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Dayton fans pick St. Bonaventure as favorite in A-10 tournament

Published: Wednesday, March 07, 2018 @ 5:22 PM

Senior Day highlights for Dayton's Darrell Davis

Fans of the Dayton Flyers still have faith in their team — some of them, at least.

In an Atlantic 10 tournament bracket contest conducted for Dayton fans on Twitter, 74 percent of entrants picked Dayton to beat Virginia Commonwealth in the second round Thursday, and 14 percent picked Dayton to win four games in four days at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., and bring home the championship.

» A-10 TOURNAMENT: Dayton vs. VCU preview | Stopping Tillman is key | Rhode Island the favorite

Dayton fans picked No. 2 seed St. Bonaventure as the favorite with 46 percent of the 51 entries predicting the Bonnies will win the title. Top-seeded Rhode Island, the regular-season champion and the defending tournament champion, was picked to win by 22 percent.

Twelve percent picked No. 3 seed Davidson. Three people picked No. 4 seed St. Joseph’s. One picked No. 5 seed George Mason.

According to KenPom.com, Rhode Island has a 35.8 percent chance to win the title and is followed by Davidson (26.2), St. Bonaventure (23.1) and St. Joseph’s (7.1). No other team has a better than 2 percent chance of winning.

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Kostas Antekounmpo: Former Dayton Flyer awaits his draft-night call

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 10:46 AM


            Dayton’s Kostas Antetokounmpo shoots against Saint Louis’ Davell Roby on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff
Dayton’s Kostas Antetokounmpo shoots against Saint Louis’ Davell Roby on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

His numbers are ordinary. His name is not.

And his potential, that’s still to be proven.

A player who averaged 5.2 points and 2.9 rebounds per game in his lone season of college basketball, primarily as a backup for a team that didn’t finish with a winning record, wouldn’t ordinarily seem like much of an NBA draft prospect. But in this case, the player in question is Kostas Antetokounmpo — who believes that he is ready to follow his All-Star brother Giannis into the league.

»RELATED: Kostas leaving Dayton, ‘starting new chapter’

»RELATED: A look at 2018-19 Dayton Flyers roster

On Thursday night, he’ll find out which NBA club agrees.

“I feel like when you do a sport, when you do something, you want to be the best at it,” Kostas Antetokounmpo said. “Since I was little I wanted to be an NBA player. So it’s about time.”

Maybe so, but unlike his brother — the Milwaukee star who might be an MVP candidate for years to come — Kostas Antetokounmpo’s game is nowhere near the elite level.

“He can be really good,” Giannis Antetokounmpo said. “He has a lot of things to work on. But I think he can be really good if he gets with the right team and tries to get better every day.”

The 20-year-old Kostas Antetokounmpo struggled to remain a big part of the rotation at Dayton in his one college season, starting six games early in the year but also playing less than 10 minutes in six others. He had a big game off the bench late in the season to help the Flyers beat Saint Louis, and after that game Dayton coach Anthony Grant pointed to that as the sign of what Antetokounmpo can do.

“That’s what he’s capable of,” Grant said, “when he puts his mind to it.”

The good news for Kostas Antetokounmpo is this: He knows he’s nowhere near a finished product.

He’s 6-foot-10 with long arms, his standing reach extending just 10 inches shy of the rim. But he’s only 195 pounds, needs to work on his strength and missed basically half of his free-throw tries last season.

“I know that I’ve got to let my body get stronger,” he said. “I’ve got to get my weight up. I’ve got to work on the way I read the game, and my moves.”

»RELATED: Kostas works out with Raptors

If he makes the NBA, Kostas would be the third Antetokounmpo brother to reach the league. Besides Giannis, there was Thanasis — who appeared in two games for the New York Knicks in 2016. And there’s a fourth one on the way, that being 16-year-old Alex, someone who Giannis and Kostas both predict might be the best in the family.

So soon, Alex will likely deal with what Kostas is dealing with now — inevitable comparisons to the more-famous brother.

Kostas and Giannis are built similarly, with their long, lean frames and almost neverending reach. They sound alike in some ways, but both insist that they do not play the game the same way. It used to be difficult for Kostas to carry the label of ‘the next Antetokounmpo,’ he said, though over time he thinks he’s been judged more on the merits of his own game.

»RELATED: What are former Flyers’ chances of being drafted?

“Every good player coming up, they’re compared to somebody,” Kostas Antetokounmpo said. “So I’m used to that. It makes me work harder. If they compare me to a top-10 player in the NBA, I don’t have a problem with that.”

Kostas Antetokounmpo said he expects to immediately contribute at the NBA level, based on the way he can run the floor and his penchant for being able to defend — especially around the rim. He said he tries to emulate not his brother so much, but more along the lines of Kevin Garnett largely because of the way he defended.

He has no idea yet where he’s going to get picked, and some mock drafts have him sliding to the second round.

He insists that won’t matter.

“I feel like I can be an NBA player,” he said. “I think a lot of teams see me and they see a kid that works hard, a kid that can become a NBA player. First round, second round, it doesn’t matter to me. I’m going to do what I can do and try to get better.”

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World Cup: Three reasons to follow Landon Donovan’s lead and support Mexico

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 10:16 AM

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JUNE 17:  Hirving Lozano of Mexico celebrates with team mates of Mexico after scoring his team's first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Germany and Mexico at Luzhniki Stadium on June 17, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JUNE 17: Hirving Lozano of Mexico celebrates with team mates of Mexico after scoring his team's first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Germany and Mexico at Luzhniki Stadium on June 17, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)(Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Landon Donovan created a furor Saturday when he threw his support behind the United States soccer team’s biggest rival, Mexico, one day before Mexico beat Germany 1-0 in the opening game of the World Cup for both teams.

“The tournament is here!” Donovan wrote on Twitter in a message sponsored by Wells Fargo. “USA fans, our team may not be in Russia, but our neighbors to the south are. So join me and their proud #sponsor @WellsFargo to cheer on our other team, Mexico.”

In response, one of Donovan’s former U.S. teammates, Carlos Bocanegra, wrote: “Really?”

» WORLD CUP: Who local coaches, fans are rooting for

Donovan, who’s tied with Clint Dempsey for most goals scored in U.S. history, punctuated the message with two words: “Vamos México!”

Most fans rejected Donovan’s plea — some because Donovan’s message was sponsored, which is a fair reason to not take it seriously.

However, I’m going the opposite way. I’m with him. While I picked Poland as the team I’m rooting for in this World Cup — a nod to my great grandparents and my last name — I would enjoy seeing Mexico make a run.

Here are three reasons I’ll root for Mexico:

1. Big underdog: When I don’t have a team to root for in major events — something I’ve grown used to as a Cincinnati Bengals fan — I just root for the best story. Typically, that means picking an underdog. Even if the Cleveland Browns ever made the playoffs again — a huge if — I’d root for them if they weren’t playing the Bengals.

Mexico has a tortured World Cup history. It has played in 15 World Cups and advanced to the quarterfinals twice. It has lost in the round of 16 in the last six World Cups. That includes a 2-0 loss to the United States in 2002.

Even after upsetting Germany, Mexico has 50-1 odds of winning the World Cup. Germany had 4-1 odds at the beginning of the tournament.

2. Strong fan base: There’s no doubt Mexico has a great fan base, and I like seeing long-suffering fan bases rewarded. Mexico fans fill stadiums in the United States for US-Mexico games. Even Saturday in Russia, Mexican fans outnumbered German fans in the stands.

According to one German website, “A deafening display from Mexico fans in the Luzhniki Stadium played its part in contributing to one of Germany's worst performances in ages.”

3. Rooting for North America: Europe and South America are the only continents to produce World Cup champions. North America has never put a team in the finals.

Mexico plays its second game Saturday against South Korea and finishes group play against Sweden on June 27, and while I think it’s unrealistic to expect Mexico to win the World Cup, the victory over Germany raises the expectations for their real fans — and bandwagon fans like me and Donovan.

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Alter’s Connor Bazelak, top QB in Ohio, announces his college decision

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 9:27 AM

Alter QB Connor Bazelak unloads. Fairmont hosted Alter in a season-opening high school football game on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. The game was postponed due to multiple lightning delays and resumed on Saturday morning. Alter won, 27-8. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Alter QB Connor Bazelak unloads. Fairmont hosted Alter in a season-opening high school football game on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. The game was postponed due to multiple lightning delays and resumed on Saturday morning. Alter won, 27-8. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF(MARC PENDLETON / STAFF)

Ohio’s top quarterback for 2019 is off the board. 

Alter quarterback Connor Bazelak announced Sunday he has decided to continue his football career at Missouri. 

“I want to thank all the coaches that recruited me and gave me an opportunity to play at the next level,” he tweeted. “Also to everyone in my life that has made me a better person and quarterback. 

“With that being said, I am excited to announce my commitment to the University of Missouri!” 

Bazelak is the No. 22 player in Ohio in the 247Sports Composite rankings. 

He is the No. 1 pro-style quarterback prospect in Ohio and No. 20 in the nation. 

RELATED: The top 10 college prospects in the Dayton area this year

The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder threw for 1.097 yards and ran for 146 last season for the Knights, who went 9-2 and lost in the first round of the playoffs. 

He had numerous scholarship offers, including Georgia, Boston College, Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt, Cincinnati and West Virginia. 

Teammate John Bivens is the No. 10 prospect in the state and remains uncommitted heading into summer. 

The three-star running back’s offers include Nebraska, USC, Louisville, Kentucky, Cincinnati and Indiana. 

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Is Joey Votto a Hall of Famer? What the stats say through 1,500 games

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 9:19 AM

Who is Joey Votto: Ten facts about Reds first baseman

Joey Votto played in his 1,500th career game for the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. He went 2-for-4 with two RBIs in an 8-6 victory at PNC Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Before the game, the Reds shared the numbers on how Votto compares to Hall of Fame first basemen from the last 50 years, including Jim Thome, who will be inducted this summer.

» DRAGONS: Dayton ends first half with loss

Here’s how Votto, at age 34, in his 12th season, stacks up against 12 of the greats through the first 1,500 games of their careers. In short, he compares well — especially in on-base percentage and walks, as you might expect.

Batting average: Rod Carew (.335); Frank Thomas (.321); Johnny Mize (.320); Joey Votto (.313); Jeff Bagwell (.305); Orlando Cepeda (.305); Eddie Murray (.299); George Kelly (.297); Jim Thome (.285); Tony Perez (.284); Ernie Banks (.283); Willie McCovey (.282); Harmon Killebrew (.262);

On-base percentage: Thomas (.441); Votto (.428); Bagwell (.418); Thome (.411); Mize (.406); Carew (.392); McCovey (.385); Killebrew (.375); Murray (.375); Cepeda (.355); Perez (.347); Banks (.344); Kelly (.343);

Slugging percentage: Mize (.580); Thomas (.580); Thome (.566); McCovey (.555); Bagwell (.553); Banks (.536); Votto (.536); Killebrew (.532); Cepeda (.517); Murray (.505); Perez (.484); Kelly (.455); Carew (.450);

Home runs: Killebrew (392); Thome (368); Ernie Banks (353); McCovey (347); Thomas (339); Bagwell (316); Mize (315); Cepeda (279); Murray (275); Votto (263); Perez (246); Kelly (137); Rod Carew (71).

Hits: Rod Carew (1,924); Mize (1,776); Thomas (1,721); Cepeda (1,714); Murray (1,680); Votto (1,662); Bagwell (1,657); Kelly (1,650); Banks (1,618); Perez (1,550); Thome (1,451); McCovey (1,375); Killebrew (1,354); 

Walks: Thomas (1,172); Bagwell (1,012); Votto (1,046); Killebrew (919); McCovey (788); Mize (757); Murray (709); Carew (542); Perez (532); Banks (521); Cepeda (388); Kelly (358); Thome (108).

2018 Cincinnati Reds: 10 things to know(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

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