Dear Dayton Flyers seniors: Here’s what you’ve meant to us

Published: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 10:08 AM
Updated: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 10:06 AM

WATCH: Highlights from Senior Night ceremony at UD Arena on March 1, 2017.

Dear Flyer seniors,

My WHIO radio partner Bucky Bockhorn and I have had a front-row seat to watch you on the court the last four years and access off the court to get to know you better than the average fan and other members of the media.

RELATED: Dayton Flyers tournament special on WHIO-TV, WHIO radio

ARCHIE MILLER: Seniors cornerstone of Flyers program

As you prepare to enter your final days in a Flyer uniform, we thank you for what you have given us, the fans, the University of Dayton and the community.

Jeremiah Bonsu

Dayton players (left to right: Joey Gruden, Jeremiah Bonsu, Michael Schwieterman and Jack Westerfield) watch from the bench during a game against Richmond on Tuesday, March 1, 2016, at the Robins Center in Richmond, Va. David Jablonski/Staff(Staff Writer)

Your dream was to play college basketball, but Archie Miller is not a genie granting wishes. The only reason he gave you a uniform is because he thought you could make the team better. You did. Not everyone saw the work you put in during practice or heard the encouragement and instruction you passed along during games, but the record of this team speaks to that. Your desire for greatness, balanced by your humility, will take you far in life.

ARCHDEACON ON BONSU: ‘They call me love’

Charles Cooke

Dayton’s Charles Cooke, right, drives against Vanderbilt’s Jeff Roberson on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

You came to Dayton to become a better player on a bigger stage. The work you put in during the year you sat out, laid the foundation for you to be an all-conference performer. But not only did you become a better player, you became a better teammate. You impacted games by doing so much more than scoring. You stuffed the stat sheet with assists, rebounds, blocks and steals. You will make a lot of money playing basketball in the future, but I dare to say your fondest memories will be as a Flyer.

RELATED: Cooke makes big impact in two years with Flyers

Kendall Pollard

Kendall Pollard celebrates a basket against Rhode Island’s Hassan Martin with just over two minutes to play Friday in Kingston, R.I. David Jablonski/Staff(Staff Writer)

You are fearless. People in Chicago told you not to come to Dayton, but you followed your heart and your head. You were your own man making that decision and in your playing career. Your energy level impacted this team on a daily basis. Not only were the Flyers better with you on the court on game day but every day in practice. Your body betrayed you at times, but we never heard you complain.

Our favorite memory will be those moments when you would get a defensive rebound, and we knew — everyone in the arena knew — that you were going to take the ball 94 feet to the rim. You usually scored, but when you didn’t or got called for a charge, it never kept you from going again.

RELATED: Pollard playing at high level for Dayton

Kyle Davis

Dayton’s Kyle Davis scores against Duquesne on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff(Staff Writer)

You may be the toughest player that we can recall being around. Toughness is not just a physical trait, and you are physically tough, but you showed the mental toughness to be a great competitor. No stat sheet will ever define your impact. You didn’t hit lots of shots, only big ones. You took on the toughest defensive assignments, smiling the whole time while you drove an opponent crazy. Bucky has always said you were the heart and soul of this team and I totally agree. Your leadership skills will make you, and those around you, winners for years to come.

RELATED: Davis has had ‘career-best year’ for Flyers

Scoochie Smith

Dayton's Scoochie Smith shoots against Saint Mary's on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff(David Jablonski)

You came to Dayton with a nickname that grabbed people’s attention, but you will leave having made a name for yourself in the rich tradition of Flyer basketball. You never missed a game and we are pretty sure you only missed one practice. Surrounded by more openly emotional guys, you were a calming force on the floor and practice. Your scoring and assists puts you in elite company at UD. You may be the best layup shooter we have ever seen, finding ways to kiss the ball off the glass in traffic with either hand.

RELATED: 5 things to know about Scoochie Smith

And we won’t remember you for your celebrations after hitting a big 3. We will remember the fact that you would always rise to the occasion to take the big shot.

PHOTOS: Senior night with the Flyers

We will miss you all, but are happy for the future you have ahead of you.

Your friends,

Larry and Bucky

Oklahoma extends offer to elite WR prospect from Texas

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 6:04 PM

Oklahoma-Oklahoma Sooners-CeeDee Lamb-Kenneth Murray-All-Americans

The Oklahoma Sooners have extended an offer to one of the best prospects in Texas, who just so happens to attend the alma mater of Baker Mayfield, Lake Travis (TX). Garrett Wilson is his name, and the highly recruited prospect will visit Oklahoma on February 17th.

Wilson had a staggering 98 catches for 1,728 yards and 27 touchdowns as a junior. He was also responsible for a number of highlight-reel caliber plays over the course of the year.

Wilson was also used on the ground at Lake Travis, rushing 17 times for 87 yards and two touchdowns. He completed three of the four passes he attempted on the season, and threw for a touchdown. He was also an AP second team All-State performer.

The four-star prospect holds offers from nearly every college in the nation, and 247’s Crystal Ball projections are split down the middle between Ohio State and Texas.

The post Oklahoma extends offer to elite WR prospect from Texas appeared first on Diehards.

Kentucky basketball: Wildcats react to late, controversial no-call on tying attempt

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 6:00 PM

LEXINGTON, Ky. — John Calipari couldn’t believe he was asked about the no-call that went against Kentucky in the final seconds of a 66-64 loss Saturday to Florida, but surely the coach knew the question was coming.

“I’ve been asked some dumb questions in my life — I don’t mean to embarrass you — but everybody saw it,” Calipari said of the contact.

PJ Washington rose for a put in when it appeared that a Florida player hit Washington in the face while trying to rip the ball away. Kentucky threw the ball away on the impending inbounds pass with 2.5 seconds left to seal the Gators’ win.

“I can’t control officiating, but obviously in the heat of the moment I thought he got fouled,” sophomore forward Wenyen Gabriel said.

Freshman center Nick Richards went a different route with his reaction to the play.

“Next question, please,” Richards said. “Sorry, I’m not going to talk about that. … We actually did it to ourselves. We made certain plays at the end … basically did it to ourselves. We dug that hole ourselves.”

Boos rained down from a sold-out Rupp Arena after the game. Kentucky fans were furious at the lack of a foul call.

“I saw my guys flying around, trying to make plays, hands on balls,” Florida coach Mike White said of the no-call.

Kentucky fell to 14-5 and 4-3 in the SEC.

Watch: John Calipari’s press conference after Kentucky’s loss to Florida

WATCH: John Calipari after Kentucky's loss to Florida

Posted by Kentucky Wildcats – SEC Country on Saturday, January 20, 2018

The 3-pointer: What we learned from Alabama basketball’s XX Mississippi State

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 5:36 PM

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama basketball needed all 40 minutes to put away the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday night.

After building a 20-point lead, Alabama watched it all slip away and had to hang on for a 68-62 victory inside Coleman Coliseum.

Alabama was without star freshman Collin Sexton (abdominal) for the second straight game.

Offense needed

Alabama missed Collin Sexton’s offensive punch against the Bulldogs. Only two Crimson Tide players — Braxton Key and Daniel Giddens — were able to score in double figures on Saturday night.

Luckily for Alabama that Mississippi State dug a big hole to start, and the Crimson Tide was able to hang on.

Braxton Key finding his confidence

The moment the three-pointer dropped, Braxton Key threw up his hands as if to say “about time.” Key has struggled offensively since returning from his knee injury, but he appeared to return to form on Saturday night.

Key surpassed the double-digit mark for the first time this year, scoring 16 points in 28 minutes. Key made some gutsy plays throughout the contest, including a layup with one minute remaining that proved to be the difference.

Having Key play well is paramount for Alabama, especially with Collin Sexton out but also for when he returns. Sexton, Key and John Petty could give Alabama a nice scoring punch from the perimeter.

Near meltdown

A win is a win, but Alabama basketball did everything in its power to lose this game. The Crimson Tide led by as many as 20 points, and looked ready to cruise to victory. Sloppy play and scoring droughts along with hot shooting from Mississippi State allowed the Bulldogs to get back into the game.

It’ll be interesting to see how Avery Johnson evaluates this one. On one hand, you’re happy with the victory, but at the same time, Johnson can’t be pleased with how his team played down the stretch. That will get you beat against good teams.

Up next for Alabama basketball

Alabama will play its lone road contest in the current five-game stretch when it travels to face the Ole Miss Rebels on Tuesday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on the SEC Network.

Controversial call: Did refs miss no-call in final seconds of Florida-Kentucky finish?

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 5:32 PM

It wouldn’t be SEC basketball without a little bit of controversy at the end of games. Saturday night’s thriller between Florida and Kentucky was no different.

The Gators came away victorious, winning 66-64 in Lexington. And Kentucky certainly had its chances to tie or win the game down the stretch.

But it’s worth wondering if forward P.J. Washington should’ve been awarded free throws for this physical drive in the game’s waning moments. Decide for yourself:

Washington was not given credit for drawing the foul, and the Wildcats turned it over on the inbounds play with 2.5 seconds remaining. Ball game.

ESPN’s Jay Bilas was on the call, and declared it was a missed call by the officials.

This is Kentucky’s second straight loss, and it moves them back to 4-3 in SEC play. That’s a big disappointment for John Calipari in the Wildcats, who now have a great deal of work to do if they want to get back to the top of the conference.

Meanwhile, Florida is now 6-1 in the SEC and sits a half game ahead of Auburn in the conference standings.

Come tournament time, that no-call could prove to be very important.

Kentucky closes out the regular season with another meeting against Florida, this time in Gainesville, on March 3.