plan in place. I want to put our guys in a good situation to have a smooth trip so they can just focus on the game.”

RELATED: Dayton one of 18 teams to play in last four NCAA tournaments

Sander got straight to work in the lobby of the Omni Severin Hotel at 7 p.m. Wednesday after Dayton arrived in Indianapolis in advance of a 7:10 p.m. Friday game against Wichita State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. First he had to answer one question.

“When was the last time you bused to a game?” a reporter asked.

“The Duquesne game last season,” Sander said.

That was Jan. 2, 2016. The Flyer didn’t play well that day, making 3 of 25 3-pointers, though they won 66-58.

RELATED: Larry Hansgen and Bucky Bockhorn write letter to Dayton seniors

Coach Archie Miller decided this season to fly to Pittsburgh for the Duquesne game because they had such a short turnaround from the previous game three days earlier at Massachusetts. The Flyers did play well at Duquesne this time, winning 76-57 on Jan. 14. That’s one reason they flew to Pittsburgh last week for the Atlantic 10 tournament.

There was no reason to fly to Indianapolis. It’s as close as UD has played to home since it played at Miami on Dec. 3, 2014. That doesn’t count a secret scrimmage against Marquette in October of this season when the Flyers got a look at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Little did they know they would be back for the biggest game of the season.

Dayton is 5-6 all time in Indianapolis. It last played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, which used to be called Conseco Fieldhouse, in 2001. The Flyers beat Purdue 83-72. Dayton played one game at the Pacers’ previous home, Market Square Arena, losing 69-66 to Evansville in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference tournament in 1993.

Miller called Indianapolis a great city and was glad the team had an easy trip to the big dance.

“We had a couple good workouts leading into it,” he said after arriving. “We’ll get settled in tonight and really start to dive into some film with the team. Tomorrow will be a jam-packed day with media and all that. But this is the fun part for the team.”

UD TOURNAMENT LEGENDS: Negele Knight in 1990; Roosevelt Chapman in 1984; Mike Sylvester in 1974; Don May in 1967; Hank Finkel in 1966.

The Flyers (24-7) are a No. 7 seed in the South Region. Their preparation for No. 10 seed Wichita State (30-4) began Sunday as soon as the selection show ended.

Work will continue with a 4:25 p.m. practice Thursday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the home of the Indiana Pacers. Former Flyer Brian Roberts played there Wednesday night with the Charlotte Hornets.

Dayton’s practice is open to the public. Fans can attend for free. They won’t see Dayton giving away its game plan. That kind of work takes place away from the court.

“You have to prepare your team to do what you’ve done all year the best you possibly can,” Miller said. “Like we told them the other day, at this time of the year, playing good isn’t good enough. You have to play great.”


Dayton vs. Wichita State, 7:10 p.m., WHIO Ch. 7, FM 95.7, AM 1290 WHIO

WSU basketball player out of surgery and recovering 

Published: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 @ 3:52 PM
Updated: Friday, April 28, 2017 @ 10:48 AM

UPDATE @ 5:50 p.m.:

According to Ryan Custer’s recovery care page Ryan is out of surgery and recovering in his room. Doctors have informed the family that the procedure went well. According to Ryan’s father, Ryan is the third person in the world to get a 20 million count stem cell injection. Doctors estimate it will take a period of 60-90 days before any results will show. 

UPDATE April 28 @ 10:40 a.m.:

Ryan Custer, the Wright State basketball player who was injured diving into a makeshift pool at Miami University, is scheduled to undergo an extensive stem cell operation this morning at 11 a.m. 

George Custer, Ryan’s father, released on facebook the details of this procedure stating, “We are of course nervous, but Ryan is in good hands and Dr. Fessler told us although they have to open up his first incision on the back of his neck it is a lot less dangerous than his fusion surgery.” George Custer also advised that Ryan will have 20 million stem cells injected into his neck. 

Additionally, HBO is going to be at the hospital interviewing the Custer family and filming the actual procedure. George Custer said he will be give an update on Ryan’s procedure later in the day. 

EARLIER: George and Kim Custer, the parents of injured Wright State basketball player Ryan Custer, held a brief press conference Tuesday to afternoon at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center to give an update on their son’s condition and what lies ahead.

George, who got emotional multiple times during his 3 1/2 minute statement, said Ryan is being considered for a stem cell study at Rush University in Chicago.

“We just found out he leaves Friday morning at 8 o’clock,” he said. “There’s no guarantees, but he’ll be evaluated for five days and hopefully he’ll pass the test that they’re going to give him and he’ll receive an injection. And then he’ll be there seven to nine days afterward for further evaluation. At that time he’ll go to an in-patient rehabilitation facility.”

»RELATED: Wright State coach on injury: ‘It’s certainly hit everybody hard’

Ryan fractured his C5 vertebrae April 8 when he jumped into a makeshift pool during a party at Miami University. He was air-lifted to the UC Medical Center, where he is still recovering after doctors removed vertebrae fragments and shaved the C3, C4, C5 and C6 vertebrae.

»INITIAL REPORT: Wright State freshman critically injured at party

George said the family is encouraged by some of the small improvements Ryan has made recently.

“Over the past few days he’s shown some improvement in his touch and movement. He’s able to feel his fingers to the touch and he has slight movement in his fingertips. Right now he has hardly any feeling below his legs, although he has felt us rub the top of his feet and he said there’s been some tingling in his thighs and his feet.”

George also made a point to clarify that Ryan did not injure himself by diving off a balcony or through someone’s legs into the makeshift pool during an April 8 party at Miami University, as was stated in the police report.

Ryan is in good spirits but also “nervous and scared for his future,” George said, adding “He’s not sure what’s going to happen. But we’ve assure him he’s not going to make this journey alone. We’ll be right there with him.”

George and Kim, who did not take questions, wrapped the press conference by thanking everyone for their prayers and donations, and they asked that those prayers continue.

“The more prayers we have, maybe God will answer our prayers and give him the healing he needs,” George said. “The only answers we can come up with through this whole terrible situation is that Ryan has and will be an inspiration to other people. He’s a very special kid and everyone’s going to see how tough, determined and resilient his spirit truly is.”

Meet the Dayton Dragons: Cassidy Brown, catcher

Published: Friday, April 28, 2017 @ 6:02 PM

            Dragons catcher Cassidy Brown is from Columbus and played in high school at Walsh Jesuit. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Who: Cassidy G. Brown

Position: Catcher

Number: 39

Personal: R/R; 6-3, 215 pounds

Born: July 21, 1994 (22)

Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio

College: Loyola Marymount

Drafted: By Reds in 12th round in 2016.

Notable: Max Preps Ohio player of the year in 2013 at Walsh Jesuit. Had outstanding career at Loyola after slow start. A backup to Tyler Stephenson.

OHSFCA North-South football games Saturday at Massillon

Published: Friday, April 28, 2017 @ 5:27 PM

Wayne senior center Ben Jackson (left) will play on the South Divisions I-III team. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

The Ohio High School Football Coaches Association North-South All-Star Football Games will be held at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon on Saturday.

A combined Divisions IV-VII game is at noon, followed by the combined Divisions I-III game at 4 p.m.

The North head coaches are Mike Franklin of Sandusky (Divisions I-III) and Warren JFK’s Jeff Bayuk (Divisions IV-VII).

The South head coaches are Doug Frye of St. Marys Memorial (Divisions I-III) and Carlisle’s Mike Brown (Divisions IV-VII).

These games were held at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium the last three years.

The Miami Valley Football Coaches Association All-Star North-South Game will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, June 9 at Centerville High School.


When: Saturday, April 29

Where: Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, Massillon

Noon: Combined Divisions IV-VII

4 p.m.: Combined Divisions I-III.


Coach: Doug Frye, St. Marys Memorial.

Assistant coaches: Brad Childers, Franklin; Tennyson Varney, Grove City; Kyle Prosser, Oak Hills, Mike Kopachy, Newark; Nick Yahl, St. Marys Memorial.

Area players

Beavercreek: Jack Knipper

Centerville: Michael Purcell

Edgewood: Greg Dingledine

Fairfield: James Mitchell

Franklin: Eric Robinson, Noah Kremer

Miamisburg: Jake Neatherton

Piqua: Tristan Cox

Ponitz: DeEdgar Cooks

Springfield: Kelley Kinser

Wayne: Ben Jackson


Coach: Mike Brown, Carlisle

Assistant coaches: Kurt Forrest, Mechanicsburg; Kevin Gunn, Cambridge; Terry Holbert, Logan Elm; Rusty Richards, Nelsonville York; Milan Smith, Harvest Prep.

Area players

Alter: Sam Ripley

Carlisle: Ridge Reed, Steve Summer

Coldwater: Zach Klosterman

Fort Recovery: Caleb Martin

Mechanicsburg: Dylan Hartley

FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton

Former Dayton Flyers recruit commits to Colorado

Published: Friday, April 28, 2017 @ 5:01 PM

Anthony Grant speaks at a press conference at UD Arena on April 1, 2017, in Dayton. David Jablonski/Staff

Former Dayton Flyers recruit McKinley Wright on Friday announced his commitment to the University of Colorado.

Dayton released Wright from his letter of intent after coach Archie Miller left for Indiana.

New Dayton coach Anthony Grant kept two signed recruits in the fold: Jordan Davis and Jordan Pierce. Wright and Nahziah Carter asked for their release.

Wright, a senior at Champlin Park High School who was named Mr. Basketball in Minnesota, ranked 158th in the Class of 2017, according to