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Published: Friday, March 17, 2017 @ 7:05 PM
Updated: Friday, March 17, 2017 @ 7:05 PM
LOUISVILLE, KY. — With their schedule getting tougher each year, the Dayton women’s basketball players have learned to take games against power-five conference teams in stride.
And it’s no different as they enter the NCAA Tournament on Saturday against traditional juggernaut Tennessee.
“We are just going to focus on what we can do. They are just another team,” guard JaVonna Layfield said Friday before practice at the KFC Yum! Center. “We can’t get caught up in all of that.”
The Flyers, 22-9, put that focus to the test today at 4 p.m. Host Louisville and Chattanooga play at 1:30. The winners meet Monday for a chance at the Sweet 16.
“Every team you play is great,” Dayton coach Shauna Green said. “You have to approach things with the right mindset. I think our schedule prepared us.”
Here are five things to watch today:
1. Common opponent
The Flyers and Volunteers each played Texas A&M. The Flyers defeated the Aggies 74-47 in a holiday tournament in Florida on Dec. 20. Tennessee lost to the Aggies 61-59 on Feb. 12.
“Obviously A&M is a completely different style than we are,” Green said. “We know we are going to have to be as sharp as possible to win the basketball game.”
2. Get it and go
Dayton likes to get the rebound and run. The Flyers average 66.1 points while Tennessee averages 73.9, but the Volunteers have allowed teams to shoot 39 percent from the floor.
“It comes down to defense and rebounding,” Green said. “I think we play at a faster pace. We like to get out and run and try to get some easy baskets in transition.”
3. Battle of the boards
The Flyers average 42 rebounds to 41 for their opponents. Post play will be big.
Dayton has seniors Saicha Grant-Allen (6-foot-5) and Andrijana Cvitikovic (6-3) along with freshman Alex Harris (6-1) in the post. Tennessee counters with Mercedes Russell (6-6) and also features Diamond DeShields (6-1), daughter of former major leaguer Delino DeShields, now the manager of the Reds’ Class AAA team in Louisville.
“I would say I enjoy playing against shot blockers,” Russell said. “I know Dayton has a couple of posts that like to block shots and I think that is always a fun, challenging game.”
4. On a roll
Dayton enters having won 19 of its last 22 games, claiming the Atlantic 10 regular-season and conference tournament titles.
Tennessee dropped its opener in the Southeastern Conference tournament 72-64 to Alabama and is 6-4 in its final 10 games heading into the tournament.
5. Depth and pace
Dayton has 10 players that who average 10 or more minutes while Tennessee has six.
NCAA women’s tournament, first round
No. 12 Dayton vs. No. 5 Tennessee, 4 p.m., ESPN2
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 12:12 PM
DAYTON — For the fourth time since 2015, the Atlantic 10 has lost one of its most successful coaches.
Connecticut announced the hiring of Dan Hurley on Thursday. He spent six seasons at Rhode Island, compiling a record of 113-82 and leading the program to the A-10 tournament crown in 2017 and the regular-season title in 2018. The Rams reached the NCAA tournament his last two seasons after missing the big dance in his first four seasons.
» RELATED: A look at Dayton’s 2018-19 roster
This wasn’t unexpected news. Dayton students teased Hurley about leaving for UConn when Rhode Island visited UD Arena in January. The Rams lose four senior starters from a team that finished 26-8.
Here’s a glance at the other recent high-profile coaching losses by the conference:
2015: Shaka Smart left Virginia Commonwealth for Texas after leading the Rams to the A-10 tournament title in his final season. He spent six seasons at VCU and finished with a 163-56 record, making the NCAA tournament his last five seasons.
» LOOKING BACK: Celebrating fourth anniversary of Dayton’s win over Ohio State
2017: Dayton’s Archie Miller took the head coaching job at Indiana after six seasons with the Flyers. Dayton shared the A-10 regular-season title in 2016 and won it outright in 2017. He was 139-63 in six seasons at UD and led the Flyers to the NCAA tournament in his last four seasons. Dayton finished 14-17 in the first season for Anthony Grant.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 1:59 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 4:59 PM
— Springfield High School teammates RaHeim Moss and Leonard Taylor have been named to the All-Ohio Division I boys high school basketball teams.
The Division I and II teams were announced on Tuesday by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association. The Division III and IV teams were released on Monday.
»RELATED: Springfield coach, “we’ll be back”
Moss, a 6-foot-3 junior guard, was named to the second team. He led the Wildcats (21-5) in scoring at 16.2 points. Also a football standout at linebacker, he remains verbally uncommitted but continues to receive offers in both sports. The University of Cincinnati and Kentucky are among the programs to offer him in football.
Taylor, a 6-5 senior and three-year starter, averaged 12.9 points and led the Wildcats in rebounding (8.9). He signed to play football at UC.
Springfield handed Wayne its only regular-season loss. Both teams were knocked out of the playoffs in a D-I regional by Cincinnati Moeller.
Wayne senior Darius Quisenberry and Myles Belyeu, a senior at Trotwood-Madison, were first-team picks.
A 6-1 guard, Quisenberry averaged a team-high 18.5 points for Wayne (25-2). He played his final two seasons at Wayne after transferring from Tecumseh and has signed with Youngstown State.
»RELATED: Trotwood-Madison back to final four
»RELATED: Boys state final four pairings
Belyeu, a 6-4 guard, leads the Rams in scoring (25.2). A three-year starter, he has scored more than 1,500 career points. He will announce which team he’s signing with after this weekend’s D-II state final four in which the Rams will participate in for the second straight season.
Another junior, Samari Curtis of Xenia, was a D-I third-team pick. He was among the state’s leading scorers (30.4) and is verbally committed to Xavier.
»RELATED: Boys regional results
»RELATED: Girls state final four results
Landing on the D-II third team were Trotwood junior Amari Davis (21.2 points) and Meadowdale senior Jabali Leonard (23.0).
The players of the year were Dave Goodwin of Upper Arlington (D-I) and Pete Nance of Richfield Revere (D-II). Coaches of the year were Hilliard Bradley’s Brett Norris (D-I) and Chad Burt of Wauseon (D-II).
»RELATED: Moeller bumps Wayne off tourney trail
The Ohio Mr. Basketball is scheduled to be announced on Wednesday. Teams were chosen by statewide media panels and based on coaches’ nominations.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 4:47 PM
— The NFL has announced new ways fans can watch the draft in April, including one that could be intriguing to college football fans in particular.
NFL Network and ESPN will continue broadcasting the annual talent distribution festival, and Fox is jumping in as well via a partnership with the league’s channel.
RELATED: Cincinnati Bengals draft order
For the first time ever, the entire draft will be available on broadcast television as Fox will simulcast the NFL Network’s coverage of rounds 1-3 on its broadcast channel and ABC will simulcast ESPN’s coverage of rounds 4-7.
Here’s the most exciting part for college football fans: Along with the traditional broadcast on ESPN, the College GameDay crew will provide a “college-themed viewing option of round one” on ESPN2.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 4:53 PM
— Remember how the catch rules in the NFL have been a disaster the last few years?
Apparently that might not be the case anymore.
I hesitate to be too quick to rubberstamp the announcement made by NFL director of officiating Al Riveron, but I would say it’s OK to be optimistic things will be better next season.
After much deliberation & input from coaches, players, @NFLLegends, & club executives, the @NFL Competition Committee will recommend the following language simplifying the catch rule at the Annual Meeting next week. pic.twitter.com/hJwH5YYBRK— Al Riveron (@alriveron) March 21, 2018
If the NFL competition committee recommendation is accepted, figuring out when a catch has occurred should be much easier.
If you see a player obtain possession of the ball with two feet (or another body part) on the ground and make a football move, you will have seen a catch.
How is that last part defined?
A “football move” can include a third step, reaching or extending for the line to gain (or goal line presumably) or the ability to perform such an act.
Absent is language about players “surviving the ground,” which is an area from which much of the confusion has come in recent years because for some reason rulesmakers thought the process should be different if a player is going to the ground than if he was not.
A controversial non-catch by Steelers tight end Jesse James was among plays included in a video Riveron tweeted as an example of plays being reviewed as changes to the rules are considered.
.@NFL Competition Committee proposal noted in the previous tweet simplifies the catch process & allows for plays such as the @DezBryant (2014 post-season) and @JJames18_ (2017 season) to become catches. pic.twitter.com/K2caIndpGZ— Al Riveron (@alriveron) March 21, 2018
James brought the ball in with two feet down but lost it as he turned to try to stretch across the goal line. It was initially ruled a touchdown but overturned upon review because James had not maintained control of the ball after hitting the ground.
This play, in a crucial late-season game between the Steelers and Patriots, was one of several high-profile examples of the current rules making sense to few people outside the league offices because extending the ball seems like “a football play,” but it was not being ruled as such.
That is set to change.
The same ruling on a similar play cost Tyler Eifert a touchdown for the Bengals in a game at Baltimore in 2015.