Dayton Flyers: Who is Scoochie Smith

Published: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 @ 4:26 PM

Dayton's Scoochie Smith uses a crossover dribble to create space before making his third 3-pointer in overtime against Davidson on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, at Belk Arena in Davidson, N.C.

Dayton Flyers senior Scoochie Smith lands on lists spotlighting the best names in college basketball every season. He’s more than just a great name, however. He’s one of the best point guards in the nation.

Here are five things to know about Smith:

1. He’s UD’s ironman: Smith has played in every game the past four seasons, 137 and counting. He will tie the school record for most games played, set by Chris Johnson from 2008-12, at 7:10 p.m. Friday when No. 7 seed Dayton plays No. 10 seed Wichita State in the first round of the NCAA tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. At the same time, Smith will break the school record for consecutive games played.

“ If we do win the conference championship,” said Dayton coach Archie Miller in February before the Flyers clinched their first outright Atlantic 10 championship, “there won’t be a guy around the conference who wouldn’t say, ‘The only reason they did that was because he never missed game. He was there every game.’”

Smith ranks 27th in UD history with 1,264 points.

2. His grandpa gave him his nickname: Smith, whose real name is Dayshon, grew up in Bronx, N.Y., and got to play not far from home in each of his four seasons, going 4-0 in games at Fordham.

Smith’s late grandpa George Blount gave him the nickname when he was a kid, though its origins are murky. He looked up the word online in high school.

“It said to be annoying or dance a lot,” Smith said, “I know I was definitely one of the two and maybe both.”

3. Dayton recruited him hard: Smith started to get more and more playing time toward the end of his freshman season. Dayton made an Elite Eight run in 2014 in part because he was able to provide valuable minutes behind starting point guard Khari Price, who transferred to Southern Mississippi after the season.

Dayton coaches knew Smith was the point guard of the future. They knew that during the recruiting process, which assistant coach Allen Griffin spearheaded.

“Scooch was a smart kid in terms of knowing what he wanted,” Griffin said. “Obviously he had an opportunity to play as a freshman with only one point guard in the program. He saw that. Our relationship and my relationship with people surrounding him gave me trust with Scooch, and I nagged the crap out of him — I’m not going to lie, every day, two or three times a day — to the point where Scoochie said to me, ‘Coach, listen, I like you a lot, but you’re calling me more than my girlfriend.’ I said, ‘Well, get used to it.’”

4. He makes big shots: Smith played a sub-par game at Davidson on Feb. 24 and then scored 11 points in overtime, making three straight 3-pointers. That was just the latest of his many clutch performances. Smith has made 19 of 31 field goals (63.1 percent) in the last two minutes of games.

“He’s fearless when it comes to these big moments,” Miller said.

5. He’s getting overdue recognition: Smith has been of the best point guards in the A-10 the last three seasons, but he didn’t win a postseason award until this season. He was named to the A-10 first team earlier this month.

Smith improved his numbers every season: from 3.6 points per game game as a freshman to 9.2 to 11.7 to 13.5. His assists climbed from 2.0 to 3.8 to 4.3 to 4.5. His 3-point and field-goal percentage numbers have also risen each season.

Dragons split series with Whitecaps; big series looms vs. South Bend

Published: Monday, May 29, 2017 @ 8:04 PM

            Dragons pitcher Tony Santillan throws to first base during the fourth inning of a game against West Michigan on Monday at Fifth Third Field. Contriubted Photo / Bryant Billing

The Dayton Dragons may still be a game behind West Michigan in the Midwest League East Division standings, but their 4-2 win over the Whitecaps on Monday afternoon at Fifth Third Field puts them in decent shape for a playoff spot.

Dayton (33-17) is a game behind the Whitecaps (34-16) after splitting a four-game series , but the top two teams in the division after the first 70 games qualify for the postseason. Dayton has a two-game lead over third-place South Bend (31-19 ), which travels to Fifth Third Field for a three-game series starting on Tuesday.

“It’s a big ( series ) but these guys know every game is important,” manager Luis Bolivar said. “ These guys never give up and don’t put their heads down when things go bad. They’ve proven all year long they go after it.”

Game changer: Brantley Bell took a 3-2 pitch over the heart of the plate to right field in the eighth innin g to thwart West Michigan’s momentum.

The Dragons had a 3-0 lead after the fourth , but the Whitecaps scored once in each the fifth and sixth innings to stay in the game. West Michigan left two runners on base in the sixth and seventh, including one on third.

The Dragons got an insurance run in the eighth. Taylor Trammell walk ed to start the inning and advanced to second after John Sansone was hit by a pitch. After the next batter struck out, Bell hit a line drive to right to score Trammell.

With a runner on third in the ninth, Joel Kuhnel struck out the Whitecaps Cam Gibson to end the game.

Clean game : After the two teams brawled on Sunday night, Monday’s game went by without incident. Bolivar attributed that to the professionalism of his players.

“That’s huge for us for these guys to be able to come back and put that behind them and play well,” Bolivar said. “Every other time we’ve had bad things happen or we lose, they’ve put it behind them.”

Possible suspensions for the brawl could come down from the league office early this week.

Dragons tales: First baseman Bruce Yari hit his second home run of the series and put Dayton up 3-0 in the fourth inning on a solo shot to the lawn section in right field .

Yari, a left-handed hitter, joined the team on May 15 after being called up from extended spring training in Arizona. He has played in nine games and is batting .312 with five RBI’s.

“He’s been pretty good and sure to the ball,” Bolivar said. “He’s been able to hit lefties.”

Jose Siri was back in the lineup on Monday after being ejected from Sunday’s game. He went 1-for-3 and drew a walk.

On deck: Scott Moss (7-1, 2.60 ERA) is scheduled to start Tuesday’s game against South Bend. In his previous two games against the Cubs, he’s struck out 17 batters and allowed one run and seven hits in 11 innings.

Reds reliever Cingrani “feels strong” in rehab stint with Dragons

Published: Monday, May 29, 2017 @ 8:02 PM
Updated: Monday, May 29, 2017 @ 8:02 PM

            Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Tony Cingrani throws a pitch during a rehab assignment with the Dragons on Monday at Fifth Third Field. Cingrani threw 24 pitches in the first inning and didn’t allow a hit. Contributed Photo/ Bryant Billing

Reds relief pitcher Tony Cingrani felt slight discomfort in his right oblique during his last few pitches in a game against Baltimore on April 18 but didn’t think i t was anything serious. The pain didn’t go away, though, and he’s been on the disabled list for the last six weeks.

Cingrani took a step toward returning to the Reds on Monday in a rehab assignment with the Dragons. He pitched the first inning of Dayton’s 4-2 win against West Michigan and over the course of 24 pitches recorded three groundouts with one walk.

Most importantly, Cingrani said he feels normal.

“Everything’s good, everything feels strong,” Cingrani said. “I’ve just got to get back into it, moving my arm that fast again. I’ve been off a few weeks.”

Cingrani went on the disabled list two days after his last game when his pain didn’t go away. He was the first of several bullpen pitchers to go on the disabled list. Brandon Finnegan was put on the 60-day disabled list earlier this month to join Homer Bailey and Anthony DeSclafani , who have been on the DL all season.

Left-hander Amir Garrett was placed on the disabled list late last week with right hip inflammation, which leaves Wandy Peralta as the Reds only lefty in the bullpen.

Cingrani, a left-hander, complimented the bullpen’s play in his absence.

“They’re doing really well,” Cingrani said. “It’s a good group of guys. Pitching’s doing great, and we’re having some guys really step up. It’s been fun to watch. I know they’ve thrown a lot of innings and are kind of beat up, so it will be fun to get back out there.”

Cingrani forced the Whitecaps first two batters to hit into groundouts but then walked Jacob Robson on a series of low throw s and had a wild pitch get away from Dayton catcher Cassidy Brown. Manager Luis Bolivar visited the mound, and Cingrani was able to force another groundout shortly after.

“It’s a little weird to get back out there after five weeks of doing nothing,” Cingrani said. “Getting in tune with the catcher (Brown) was difficult because he was looking away when I was trying to tell him what pitch I was going to throw. That got in my head a little.”

Cingrani said he expects to make another rehab start before returning to Cincinnati, but he said the organization doesn’t have a definitive timetable for his return.

“It’s day-by-day,” Cingrani said.

Dragons manager Luis Bolivar said the players enjoyed the visit.

Though Cingrani has been in the Reds organization since getting drafted in 2011, Monday was his first game at Fifth Third Fie ld. He moved from low-A Billings in 2011 to AA Pensacola in 2012, bypassing the Dragons.

Meet the Dayton Dragons: Ty Boyles, pitcher

Published: Monday, May 29, 2017 @ 3:29 PM
Updated: Monday, May 29, 2017 @ 6:33 PM

            Dragons pitcher Ty Boyles spent all of last season at Dayton. PHOTO COURTESY OF NICHOLAS STUDIOS

Who: Ty Russell Boyles

Position: Pitcher

Number: 40

Personal: R/L; 6-3, 270 pounds

Born: Sept. 30, 1995 (21)

Birthplace: Quartz Hill, Calif.

School: Quartz Hill High School

Drafted: Round 11 by Reds, 2013.

Notable: Selected in the First-Year Player Draft out of high school. Spent all of last season with the Dragons (6-8, 4.81 ERA) and part of 2015. Returned to Dragons on May 19 from the Daytona Tortugas (Class A-Advanced). Currently 1-0 (2.84 ERA) in two Dragons’ starts.

D-I girls track: area state qualifiers

Published: Monday, May 29, 2017 @ 5:45 PM

Northmont’s Melissa Barrett (right) takes a slight lead over Troy’s Morgan Gigandi in the 4x800 relay during the D-I district track and field meet at Wayne High School on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

The following are area Division I girls qualifiers for this week’s state track and field meets.

When: Friday and Saturday.

Where: OSU’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, Columbus.

D-I area girls state qualifiers

Beavercreek: Jordan Grant, 4x800R; Jodie Pierce, 4x800R; Stephanie Pierce, 4x800R 800; Lauren Shuman, 4x800R; Eileen Yang, PV

Centerville: Olivia Fenner, DT SP

D-I BOYS: Area state track and field qualifiers

Fairfield: Kyla Ellery, 4x100R; Monica Johnson, 4x100R; Tyra Kennedy, 4x100R LJ; Nina Ward, 4x100R

Fairmont: Jazmyn Potts, 100H

D-II BOYS: Area state track and field qualifiers

Lakota East: Serena Clark, 100 4x100R 200; Jasmine Floyd, 4x100R; Kaylyn Heath, 100 4x100R; Dani Stoughton, 4x100R

Northmont: Melissa Barrett, 800 4x400R; Lauren Daniel, 4x200R 4x400R; Ashley Hoke, 4x200R 4x400R; Mattea Parker, 4x200R 4x400R; Jayla Tarver, 4x200R

D-II GIRLS: Area state track and field qualifiers

Oakwood: Emily Worley, 400

Piqua: Ashley Ho, HJ

D-III BOYS: Area state track and field qualifiers

Springboro: Lindsey Coffin, 3200; Kennedy Lewis, 100 200

Talawanda: Valerie Green, HJ

D-III GIRLS: Area state track and field qualifiers

Troy: Ashley Barr, 4x200R 400; Lenea Browder, DT; Celina Courts, 4x200R; Morgan Gigandet, 3200; Alaura Holycross, SP; Camryn Moeller, 4x200R; Christine Moser, PV; Annah Stanley, 4x200R

Wayne: Taylor Robertson, LJ; Graysen Simmons, PV

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