Flyers fall to 5-6 with loss to Saint Mary’s

Published: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 @ 10:59 PM

Jablonski: Dayton Flyers go cold at key moment

The Dayton Flyers hung with Saint Mary’s for one half and still had a chance with seven minutes to play. Then momentum shifted — and fast.

The Gaels scored 14 straight points in a four-minute span, pulling away for a 69-54 victory Tuesday at McKeon Pavilion. Dayton fell to 5-6 with one non-conference game remaining Saturday against Wagner at UD Arena.

“I felt like in the second half we just had a tough time having any consistency from an offensive standpoint,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said. “They got some big offensive rebounds. The big guy inside (Jock Landale) was able to go to work in the second half and get some easy stuff at the rim. We had a tough time in man and zone being able to contain him, whether it was scoring in the post, offensive rebounding and that obviously opened up the 3-point line for them. They’re one of the best offensive teams in the country. We knew that coming in that we would have to do a good job in those areas.”

» SAINT MARY’S PREVIEW: Toughest game of seasonWhat to know about matchupA-10 honors Cunningham Davis locked in, Grant says

Landale scored 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting. He grabbed 11 rebounds. Calvin Hermanson led the Gaels (10-2) with 17 points. Jordan Ford added 16.

Saint Mary’s made 3 of 12 3-pointers in the first half and then 6 of 11 in the second half. Dayton shot the ball well in the first half, making 6 of 16 3-pointers but made 3 of 10 in the second half.

Dayton got off to a strong start. After trailing 13-8, the Flyers went on a 12-0 run and led for the rest of the first half. The lead was 31-29 at halftime.

The Gaels opened the second half with a 12-2 run. Dayton cut the deficit to 49-46 on a 3-pointer by Josh Cunningham with 7:06 to play. That’s when the decisive run began.

Xeyrius Williams led the Flyers with 16 points, hitting a couple of late 3-pointers. Jordan Davis scored 11. Cunningham had nine points and eight rebounds.

Darrell Davis was held scoreless and missed all 11 of his shots.

Analysis: John Calipari says Kentucky is ‘fine’ after Florida loss, but is it?

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 7:44 PM

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky lost for the second time in as many games, the third time in SEC play and fifth time overall this season on Saturday night against Florida. The Wildcats coughed up mind-boggling turnovers, had another horrible 3-point shooting night, turned a rousing start into a rotten finish again.

But strangely, when it was over, the 66-64 defeat punctuated by an uncalled takedown on UK’s tying attempt with 2.5 seconds to go and one last turnover to seal the deal, coach John Calipari was in a wonderful mood. At the podium, at least.

“We’re going to be fine,” he told reporters. “What I saw today: That is one of the best offensive teams in the country [and] we held them to 33 percent [field goals] and 20 percent from the 3-point line. We had some freshman mistakes [but] the ability to pass the ball to one another, the ability to really scramble defensively and do some good things — we’re going to be fine.

“I was worried after South Carolina, now. I’m not worried after this. We’ll be fine.”

But will they? Calipari knows his fan base is prone to panic, and that having 5-star recruiting target Zion Williamson make a surprise commitment to archrival Duke at roughly the same time Saturday night’s game tipped off only makes things worse.

So forgive the skeptic for thinking his postgame cheer might’ve just been Calipari’s attempt to talk them — and himself — down off a ledge.

“I’m good,” he said. “I know there’s some people out there that will be panicked and all this. Be panicked. I’m glad I’m not sitting with you, because I am fine.”

RELATED: Everything Calipari said after the loss

Perhaps the most popular meme on the Internet today, non-Crying Jordan division, is a cartoon of a dog sitting down for coffee with a burning house all around him and the caption, “This is fine.” Calipari said the Wildcats will be “fine” six times Saturday night in front of the cameras.

He was less reassuring behind the closed doors of Kentucky’s locker room.

“He didn’t show us none of that after the game,” freshman center Nick Richards said. “He was basically on us the whole time. He said we fought but we all just made dumb fouls — we’re not thinking as the game is going along. He was yelling at us, basically.”

To be fair, the 18 th-ranked (not for long) Wildcats did do some really good and potentially encouraging things against the Gators. Namely, Kentucky (14-5, 4-3) held Florida (14-5, 6-1) well below its season scoring average (82 ppg) and 3-point percentage (.397).

The visitors shot just 6 of 30 from beyond the arc in what was the Wildcats’ best display of perimeter defense all season.

“I thought Kentucky played really hard … defended us at as high a level as any team has defended us,” Gators coach Mike White said. “I was really impressed with the length in person, the closing speed on shooters, the attention to detail. It was pretty suffocating.”

The Wildcats also outrebounded Florida 49-38 and outscored the Gators 38-26 in the paint. Sophomores Sacha Killeya-Jones and Wenyen Gabriel were terrific again off the bench — a combined 17 points and 10 rebounds in 31 minutes between them — and Richards delivered his best game in weeks with 8 points, 9 boards and 2 blocks in 20 minutes.

Kentucky, which has started five freshmen every game this season, was good enough to build an eight-point lead late in the first half and nearly erase a six-point deficit with 44 seconds to go. Kevin Knox and Wenyen Gabriel hit clutch 3-pointers and both Quade Green and PJ Washington had close-range looks at tying buckets in the final 10 seconds, but both were blocked (fouled?) and ended up on the ground.

Proud of them. They gave themselves a chance to win,” Calipari said. “You know, we’re OK. We’re OK.”

There he goes talking himself — and Big Blue Nation — into it again. Except, the Wildcats also made just 23 percent of their 3-pointers Saturday and have hit only 5 of 28 in consecutive losses to South Carolina and Florida.

And they coughed it up 16 times Saturday, including four in a row during a 13-3 Gators run to close the first half. That left Kentucky playing catch-up the rest of the way. In the postgame locker room, Calipari did away with most of his happy talk.

“He definitely took some encouraging things from this game,” Gabriel said, “but he’s definitely frustrated. He sees what we can be out there, but we just keep stumbling away from that.”

So, not fine?

“What do you mean, ‘fine’? It’s tough taking two losses like this,” Gabriel continued. “But we’re going to be good. It’s not the end of the world. Basketball has its ups and downs. We’re going to start winning again, and I feel like we’re going to get back on a roll eventually.”

RELATED: Jemarl Baker ‘not close’ to return for Cats

UCLA falls on the road to Oregon: Three things we learned

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 7:31 PM

It was a road trip in which UCLA could not afford to be swept. And yet that’s exactly what happened, as a loss at Oregon State on Thursday preceded another to Oregon on Saturday night in a game that the Bruins fought and fought and fought — and ultimately fell short.

UCLA lost, 94-91, going down big early, only to battle all the way back to within three before the comeback bid was snuffed. With just 10 games left on the schedule for UCLA, it is getting dangerously into must-win territory, as the Bruins are now 13-7 and mired in the middle of a struggling Pac-12.

Three things we learned from the loss:

UCLA needs to shore up its rebounding

The Bruins caught the Ducks on a torrid shooting night. Sometimes this happens, regardless of what the defense does. But what can’t happen is giving a torrid shooting team extra opportunities, which UCLA gifted to Oregon over and over again on Saturday night.

Had it not been for Thomas Welsh, UCLA’s lone formidable presence inside, it’s a wonder what the Bruins would have given up on the glass. Troy Brown alone accounted for three of the Ducks 11 offensive rebounds en route to 17 points for Brown.

The Bruins’ defense has enough trouble as it is, ranking No. 268 in the country. Allowing offensive rebounds does nothing to help the cause.

UCLA’s turnovers doomed the Bruins

Midway through the second half, UCLA’s primary ball handlers, Aaron Holiday and Jaylen Hands, accounted for 10 turnovers, four and six, respectively.

At that exact same point in the game, Oregon as a team had turned the ball over just four times total.

Those numbers rarely portend anything positive for obvious reasons. Aside from limiting its own offense, UCLA jumpstarted Oregon’s, allowing Payton Prichard and Victor Bailey to run wild in transition, eating up easy buckets, running up 52 points by halftime.

UCLA’s defensive woes are rough enough on their own. They can’t afford to allow the offense to contribute to the problem.

On the plus side…UCLA’s free throws were money

The only reason the Bruins were able to keep this one as close as it was for so long was because they were so sharp from the free throw line. They made 13 of their first 16, proving to be their only reliable source of points in the first half, and ended the game 26 of 32.

It was a nice surprise to see UCLA shoot well from the stripe, as it has struggled this year, making just 69.8 percent of its free throws on the year, good for 209 in the country.

If there’s a positive to take from the night, let that be the silver lining.

Oregon basketball survives comeback from UCLA: Three things we learned

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 7:29 PM

In a fight for Pac-12 relevancy, the Oregon Ducks survived a frenetic comeback from UCLA on Saturday night, 94-91.

The Ducks leapt out to a quick lead, claiming a 17-point advantage late in the first half — an advantage that proved to be barely enough. UCLA fought back to within three but couldn’t put the comeback together. It was a much-needed win for Oregon, which entered the contest just 2-4 in Pac-12 play and a disappointing 12-7 on the year.

After losing three of the past four, the Ducks’ win now pushes them to 13-7 with a home tilt against Oregon State a week away.

Three things we learned from the win:

Oregon’s press was its best offense

The first half was a track meet for the Ducks, as they reeled off 52 points in the first 20 minutes. Some of this was done in the half-court, but the majority of the damage was done via the press, which UCLA struggled mightily with. The Bruins turned the ball over eight times in the first half, resulting in easy buckets the other way for the Ducks.

“UCLA is running backwards while the Ducks are flying downhill,” Bill Walton said, in one of his more coherent thoughts of the night.

It’s an adequate summation of the first half, and the majority of the game as a whole, for Oregon’s offense.

Payton Prichard is lethal in transition

The final score doesn’t suggest it, but Oregon’s offense often grew stagnant at times in the half-court. As mentioned above, the press resulted in a number of easy baskets, but so, too, did its blink-and-you-missed-it transition offense, led, namely, by Payton Prichard, who finished with a game-high 25 points.

When the Ducks were able to secure a clean rebound and outlet it to Prichard, the result was almost a foregone conclusion: Prichard layup, Prichard dish to a layup, or two Oregon free throws. It’s why the Bruins were saddled with foul trouble early, and one of the primary reasons Oregon was able to jump out to such a quick lead, able to simply maintain it the rest of the way.

Victor Bailey had his breakout game

Victor Bailey was the No. 85-ranked recruit for the Class of 2017, a four-star Texas native who was, reasonably, expected to make significant contributions this season. And he did at first, scoring 15, 16, and 18 in three of the Ducks’ first four games.

And then he disappeared. As hit shots stopped falling, his minutes waned, and he failed to reach double-figures in eight of he nine games preceding Saturday night’s matchup with UCLA.

In the first half alone, Bailey poured in 15 en route to 18 total for the night.

NFL mock draft 2018: First-round projections, top players, 2018 NFL Draft order (01/20/2018)

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 2:30 AM

NFL Draft 2018 mock drafts are here. The NFL Playoffs play conference championships on Sunday, Jan. 20. Find 2018 NFL mock drafts below.

Much of the narrative around the 2018 NFL Draft is focused at quarterback. Mock drafts from Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports both have quarterbacks littering the top 10.

Here is a collection of 2018 NFL mock drafts from around the internet, plus Land of 10’s own projection.

NFL mock draft 2018: First-round projections, top players

Land of 10 predictions

1 Cleveland Browns Sam Darnold USC QB
2 New York Giants Connor Williams Texas OT
3 Indianapolis Colts Saquon Barkley Penn State RB
4 Cleveland Browns Mike McGlinchey Notre Dame G
5 Denver Broncos Baker Mayfield Oklahoma QB
6 New York Jets Josh Rosen UCLA QB
7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Bradley Chubb NC State DL
8 Chicago Bears Courtland Sutton SMU WR
9 San Francisco 49ers Derwin James Florida State DB
10 Oakland Raiders Minkah Fitzpatrick Alabama DB
11 Miami Dolphins Roquan Smith Georgia LB
12 Cincinnati Bengals Quenton Nelson Notre Dame G
13 Washington Redskins Calvin Ridley Alabama WR
14 Green Bay Packers Joshua Jackson Iowa DB
15 Arizona Cardinals Mason Rudolph Oklahoma State QB
16 Baltimore Ravens Denzel Ward Ohio State DB
17 Los Angeles Chargers Orlando Brown Oklahoma OL
18 Seattle Seahawks James Washington Oklahoma State WR
19 Dallas Cowboys Christian Kirk Texas A&M WR
20 Detroit Lions Ogbonnia Okoronkwo Oklahoma LB
21 Buffalo Bills Josh Allen Wyoming QB
22 Buffalo Bills Arden Key LSU DL
23 Los Angeles Rams Rashaan Evans Alabama LB
24 Carolina Panthers Maurice Hurst Michigan DL
25 Tennessee Titans Sam Hubbard Ohio State DL
26 Atlanta Falcons Vita Vea Washington DL
27 New Orleans Saints Marcus Davenport UTSA DL
28 Pittsburgh Steelers Malik Jefferson Texas LB
29 Jacksonville Jaguars Harold Landry Boston College LB
30 Philadelphia Eagles Tremaine Edwards Virginia Tech LB
31 Minnesota Vikings Billy Price Ohio State OL
32 New England Patriots Derrius Guice LSU RB

NFL mock draft 2018: ESPN projections by Mel Kiper

1 Cleveland Browns Josh Allen Wyoming QB
2 New York Giants Josh Rosen UCLA QB
3 Indianapolis Colts Bradley Chubb NC State DE
4 Cleveland Browns Saquon Barkley Penn State RB
5 Denver Broncos Sam Darnold USC QB
6 New York Jets Minkah Fitzpatrick Alabama CB
7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Quenton Nelson Notre Dame G
8 Chicago Bears Calvin Ridley Alabama WR
9 San Francisco 49ers Denzel Ward Ohio State CB
10 Oakland Raiders Roquan Smith Georgia LB
11 Miami Dolphins Mike McGlinchey Notre Dame OT
12 Cincinnati Bengals Tremaine Edmunds Virginia Tech LB
13 Washington Redskins Baker Mayfield Oklahoma QB
14 Green Bay Packers Marcus Davenport USA DE
15 Arizona Cardinals Josh Jackson Iowa CB
16 Baltimore Ravens Brian O’Neill Pittsburgh OT
17 Los Angeles Chargers Da’Ron Payne Alabama DT
18 Seattle Seahawks Derwin James Florida State S
19 Dallas Cowboys Vita Vea Washington DT
20 Detroit Lions Sam Hubbard Ohio State DE
21 Buffalo Bills Mike Hughes UCF CB
22 Buffalo Bills Maurice Hurst Michigan DT
23 Los Angeles Rams Carlton Davis Auburn CB
24 Carolina Panthers Billy Price Ohio State C/G
25 Tennessee Titans Harold Landry Boston College OLB
26 Atlanta Falcons Christian Kirk Texas A&M WR
27 New Orleans Saints Courtland Suttin SMU WR DL
28 Pittsburgh Steelers Rashaan Evans Alabama ILB
29 Jacksonville Jaguars Mark Andrews Oklahoma TE
30 Philadelphia Eagles Kolton Miller UCLA OT
31 Minnesota Vikings Connor Williams Texas OT
32 New England Patriots Rasheem Green USC DE

NFL mock draft 2018: Top players, projection for first round

CBS Sports projection

1 Cleveland Browns Sam Darnold USC QB
2 New York Giants Josh Rosen UCLA QB
3 Indianapolis Colts Minkah Fitzpatrick Alabama DB
4 Cleveland Browns (from Texans) Saquon Barkley Penn State RB
5 Denver Broncos Baker Mayfield Oklahoma QB
6 New York Jets Connor Williams Texas OT
7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Bradley Chubb NC State DE
8 Chicago Bears Courtland Sutton SMU WR
9 San Francisco 49ers Quenton Nelson Notre Dame G
10 Oakland Raiders Roquan Smith Georgia LB
11 Miami Dolphins Derwin James Florida State S
12 Cincinnati Bengals Orlando Brown Oklahoma OT
13 Washington Redskins Josh Allen Wyoming QB
14 Green Bay Packers Calvin Ridley Alabama WR
15 Arizona Cardinals Lamar Jackson Louisville QB
16 Baltimore Ravens Derrius Guice LSU RB
17 Los Angeles Chargers Vita Vea Washington DT
18 Seattle Seahawks Marcus Davenport UTSA DL
19 Dallas Cowboys James Washington Oklahoma State WR
20 Detroit Lions Maurice Hurst Michigan DT
21 Buffalo Bills Mason Rudolph Oklahoma State QB
22 Buffalo Bills (from Chiefs) Harrison Phillips Stanford DL
23 Los Angeles Rams Joshua Jackson Iowa CB
24 Carolina Panthers Anthony Miller Memphis WR
25 Tennessee Titans Taven Bryan Florida DT
26 Atlanta Falcons Da’Ron Payne Alabama DT
27 New Orleans Saints Tremaine Edwards Virginia Tech LB
28 Pittsburgh Steelers Malik Jefferson Texas LB
29 Jacksonville Jaguars Mark Andrews Oklahoma TE
30 Philadelphia Eagles Denzel Ward Ohio State CB
31 New England Patriots Ogbonnia Okoronkwo Oklahoma LB
32 Minnesota Vikings Chukwuma Okorafor Western Michigan OT

NFL mock draft 2018: First-round projections for 2018 NFL Draft

Sports Illustrated’s NFL executive-vetted projection

1 Sam Darnold USC QB
2 Saquon Barkley Penn State RB
3 Josh Rosen UCLA QB
4 Bradley Chubb NC State DE
5 Minkah Fitzpatrick Alabama CB
6 Quenton Nelson Notre Dame G
7 Mike McGlinchey Notre Dame OT
8 Connor Williams Texas OT
9 Denzel Ward Ohio State CB
10 Josh Allen Wyoming QB
11 Derwin James Florida State S
12 Da’Ron Payne Alabama DT
13 Courtland Sutton SMU WR
14 Harold Landry Boston College DE
15 Roquan Smith Georgia LB
16 Calvin Ridley Alabama WR
17 Christian Wilkins Clemson DT
18 Tarvarus McFadden Florida State CB
19 Orlando Brown Oklahoma OT
20 Clelin Ferrell Clemson DE/LB
21 Austin Bryant Clemson DE/LB
22 Christian Kirk Texas A&M WR
23 Sam Hubbard Ohio State DE/LB
24 Arden Key LSU DE
25 Chukwuma Okorafor Western Michigan OT
26 Dre’Mont Jones Ohio State DT
27 Baker Mayfield Oklahoma QB
28 Derrius Guice LSU RB
29 Isaiah Oliver Colorado CB
30 Rashaan Evans Alabama LB
31 Damien Harris Alabama RB
32 James Washington Oklahoma State WR

2018 NFL Draft: First round order

Pick Nos. 1 through 20 are set now that the regular season is finished.

1. Cleveland Browns

2. New York Giants

3. Indianapolis Colts

4. Cleveland Browns

5. Denver Broncos

6. New York Jets

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

8. Chicago Bears

9. San Francisco 49ers OR Oakland Raiders (coin flip)

11. Miami Dolphins

12. Cincinnati Bengals

13. Washington Redskins

14. Green Bay Packers

15. Arizona Cardinals

16. Baltimore Ravens

17. Los Angeles Chargers

18. Seattle Seahawks

19. Dallas Cowboys

20. Detroit Lions

21. Buffalo Bills

22. Buffalo Bills (from Chiefs)

23. Los Angeles Rams

24. Carolina Panthers

25. Tennessee Titans

26. Atlanta Falcons

27. New Orleans Saints

28. Pittsburgh Steelers