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Dayton Flyers Digest: What we learned from the latest round of interviews

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 5:09 PM

Dayton Flyers freshman Jordan Davis talked to the media Thursday.
Dayton Flyers freshman Jordan Davis talked to the media Thursday.

The Dayton Flyers returned from a few days off practice to begin getting ready for a visit from Georgia State on Saturday night. 

Here is a rundown of what they had to say during interviews with the local media: 

COACH ANTHONY GRANT 

  • After losing three of their last four games, the Flyers are concentrating on themselves and what they need to do to improve. Energy and effort and accountability on defense were lacking against Penn in a loss last Saturday. That has been addressed. 
  • His players need to understand how hard they need to play consistently and to work on defense both collectively and individually. 
  • “I think we have to mature as a basketball team with the choices and decisions we make on the floor, in the locker room, in practice. All those areas. As a young basketball team,w e just have to learn. It’s a growth process.” 
  • He remembers battles with Georgia State coach Ron Hunter when he was playing at Miami (Ohio) and Grant was a Flyer in the mid-80s. (Hunter is a Dayton native who played at Chaminade Julienne.) 

RELATED: Flyers ready to put exams behind them, look ahead to Panthers 

  • He has a lot of respect for Hunter as a coach. He’s been successful at his previous stops and built a good program at Georgia State. 
  • Grant called GSU’s sophomore point guard a guy on the NBA radar. (He didn’t use his name, but he probably meant D’Marcus Simonds.)
  • Defensively, the Panthers will mix things up, including calling on a matchup zone, and they have some offensive players who are dangerous. 
  • As far as positives, Grant likes his team’s leadership. Praised Darrell Davis and Josh Cunningham. He’s looking for more consistency from other players young and old. Those two impress him with the way they practice and prepare. 
  • He knew Jordan Davis could score from seeing him in the summer. “He’s a guy to me as he gets more comfortable and understands the game more he can be more aggressive and more assertive in terms of scoring the basketball and providing our team with that gift, that weapon.” 
  • Xeyrius Williams has returned to practice after missing time with a back injury. They hope he’ll be available this weeknd if he doesn’t have any setbacks. He’s a veteran and it’s been good to have him back. 
  • Regarding Hunter, he remembered Hunter liked to gloat when his Redskins won but was hard to find when they lost to the Flyers. Now each of them only tend to remember the games they won. 
  • Grant also pointed out Hunter got to play with “some guy named Ron Harper. He was a pretty good player.” After laughing, Grant said Hunter is a great guy. “I’m happy for him and the success he’s enjoying.” 
  • He’s coached against Hunter’s teams in the past. This game was scheduled after Grant was hired because it’s good for strength of schedule. Thinks they will contend for their conference championship and have a high RPI, which is good for the Flyers. 
  • Grant sounded happy the schedule has turned out to be pretty tough. That was the plan. It helps them have more opportunities at the end of the season if they win. Right now they need to work on themselves and improve. 

FRESHMAN JORDAN DAVIS 

  • He is just trying to get better every day and to learn from his mistakes. 
  • He has been adjusting to being a role player instead of a star like he was in high school, but that hasn’t been too hard.  
  • The Flyers have to keep playing through ups and downs. Good things happen when they play hard. 
  • Davis is glad to be able to just focus on basketball now during winter break. 
  • Everybody is skilled, fast and strong at this level, so he has to take advantage of small things, scouting reports, etc. 
  • Not that hard getting to know each other’s games because they’ve been plaing together since the summer. 
FRESHMAN MATEJ SVOBODA 
  • He feels more comfortable with every passing day. 
  • Everything was pretty foreign at first but now he’s more comfortable with the team and the concepts they play. 
  • He might have had a little homesickness but he is really comfortable here. 
  • He will miss seeing his family for Christmas but that’s OK. 
  • He agreed having time to focus more on basketball during break could be good for them. 

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Dayton strength coach: Bittersweet leaving program after one year

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

Interview with new Dayton men's basketball strength coach Casey Cathrall

Casey Cathrall left the Dayton Flyers men’s basketball program after one season as the strength and conditioning coach for a dream job at the University of Miami. He has the same position with the Hurricanes men’s basketball team, and his first day was Monday.

» WATCH: Drone video of UD Arena renovations

Cathrall couldn’t pass up the opportunity to return to Florida — he was a graduate assistant with the Hurricanes in 2013 when they won the ACC championship and earned his master’s degree in exercise physiology there in 2014 — in part because his wife Grace is from Vero Beach, Fla., two hours north of Miami, and her family still lives there.

“It’s just something we always dreamed about,” Cathrall said Monday night. “If they ever came calling, we couldn’t say no.”

» LOOKING BACK: Cathrall on his strength and conditioning philosophy

Dayton hired Cathrall in May 2017. He said it was bittersweet leaving the job.

“Dayton was awesome,” Cathrall said. “Obviously, the year didn’t go the way we would have hoped, but that really had no impact (on his decision). Grace had so many close friends (in Dayton). I really enjoyed working with the staff there. Coach (Anthony) Grant is a phenomenal guy. Everyone there was straight first class. Nothing but good things to say. It’s just bittersweet. I really feel we made some strides there in terms of trying to establish a culture and where the kids we’re at. I’m really excited for that program and where it’s headed.”

» GRANT WINS GOLD: Dayton coach helps lead USA U-18 team to title

Dayton posted Cathrall’s job last week and is also looking to hire a new assistant coach for the men’s basketball team after James Kane left for Iowa State.

In his final weeks on the job, Cathrall got to work with two of the newest Flyers: Michigan transfer Ibi Watson and Chattanooga transfer Rodney Chatman.

“Ibi got there the first week of summer school, somewhere around May 12 or 13th,” Cathrall said. “Rod was the week after or two weeks after. I spent a couple weeks with Ibi and at least two weeks with Rod. The takeaway from those two guys if the fans at Dayton are interested is they’re unbelievable people.”

Of Watson, Cathrall said, “Ibi, from day one, wants to win. He wants to be the best. Incredible competitiveness in him. He wants to do the extra miles, showing up early, staying after. Just very, very mature. What he brings to the program is more of what we need and more of where it’s going in terms of the culture and in terms of an unbelievable amount of discipline and habits and what it takes to be successful. He’s got a personality that he was able to mesh with the guys right away. I think the chemistry will show when he’s finally able to get out there on the floor.

Speaking of Chatman, Cathrall said, “Rod’s a softer-spoken guy. You can tell he’s a guy that’s played college basketball before. I think he’s adjusting to the physicality we have at Dayton, but in terms of his skill set, his basketball IQ, his unselfishness and his demeanor and habits, I just think he’s another home-run addition of what coach Grant and the staff are building.”

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Urban Meyer offers perspective on Ohio State QBs, new NCAA rules

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 4:12 PM

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 31:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on against the Clemson Tigers during the 2016 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 31, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 31: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on against the Clemson Tigers during the 2016 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 31, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)(Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer spoke about quarterback and a couple of changes to NCAA rules Friday night in Columbus. 

The Buckeyes mentor confirmed in the clearest language yet Dwayne Haskins will be his starting quarterback when preseason camp commences in late summer. 

“Dwayne is the starter and Tate (Martell) is in full competition mode,” Meyer told reporters at the annual Ohio State football job fair. “Matt Baldwin is our three and he’s doing very well now.” 

Haskins, a sophomore from Maryland, became the assumed starter when Joe Burrow transferred to LSU last month

Meyer told the Pro Football Hall of Fame luncheon crowd in Canton in mid-May Haskins would get “the first opportunity to be the starter,” and his latest comments further confirmed that intention. 

RELATED: Urban Meyer talks about Ohio State QBs past, present and (potentially) future

In Columbus, Meyer also said he has maintained contact with Burrow, who graduated in May and is eligible for the Tigers right away. 

“Joe did a lot for us, and we did a lot for Joe, so it was a very amicable relationship,” Meyer said. 

The appearance was also the first for Meyer since the NCAA announced a pair of changes to player eligibility last week. 

Beginning this fall, players will be able to play up to four games without losing the ability to take a redshirt season

“It’s a good rule, and I’m glad they did that,” Meyer said. “It’s good for most importantly the student-athlete.” 

Previously participating in one play meant a year of eligibility was used — unless that player later became injured and certain other specifications were met. 

That is no longer the case. 

“I think it’s just going to be easier (for coaches). Usually you play a guy early and then if they get hurt, you redshirt them,” Meyer said. “Now there is going to be, do you hold onto them until the stretch run when it gets really hard and you need them? Because usually when you get into the end of the season you’re dealing with injuries.” 

Meyer also said the new rule preventing coaches from blocking transfers is good — as long as players still have to sit out a year before being eligible. 

“I’m not a big fan of all the transfers,” Meyer said. “I think that’s an easy way out, but I get it. I’m a big fan graduate transfers. When they fulfill their obligation, go, but I also understand the other part.” 

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All-Star voting update: Gennett still third among NL second basemen

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 1:47 PM

The Reds Scooter Gennett drives in a run with a double against the Pirates on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff
Contributing Writer
The Reds Scooter Gennett drives in a run with a double against the Pirates on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff(Contributing Writer)

Scooter Gennett, of the Cincinnati Reds, remains ranked third among second basemen in voting for the National League All-Star team.

Gennett has received 743,979 votes, the league announced Monday in its second release of the voting results. He trails the Braves’ Ozzie Albies (915,736) and the Cubs’ Javier Baez (767,417). All three have a wide lead over the fourth-ranked second baseman: the Giants’ Joe Panik (194,634).

»RELATED: Gennett, Suarez, Votto among all-star candidates

Joey Votto also remains fifth in voting among first basemen (189,364), well behind the league’s overall leader in votes, the Braves’ Freddie Freeman (1,433,140).

Eugenio Suarez, who ranked fourth last week, remains fourth this week among third basemen with 228,806 votes. He leads NL third basemen in RBIs (52) and ranks second in the league among all players. The Rockies’ Nolan Arenado (1,124,563) has a wide lead among third basemen.

Voting began June 1 and continues until 11:59 p.m. July 5. The All-Star Game will be played July 17 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

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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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