Dayton Flyers Digest: What we learned from Monday’s media availability

Published: Monday, December 04, 2017 @ 5:20 PM

Dayton coach Anthony Grant talks to reporters on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, at UD's Cronin Center. David Jablonski/Staff
HANDOUT/David Jablonski/Staff
Dayton coach Anthony Grant talks to reporters on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, at UD's Cronin Center. David Jablonski/Staff(HANDOUT/David Jablonski/Staff)

Dayton Flyers coach Anthony Grant and a pair of his players met with the local media Monday to discuss the state of the team as the early season continues. 

They looked briefly back on a last-second loss at Mississippi State, ahead to Tennessee Tech and beyond. 

Here’s video followed by a quick rundown of what was discussed at the most recent media appearance by the Dayton Flyers: 

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Coach Anthony Grant: 

Story of the MSU game was turnovers. Foul trouble was also an issue. 

He acknowledge bad starts has been something of a theme early on this season and they need to figure out how to avoid those. 

All turnovers aren’t created equal. Maybe half of them were unforced, things they need to clean up and stop doing. 

“I think we’ve got the right mindset in terms of when we talk to the guys: they’re understanding how to try to use these experiences to get better.” 

He was impressed with how Jalen Crutcher reacted to environment, both on the road and in front of a large crowd of his friends and family. The freshman point guard struggled early but had a good second half. 

RELATED: Freshman point guard draws first start

Why sign him? Talent, basketball junky, certain toughness level, potential to grow all evident last summer. Grant is now seeing basketball IQ develop.

Do they need to get the ball inside more? Yes. That’s been a source of some turnovers, too. Need to execute better. 

What about Jordan Pierce making his college debut? Always figured he would get into a game eventually. Needed him with guys in foul trouble and Xeyrius Williams still out. Had a solid debut. 

No common thread in foul trouble other than it is typically the big guys. Just need to do a better job avoiding fouls. 

Crutcher has to learn what everyone else is doing and how they do it. That is a challenge, but that’s the role of a point guard. He needs to understand everyone’s role and how to make everyone else look good. Process both Crutcher and John Crosby are still going through. 

Freshman point guard Jalen Crutcher: 

He agreed it would be good to get the ball inside more. Defenses already pay a lot of attention to Kostas Antetokounmpo even though he’s still only played a few college games. “I think it’s because of his last name,” Crutcher said, referring to Kostas’ brother, Giannis, who is an NBA star. 

Crutcher hasn’t played with this many big guys in the past, either, so he’s got a lot of new things to absorb.  

He got a little understanding of where everyone is on the court, what position they are playing, what each play calls for them to do, etc., in high school, but there’s a lot more to learn at the college level. 

He felt like he was more engaged against MSU and played more poised. 

He knows they have had some first-half struggles. Defensive intensity tends to ramp up in the second half. 

Junior forward Josh Cunningham:

Crutcher played with tremendous confidence at Mississippi State. Needs to keep doing that. 

Freshmen were more comfortable in the second half in Starkville. 

Turnovers are obviously something they need to clean up. 

He didn’t have much of a scouting report for Tennessee State since they played late the night before, but right now the focus is really more on themselves anyway. 

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5 things to know about the local high school football season (Vol. 1) 

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 12:37 PM

Fairmont QB Braden Miller unloads. Beavercreek defeated visiting Fairmont 14-3 in a GWOC National East high school football opener on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Staff Writer
Fairmont QB Braden Miller unloads. Beavercreek defeated visiting Fairmont 14-3 in a GWOC National East high school football opener on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF(Staff Writer)

High school football practice is getting closer, and our team previews are already rolling out. 

Miss any? 

Don’t worry! We’ll be recapping them periodically. 

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Here is version one: 

1. Fairmont wants to prove last year was no fluke. 

After being one of the surprise teams of 2017, coach Dave Miller’s Firebirds (7-4) are hungry for a second straight trip to the playoffs.

They have five marquee games on the schedule: the first two (Alter, Northmont) and the last three (Wayne, Centerville, Springfield).  

Their potential formula for success is a tale as old as time: The coach’s son (Braden) running the triple option. What’s not to love?  

»FULL STORY: Fairmont Firebirds football preview 

2. Valley View is hoping for a rousing encore, too. 

Are the Spartans back?  

One of the powerhouse programs of the ‘90s is coming off consecutive playoff appearances.  

They were undefeated in the 2017 regular season, and they don’t have to go far for firsthand stories about the glory days because the coaching staff includes former VVHS stars Brock Bolen and Andy Keating. 

»FULL STORY: Valley View football preview 

3. Greeneview could be better than last year’s 10-win team. 

The only other time the Rams went undefeated in the regular season (1996), they lost just about everybody to graduation.

Not so this time as 13 starters return, including all-conference performers Nick Clevenger, Clay Payton, Collin Wilson and Nick Wolfe. 

Quarterback Clevenger is the reigning Ohio Heritage Conference player of the year. 

»FULL STORY: Greeneview Rams football preview 

4. Arcanum looking to build off strong finish. 

Can the Trojans make a big jump in year two of the second Jason Schondelmyer era?

After going 4-6 (but winning three of their last four) in ‘17, they say numbers are up in offseason workouts. That’s never a bad thing, especially in Division VI, and especially for a team looking for its first winning season since 2008. 

They won’t have to wait to see how much progress they made in the offseason as Greeneview visits in week one. 

>>FULL STORY: Arcanum football preview 

5. Milton-Union is under new management, but it’s a familiar face. 

Like Arcanum, the Bulldogs are a former powerhouse being led again by a former head coach of the program. 

Can Bret Pearce (six playoff appearances the first time around) wake the echoes in his first season back at the helm? 

Having an experienced backfield (senior QB William Morris and senior RB Robbie Grove) helps, but they have to replace all-time leading rusher Zac Shields. 

>>FULL STORY: Milton-Union football preview 

Want more? 

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Dayton Flyers to open season on a Wednesday

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 11:13 AM

Dayton Flyers interview: Trey Landers

Two more non-conference games for the Dayton Flyers have become known in recent days.

The University of North Florida published its non-conference schedule on its website, and its first game is at Dayton on Wednesday, Nov. 7. That will be the 2018-19 season opener for both teams.

» SCHEDULE NEWS: A look at A-10 pairings

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The first day teams can play is Nov. 6. The NCAA moved up the start date from Friday to Tuesday this season so the teams can play their season openers during the week and not on a busy weekend for football.

“The start of the season had become so compressed with the holidays and exams,” Dan Gavitt, the NCAA’s senior vice president for basketball, told NCAA.com, “that the additional three days allows schools to better schedule the start of the season and it’s the benefit for the student athletes and coaches.”

North Florida finished 14-19 last season and ranked 282nd out of 351 teams in the Pomeroy ratings. It was one of the youngest teams in the country, ranking 331st in experience. It returns 10 of 12 players and its six top scorers.

Dayton beat the Osprey 86-71 at UD Arena on Dec. 5, 2015. That was the first meeting between the programs.

» DAYTON FEATURES: Donnie JonesJosh CunninghamTrey Landers | Ryan Mikesell

Another game that hasn’t been officially announced will be against Presbyterian. Jon Rothstein, of CBS Sports, reported that game last week, though a date was not announced.

Presbyterian, located in Clinton, S.C., finished 11-21 last season and ranked 334th in the Pomeroy ratings. It was a Division II school until 2007. It has not had a winning season since moving to Division I.

Dayton played Presbyterian once before, winning 71-52 at UD Arena on Dec. 19, 2009.

Presbyterian’s football program will join Dayton in the Pioneer Football League in 2021.

Here are the other known non-conference games:

Nov. 21: Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. Possible opponents: Virginia, Middle Tennessee State, Butler, Florida, Oklahoma, Stanford and Wisconsin.

Nov. 22: Battle 4 Atlantis.

Nov. 23: Battle 4 Atlantis.

Nov. 30: Mississippi State at Dayton.

Dec. 8: Dayton at Auburn (reported by Rothstein).

Dec. 16: Dayton vs. Tulsa at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

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D.J. Carton’s commitment another major step for Ohio State

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 10:35 AM

COLUMBUS, OH - DECEMBER 22: Ohio State Buckeyes mascot Brutus Buckeye rolls across the court before the game against the Miami Redhawks at Value City Arena on December 22, 2014 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
COLUMBUS, OH - DECEMBER 22: Ohio State Buckeyes mascot Brutus Buckeye rolls across the court before the game against the Miami Redhawks at Value City Arena on December 22, 2014 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)(Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

In his first year at Ohio State, Chris Holtmann proved he can develop an NCAA tournament team and an NBA prospect. 

Could he sign a potential pro, though? 

That was the biggest question the day Keita Bates-Diop declared he was foregoing his final year of eligibility to enter the NBA draft. 

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(The Big Ten Player of the Year was chosen in the second round last month.) 

Holtmann signed a top 25 class last fall, but none of the four players in the group came as highly regarded as Bates-Diop, who was a top 30 prospect coming out of Normal, Illinois in the class of 2014. 

Now Holtmann has two top 30 players committed for 2019, the latest being D.J. Carton. 

A five-star point guard from Bettendorf, Iowa, Carton reportedly chose Ohio State over Indiana and Michigan. 

He’s the No. 2 point guard in the country and ranked the No. 21 overall prospect in the nation according to the 247Sports Composite rankings

Carton joins Garfield Heights forward Alonzo Gaffney (who committed in April) to form the No. 4 recruiting class in the country at the moment. 

Why Ohio State? 

Carton told 247 it was a matter of his relationship with the current Buckeyes. 

“I felt like I was already apart of the team. They brought me in. I feel like I can be myself around them. It came down to that. The other two schools had everything I liked, and it was a really hard decision, but it came down to that.”

Carton and Gaffney can sign in November. 

They are scheduled to join a roster that already looks pretty solid all around. 

Though college basketball rosters are more fluid than ever, the 2019-20 Buckeyes should include a proven big man (Kaleb Wesson), a pair of four-star forwards (Kyle Young and Jaedon LeDee) and multiple young guards/wings, including Musa Jallow, Duane Washington, Luther Muhammad and high-scoring Versailles product Ahrens. 

Ohio State also has CJ Walker, a transfer from Florida State who must sit out this season, at point guard, so Holtmann should have plenty of options when it comes to putting together lineups. 
Ohio State signee Justin Ahrens is having another great season for Versailles. With his brother AJ, he hopes to lead the Tigers to a MAC title and state tournament berth.

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5 local prep players looking to contribute for Miami RedHawks this fall 

Published: Friday, July 13, 2018 @ 12:51 PM

Five players who graduated from area high schools are on the current Miami football roster, including a pair of starting offensive linemen and a couple of players coming back from injury.

In his fifth year as Miami football coach, Chuck Martin has a roster that is all his. 

That includes five players from Cox Media Group Ohio high schools, and he shared his thoughts on their roles for this fall. 

Jordan Rigg, OL, Springboro

A fifth-year senior, Rigg has started 25 games for the RedHawks. He was a third-team All-MAC pick last year at left tackle. 

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“Obviously a very athletic kid,” Martin said. “He didn’t have a lot of offers coming out of high school and has really developed into a really good player so having that left tackle with experience protecting the quarterback’s back side makes you feel good having a senior coming back.” 

Jordan Rigg of Springboro H.S. is headed to Miami University to play football. He joined other area seniors who signed to play football at the Greater Western Ohio Conference signing ceremony at the Huber Heights Athletic Foundation Center on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Maurice Thomas, RB, Talawanda 

A fourth-year junior, Thomas has run for 502 yards for the Red and White and was a third-team All-MAC pick in 2016 before having most of last season wiped out by injury. 

“He’s getting bigger, getting big and strong. Very fast. We thought he was really going to have his breakout year last year then got hurt at Cincinnati and didn’t play the rest of the season.” 

Talawanda senior Maurice Thomas (left) has verbally committed to Miami University.(Martin Wheeler)

Jarrett LaRubbio, OL, Lakota East 

A fourth-year junior who spent one year at Kentucky, LaRubbio started eight games up front last season and was named the team’s offensive newcomer of the year. 

“We’re counting on him again to be in our top five up front and to play a lot of snaps for us. He’s physical, tough, hard-nosed, plays the game you love to see in the trenches.” 

Lakota East High School’s Jarrett LaRubbio (75), seen in action during the 2012 season, is in the starting lineup for Miami University this season. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO(Contributing Writer)

Dean Lemon, DL, Alter

The 2014 GCL Defensive Lineman of the Year has had injury problems so far in his three years at Miami, playing only nine games (none last year). 

“We were hoping he would be an impact player for us last year. He’s healthy right now. Dean’s got a lot of ability. He’s just been nicked up throughout his career. If he can stay healthy, we think he can be really productive at D-end.” 

The Alter Knights Dean Lemon takes down Clinton-Massie's Bayle Wolfe Friday night at Welcome Stadium in the Division IV, Region 14 final. LISA POWELL / STAFF(Lisa Powell)

Ja’don Rucker-Furlow, DB, Belmont 

The newest area RedHawk, Rucker-Furlow is an incoming freshman with a lot of upside. 

“He’s obviously a great basketball player who has only played a little bit of football. He really came on last year. 

“Length. Ball skill. Speed. He’s very raw. He’s going to have to learn how to play the game. Once he does, we think he’s going to be a really good player.” 

Jadon Rucker-Furlow of Belmont is one of a large group of players Division I colleges are interested in for the class of 2018.

Want more on the RedHawks? 

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