Sports Today: How patient are Dayton Flyers fans right now?

Published: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 10:11 AM

A fan cheers during a game between Dayton and Tennessee Tech on Dec. 6, 2017, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff
Staff Writer
A fan cheers during a game between Dayton and Tennessee Tech on Dec. 6, 2017, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff(Staff Writer)

Let’s see how much ground we can cover today after a busy week for sports in the Miami Valley. 

Going by the Facebook comments on my Dayton Flyers basketball column yesterday, fans are far from panicking about the struggles of Anthony Grant’s first season as coach at his alma mater. 

One pointed out the loss of four starters from last season and the continuing effect of the sad and unexpected loss of Steve McElvene and preached patience as Grant establishes his practices with his recruits. 

Two others pointed out the need for better defense (no question that’s going to be necessary), another called for pushing the pace offensively and, yes, one did post the Flyers need a new coach. 

Of course, this is not a big sample size, but in my experience the majority is rarely silent when things aren’t going well. 

As always, I welcome your feedback via email, on Twitter or Facebook… 

Dayton is back in action Saturday night at 6 against VCU. 

This game presents at least two obvious challenges: It is on the road, where Dayton has been pretty terrible this season, and it is against a team with a score to settle. 

The Flyers drubbed the Rams at UD Arena in January, a game that made some wonder if Dayton was ready to go on a run. 

That of course did not happen, but this time around they are coming off a similar performance at home against Duquesne… 

Wright State avoided an upset at home last night to remain in first place in the Horizon League. 

The Raiders are still tied with Northern Kentucky thanks to a late hot streak by Grant Benzinger, who scored 22 points in a 68-64 win over Green Bay

“When things weren’t going well offensively, and it was most of the night, we still guarded and we rebounded,” Raiders coach Scott Nagy said. ” We talk about that all the time, and it won us the game.”

The Norse nearly were upset by Milwaukee but pulled out a 54-52 win on their home floor. 

›› Latest Bracketology has WSU facing local foe in first round

›› WSU women whip Detroit to snap skid

The Panthers are next for Wright State while Green Bay heads to NKU this weekend. 

Then the Raiders have a bye before playing host to Northern Kentucky next Friday night in a game that certainly looks like it will decide the Horizon League champion… 

WSU rallies to beat Green Bay

After a one-day delay, we were out and about at signing day ceremonies yesterday in Dayton and Springfield

Mike Hartsock caught up with Tavion Thomas and Joseph Scates after the two Dunbar standouts signed with Cincinnati and Iowa State, respectively. 

I watched a dozen Wildcats share their future plans with friends and family in the library at Springfield. 

Thomas and Springfield’s Leonard Taylor both talked about the opportunity to play ball close to home and help the Bearcats program grow back into something special under former Ohio State assistant Luke Fickell. 

Springfield coach Maurice Douglass told the crowd Urbana has expressed the desire to build with local talent, too, in Division II… 

Signing day at Dunbar.

Meanwhile, the news of the impending breakup of the GWOC continues to resonate. 

Trotwood-Madison superintendent Kevin Bell was diplomatic in answering questions about the move, which as of now looks like it will leave the Rams to contend with the larger schools in the league after the smaller ones opted to form their own new conference. 

»RELATED: 5 things to know about GWOC shake-up

He acknowledged there are concerns that decision had a racial component and wondered why adults seemed not to want their kids to be in a competitive situation anymore against the Rams, who have played in two straight state championship games in football (they won last fall) and made the title game in basketball last season. 

For (our students), they have to ask why don’t these other schools want to compete with us? Kids are kids and they just want to compete. They want to have good rivalries and enjoy the sport. At the kid level, I don’t see any concern or issue. … What’s the problem all of a sudden? Ultimately, it’s an adult-based concern.” 

10 members of the Greater Western Ohio Conference are reportedly dropping out of the GWOC.

We’ve already mentioned the Dayton game, but what else is on tap this weekend? 

Miami University hosts Toledo tonight in a game you can watch on CBS Sports Network at 6. 

WSU returns to action Saturday night against Milwaukee, and the first-place Dayton women’s basketball team plays at noon Sunday at Georgia Washington. You can watch the Flyers on ESPNU. 

The Ohio State men host Iowa at 6 p.m. Saturday on BTN. The Buckeyes will look to avoid a letdown after their stunning win at Purdue on Wednesday night. The Hawkeyes nearly knocked off Michigan State earlier this week, but that game was in Iowa City (where Ohio State already won this season). 

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Report: Former LSU player Lewis Neal carries entrepreneurship into the NFL

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 1:19 PM

Lewis Neal’s investment into his future was well known during his college days playing for LSU.

He once tweeted that he’s the first  African-American athlete to own a financial investment firm.

LSU beat writer Ross Dellenger of the Baton Rouge Advocate also mentioned that he created a smartphone app and owned his own hair salon in college.

Now it’s apparent Neal has continued his business-first mindset in the NFL. Darren Heitner of Inc.com recently profiled Neal’s latest exploits.

The average millionaire has 7 streams of income, so we should not just focus on one which is just football. We should build an empire while our personal brand is still relevant so when you are done playing football people are going to continue to be intrigued by what you are doing, because you have built a brand outside of the sport as well. Also, by creating your own business while playing football, you are setting yourself up for guaranteed money, because we all know NFL money is never guaranteed especially in times like the off-season.

Looks like somebody paid attention in the classroom. Heitner also mentioned that Neal is also now the co-owner of a CyberSecurity company called HyperSpace.

He was also a leader on the field for the Tigers his senior year, gathering 60 tackles with 3.5 sacks. Neal played in 7 games for the Cowboys last season, playing his best against the Chargers when he had two tackles.

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WATCH: Johnny Manziel’s comeback tour makes a pit stop at UCLA

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 1:17 PM

Former Cleveland Browns and Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is on a full comeback tour. He has recently given interviews expressing his desire to play quarterback once again and recently accepted an invitation to participate in  the Spring League.

The Spring League, which held its inaugural season last year, is a three-week scouting event in Austin, Texas.

As Manziel prepares for The Spring League, he is spending some time on the UCLA campus and using the UCLA football practice fields for some drills. Below is a video he posted on Tuesday of him going through some throwing drills.

Manziel, 25, was the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner as a freshman at Texas A&M. He was drafted No. 22 overall by the Cleveland Browns in the 2014 NFL Draft but has not played in the NFL since the 2015 season.

Manziel doesn’t have many connections to UCLA, though he does live in Los Angeles. However, at one time he was committed to Oregon and Chip Kelly, who is now in his first year with the Bruins.

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Olympics Hockey: Scores, schedule, bracket, results for Tuesday (02/20/2018)

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 1:00 AM

The 2018 Olympics Hockey action continues Tuesday, February 20. Get the complete schedule, scores, bracket and results below.

Action includes four men’s hockey games and one women’s hockey game. USA men’s hockey plays the Czech Republic Tuesday ET in a quarterfinal.

Olympics Hockey: Schedule, scores for Tuesday

Tuesday, February 20

LIVE SCORES

  • Men’s hockey (Playoff qualification): Norway 2, Slovenia 1 (OT)
  • Women’s hockey (Finals for No. 5-6): Switzerland 1, Japan 0
  • Men’s hockey (Playoff qualification): Finland 5, South Korea 2
  • Men’s hockey (Playoff qualification): Germany 2, Switzerland 1
  • Men’s hockey (Quarterfinal): Czech Republic vs. USA, 10:10 p.m. ET on CNBC

Olympics Hockey: Bracket

Men’s Hockey

Click here for a live bracket

Playoff qualification (winners to quarterfinals)

Note: All times ET

  • Germany 2, Switzerland 1
  • Finland 5, South Korea 2
  • USA 5, Slovakia 1
  • Norway 2, Slovenia 1 (OT)

Quarterfinals

  • Sweden vs. Germany, 7:10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 21 ET
  • Canada vs. Finland, 7:10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 21
  • Czech Republic vs. USA, 10:10 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 20 on CNBC
  • Olympic Athletes from Russia vs. Norway, 2:40 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 21

Semifinals

  • Sweden-Switzerland-Germany winner plays Canada-Finland-South Korea winner
  • Czech Republic-USA winner plays Olympic Athletes from Russia-Norway winner
  • Games at 2:40 a.m. ET on Friday, Feb. 23 and 7:10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 23

Bronze Medal

  • 7:10 a.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 24

Gold Medal

  • 10:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 24

Olympic Men’s Hockey: Standings

PRELIMINARY ROUND

Group A

Pos. Team W OTW OTL L GF GA GD Pts.
1 Czech Republic 2 1 0 0 9 4 +5 8
2 Canada 2 0 1 0 11 4 +7 7
3 Switzerland 1 0 0 2 10 9 +1 3
4 South Korea 0 0 0 3 1 14 -13 0

Group B

Pos. Team W OTW OTL L GF GA GD Pts.
1 Olympic Athletes from Russia 2 0 0 1 14 5 +9 6
2 Slovenia 0 2 0 1 8 12 -4 4
3 USA 1 0 1 1 4 8 -4 4
4 Slovakia 1 0 1 1 6 7 -1 4

Group C

Pos. Team W OTW OTL L GF GA GD Pts.
1 Sweden 3 0 0 0 8 1 +7 9
2 Finland 2 0 0 1 11 6 +5 6
3 Germany 0 1 0 2 4 7 -3 2
4 Norway 0 0 1 2 2 11 -9 1

Olympic Women’s Hockey: Standings

PRELIMINARY ROUND

Group A

Pos. Team W OTW OTL L GF GA GD Pts.
1 Canada 3 0 0 0 11 2 +9 9
2 USA 2 0 0 1 9 3 +6 6
3 Finland 1 0 0 2 7 8 -1 3
4 Olympic Athletes from Russia 0 0 0 3 1 15 -14 0

Group B

Pos. Team W OTW OTL L GF GA GD Pts.
1 Switzerland 3 0 0 0 13 2 +11 9
2 Sweden 2 0 0 1 11 3 +8 6
3 Japan 1 0 0 2 6 6 0 3
4 Korea 0 0 0 3 1 20 -19 0

Olympics Hockey: Scores, results

Saturday, February 10

  • Women’s hockey: Sweden 2, Japan 1
  • Women’s hockey: Switzerland 8, Korea 0

Saturday, February 11

  • Women’s hockey: USA 3, Finland 1
  • Women’s hockey: Canada 5, Olympic Athletes from Russia 0

Monday, February 12

  • Women’s hockey: Switzerland 3, Japan 1
  • Women’s hockey: Sweden 8, Korea 0

Tuesday, February 13

  • Women’s hockey: Canada 4, Finland 1
  • Women’s hockey: USA 5, Olympic Athletes from Russia 0
  • Women’s hockey: Switzerland 2, Sweden 1

Wednesday, February 14

  • Women’s hockey: Japan 4, Korea 1
  • Men’s hockey: Slovakia 3, Olympic Athletes from Russia 2
  • Men’s hockey: Slovenia 3, USA 2 (OT)
  • Men’s hockey: Finland 5, Germany 2
  • Women’s hockey: Canada 2, USA 1

Thursday, February 15

  • Men’s hockey: Sweden 4, Norway 0
  • Women’s hockey: Finland 5, Olympics Athletes from Russia 1
  • Men’s hockey: Czech Republic 2, South Korea 1
  • Men’s hockey: Canada 5, Switzerland 1
  • Men’s hockey: USA 2, Slovakia 1

Friday, February 16

  • Men’s hockey: Olympic Athletes from Russia 8, Slovenia 2
  • Men’s hockey: Finland 5, Norway 1
  • Men’s hockey: Sweden 1, Germany 0
  • Men’s hockey: Czech Republic 3, Canada 2 (shootout)
  • Women’s hockey quarterfinal: Olympic Athletes from Russia 6, Switzerland 2

Saturday, February 17

  • Men’s hockey: Switzerland 8, South Korea 0
  • Women’s hockey quarterfinal: Finland 7, Sweden 2
  • Men’s hockey: Olympic Athletes from Russia 4, USA 0
  • Men’s hockey: Slovenia 3, Slovakia 2 (shootout)
  • Men’s hockey: Germany 2, Norway 1 (shootout)
  • Women’s hockey: Switzerland 2, Korea 0

Sunday, February 18

  • Men’s hockey (Group A): Czech Republic 4, Switzerland 1
  • Women’s hockey (Classification for Nos. 5-8): Japan 2, Sweden 1 (OT)
  • Men’s hockey (Group A): Canada 4, South Korea 0
  • Men’s hockey (Group C): Sweden 3, Finland 1
  • Women’s hockey (Semifinals): USA 5, Finland 0

Monday, February 19

  • Women’s hockey (Semifinals): Canada 5, Olympic Athletes from Russia 0
  • Men’s hockey (Playoff qualification): USA 5, Slovakia 1
  • Women’s hockey (Finals for No. 7-8): Sweden 6, Korea 1

Tuesday, February 20

  • Men’s hockey (Playoff qualification): Norway 2, Slovenia 1 (OT)
  • Women’s hockey (Finals for No. 5-6): Switzerland 1, Japan 0
  • Men’s hockey (Playoff qualification): Finland 5, South Korea 2
  • Men’s hockey (Playoff qualification): Germany 2, Switzerland 1
  • Men’s hockey (Quarterfinal): Czech Republic vs. USA, 10:10 p.m. ET on CNBC

Wednesday, February 21

  • Men’s hockey (Quarterfinal): Olympic Athletes from Russia vs. Norway, 2:40 a.m. on NBCSN
  • Women’s hockey (Bronze Medal): Finland vs. Olympic Athletes from Russia, 2:40 a.m. on USA
  • Men’s hockey (Quarterfinal): Canada vs. Finland, 7:10 a.m.
  • Men’s hockey (Quarterfinal): Sweden vs. Germany, 7:10 a.m.
  • Women’s hockey (Gold Medal): USA vs. Canada, 11:10 p.m. on NBCSN

Friday, February 23

  • Men’s hockey: Semifinal, 2:40 a.m.
  • Men’s hockey: Semifinal, 7:10 a.m.

Saturday, February 24

  • Men’s hockey: Bronze medal, 7:10 a.m.
  • Men’s hockey: Gold medal, 11:10 p.m.

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Deshaun Fenwick takes needed Florida detour to reach South Carolina

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 1:00 PM

Usually, when a high school football player moves to Bradenton, Fla., he’s already considered to be among the nation’s most elite prospects.

IMG Academy brings the best of the best to its plush campus and world-class facilities. It’s where 5-stars go to work on their craft with other 5-stars before making a quick stop in college, en route to the NFL.

That wasn’t the case for Deshaun Fenwick, who moved to Bradenton to make something of his high school career, to give himself a better chance at succeeding in life.

Before his sophomore year in high school, Fenwick took the road less traveled to Bradenton.

RELATED: Deshaun Fenwick looks forward to life with the Gamecocks

The path began during a phone conversation with John Ferritto, a little league football coach who moved to the area a few years earlier from Louisville, Ky. Ferritto invited Fenwick to join him in Bradenton and experience life as a high school football player in the state of Florida, with an eye on landing a scholarship to play college football.

“It was not a very good school, especially not at football,” Fenwick said of his school in Louisville.

“I mean, I really was trying hard to make something of myself. … [Ferritto] was talking to me one day and he said, ‘You need to move down. That school you’re at right now isn’t going to do anything for you. You’re not going to go to college from there, so you need to think about moving down.’”

RELATED: Watch Fenwick go for 133 yards, 4 scores

Fenwick finished his freshman season, visited Ferritto in Florida and elected to make the move, but in order for it to happen, Fenwick’s grandfather, Jay Greer, had to relinquish custody to Ferritto.

Everything came together in time for Fenwick to move from Louisville and enroll at Braden River High School in time to play as a sophomore.

Deshaun Fenwick (left) was the first 2018 running back to commit to Will Muschamp (right). (Hale McGranahan/SEC Country)

With this tape, you shall run

Ferritto trusted Fenwick’s ability to play running back. There was a time, however, when Ferritto didn’t trust Fenwick’s ability in one pretty important aspect of playing the position.

“He came over to our [little league] team, because the team that he was on didn’t let him run the ball, wouldn’t let him run the ball,” Ferritto said, “So I let him run the ball, but he fumbled all the time, so I literally had to tape the ball to his hand in practice, just to make sure he wouldn’t fumble the ball, so we could run plays.”

It worked out.

Fast-forward to 2015, Fenwick’s sophomore season, when he rushed for 630 yards and 9 touchdowns. That was just the start.

In three years at Braden River, Fenwick ran for 2,786 yards and 29 touchdowns. He also caught 28 passes for 538 yards and 7 scores.

Two months ago, the former 3-star running back recruit enrolled at South Carolina, to begin his career as a college running back.

“Honestly, John’s done so much for me,” Fenwick said. “He put me in the position I was [in]. … He gave me the opportunity to make something of myself and I just took advantage of it.”

Bumps along the way

As would be the case with a lot of high school sophomores, packing up and leaving wasn’t easy for Fenwick, even though the surroundings he left behind in Louisville weren’t always the best.

“It’s hard moving away from your family,” he said. “I moved down there with a coach. I didn’t have any other family near the vicinity of Florida, so people don’t understand how hard that is, being away from your family.

“FaceTiming is good and talking on the phone is good, but you can’t spend time with your family. I had to adjust to a whole new set of people and that transition is rough. I wouldn’t put it past anyone, but if you want to become something, I would highly recommend it.

“It will make you a man.”

To make matters a little more challenging, the football was on a completely different level than anything he’d experienced.

“It was a hard transition getting used to the football aspects of everything, the speed of the game,” Fenwick said. “I mean, the play calling, the game, the game style, it was pretty tough to adjust to, [but] I got it down, mastered it.”

Now he gets to try his hand at mastering the SEC.

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