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Women’s Basketball: Tennessee ‘just another team’ to Dayton

Published: Friday, March 17, 2017 @ 7:05 PM
Updated: Friday, March 17, 2017 @ 7:05 PM

Flyers playing in Louisville on Saturday afternoon.

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.

“We have to use our strengths,” Green said. “(Rotating players in) is something we have done all year and we like to play with a lot of pace and I think our depth helps us. Hit or miss, we want to have the ball down the floor and a shot up in six seconds or less. That’s who we are.”

SATURDAY’S GAME

NCAA women’s tournament, first round

No. 12 Dayton vs. No. 5 Tennessee, 4 p.m., ESPN2

LOOK: Vanderbilt lights up Dudley Field for the holiday season

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 9:07 PM

After going bowling in 2016, the Vanderbilt Commodores are staying home for the holidays in 2017 after finishing 5-7, with their only SEC win coming against lowly Tennessee.

So what is the football program doing with all of that extra time? Evidently, getting into the holiday spirit a little bit early. On Friday, the team revealed an awesome-looking set of lights around the logo at midfield at Dudley Field:

Definitely, a cool look, though it’s unclear just how visible that setup is for anyone actually on campus. Either way, it looks great on social media, and is sure to get Dores fans in the mood for the holidays.

Baylor adds pledge from 3-Star OG Princeton Pines

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 9:06 PM

matt rhule-baylor bears-Princeton Pines-commitment

Matt Rhule’s 2018 class has added yet another key piece.

On Friday night, Tara (La.) offensive guard Princeton Pines brought his recruitment to a close and committed to the Baylor Bears, according to a report fro Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports

Pines holds 18 offers to date, including invitations from Mississippi State, SMU, Arkansas, Houston, Memphis, TCU and Texas Tech, among others.

Pines officially visited Baylor on Dec. 8 and needed only one more week to decide that Waco would become his new home.

With Pines now on board, Baylor’s 2018 class is up to 21 members and ranks No. 30 in the nation and No. 6 in the Big 12.

A 6-foot-5, 327-pound prospect, Pines is ranked as the nation’s No. 1,101 player, No. 45 offensive guard and the No. 45 player in Louisiana, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

 

This story will be updated. 

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4-star JUCO cornerback Jeremy Webb commits to Virginia Tech

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 9:06 PM

Jeremy Webb-Virginia Tech football commitment

Justin Fuente and Virginia Tech picked up a big commitment from the junior college ranks on Friday evening. Jeremy Webb, a cornerback at ASA College in New York, has pledged to the Hokies.

Webb announced the news of his commitment on his Twitter account.

According to 247Sports’ rankings, Webb is the class of 2018’s No. 11 JUCO recruit, regardless of position. He is also slotted as the country’s No. 2 cornerback.

The 6’3″, 195-pounder is a 2015 graduate of Lincolnshire (Ill.) Stevenson High School, where he recorded 7 pass deflections and 2 interceptions. He received offers from Iowa State, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Temple, Tennessee, UCF, Virginia Tech and West Virginia, with the Hokies and Mountaineers being his only two official visits.

Webb was in Blacksburg for the Hokies’ emotional win over Pitt on November 18, when Virginia Tech needed a last-second goal line stand to defeat the Panthers.

I loved it…The atmosphere was great. The fans, the coaches, the players showed me a lot of love. It was a great experience.

This past season with ASA College, Webb recorded 29 tackles and 4 pass deflections.

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JUCO DT Charles Cole names Kansas in top 3

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 8:36 PM

charles cole-kansas jayhawks-top 3-kansas

As the early signing period approaches throughout the coming days, various lists will be cut and commitments will be made.

The former proved true for Butler C.C. defensive tackle Charles Cole on Friday, who trimmed his list of options to just three finalists, naming a top three of Kansas, Memphis and UNLV.

A 3-star prospect, Cole’s 247Sports profile doesn’t currently note an offer from the Jayhawks, although he does own documented invitations from Fresno State, UNLV, Abilene Christian, Murray State and Southeastern Louisiana.

Kansas State held Cole’s lone Crystal Ball projection, but of course, the Wildcats don’t remain in the mix down the stretch.

As far as Kansas is concerned, David Beaty’s 2018 class currently consists of 10 commitments and ranks No. 84 nationally and dead last in the Big 12, per the 247Sports Composite rankings. A commitment from Cole would bolster that haul notably.

A 6-foot-3, 280-pound prospect, Cole is ranked as the nation’s No. 96 JUCO prospect, No. 21 defensive tackle and the No. 21 player in Kansas, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

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