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Dayton Flyers freshman making big strides in practice

Published: Friday, March 17, 2017 @ 10:30 AM

Dayton's Kostas Antetokounmpo, center, watches a game against Vanderbilt on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016, at UD Arena.
Dayton's Kostas Antetokounmpo, center, watches a game against Vanderbilt on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016, at UD Arena.

One member of the Dayton Flyers was not with the team Thursday in Indianapolis as it prepared for a 7:10 p.m. Friday game against Wichita State in the NCAA tournament. Freshman Kostas Antetokounmpo can’t travel with the team because of NCAA rules regarding partial qualifiers.

The 6-foot-10 Antetokounmpo started practicing at the start of the second semester. Coaches and players have had time to get a good look at him and are excited by what they’ve seen. He’ll make his debut on the court next season.

“One thing is Kostas has done a great job in the weight room since the break when he got fully incorporated into our team,” assistant coach Tom Ostrom said. “He’s gained close to 15 pounds of muscle. He’s lifting in a different program than anyone else on the team since he’s not playing. He’s lifting five days a week with Pat (O’Neal). He’s done a really good job getting bigger and stronger in practice.”

Trying to get better every day 😈💪🏾💪🏾🏀 @alex_ante34 @thanasis_ante43 @giannis_an34 #antetokounmpo #work #letgo

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It took Antetokounmpo a little bit of time to get used to the pace of practice, Ostrom said, but he’s adapted well.

“He’s really picked up the offense,” Ostrom said. “He has great instincts on defense. He can really move his feet. He has a knack for blocking shots. Guys will go up for layups and have their man beat, and Kostas will come out of the blue from the weak side to block the shot into the wall. All the coaches look at each other: ‘Where did he come from?’ He’s working really hard on his jump shot. He’s got to get his base strong, his legs stronger for the physicality of the game.”

RELATED: One Flyer has played Shockers before

Antetokounmpo is the brother of Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks star who started in the NBA All-Star Game in February. Kostas attended the game with his other two brothers, Thanasis and Alex. All the brothers were born in Greece and moved to Milwaukee after Giannis was drafted by the Bucks.

Family @giannis_an34 @alex_ante34 @thanasis_ante43 ❤️❤️

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Sophomore point guard John Crosby said Kostas and Giannis look identical on the floor. Trey Landers, the only other freshman on the team, said Kostas wants to write his own legacy at Dayton, even though comparisons to his brother are inevitable.

“Obviously, his brother is in the league and he has a lot of popularity because of his brother, but he wants popularity of his own,” Landers said. “I just think next year when he’s able to unleash what he’s got built in right now, it’s going to be crazy.”

RELATED: 7 things to know about Flyers vs. Shockers

Landers described Antetokounmpo as a different breed.

“He’s a 6-10, 6-11 guard,” Landers said. “It’s hard to find those. He’ll have a lot of fire with him next year, and you guys are going to see a great player.”

“He’s going to be great for our team,” Crosby said. “He’s got a lot of length. He’s somebody who can protect the rim. He can do a lot of different things. He can do probably whatever coach asks him. He’s going to be physically able to do it.”

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Only one player missing from start of Bengals OTAs

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 2:19 PM

The Ohio riverfront was again the site of football Monday when the Bengals began 2018 OTAs outside Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.

The Cincinnati Bengals opened voluntary OTA practices Tuesday with 90 of the 91 players on the roster present.

The only one missing was defensive end Carlos Dunlap, who has not been be present for any of the voluntary offseason team activities the last six weeks.

›› JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Like our Cincinnati Bengals News Now Facebook page

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis downplayed Dunlap’s absence, saying “it’s not a story.” Lewis said he has been in contact with Dunlap but does not know if the nine-year veteran, who is entering the final year of his contract, will attend the mandatory minicamp June 12-14.

“I haven’t asked Carlos whether he will be here for minicamp,” Lewis said. “It’s not a story. It’s not a big deal.”

By not attending OTAs, Dunlap is forfeiting a $300,000 workout clause in his contract.

›› 6 things to watch for in Bengals OTAs

Among the players who were limited in Tuesday’s practice were safety Shawn Williams, who participated in position drills but was limited to running sprints between plays during 11 on 11 drills, tackle Jake Fisher and tight end Tyler Eifert.

Fisher missed the final eight games of 2017 with a heart issue, while Eifert missed the final 14 games with a back injury that required surgery.

›› Two Bengals rookies share inconceivable bond

Rookie center Billy Price, the first-round pick from Ohio State, participated in install drills but no active 11-on-11 plays as he recovers from the torn pectoral he suffered at the Combine.

Two players who only did side rehab work were tight end Tyler Kroft and rookie wide receiver Auden Tate, who was a full participant in rookie camp for the two practices that were open to the media.

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Reds improve to 3-0 in Matt Harvey’s starts

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 11:05 PM

Reds starter Matt Harvey pitches against the Pirates on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff
Reds starter Matt Harvey pitches against the Pirates on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff

The Cincinnati Reds improved to 3-0 in games started by Matt Harvey, the former New York Mets ace who delivered one of his best performances of the season Tuesday in his first appearance as a Red at Great American Ball Park.

Harvey allowed one earned run on three hits in six innings as the Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-2 in the opener of a three-game series. He left the bases loaded in the first and retired the side in order in the third, fifth and sixth innings.

» RELATED: Lorenzen expected to return to bullpen Wednesday

This was Harvey’s longest outing as a Red. He lasted four innings in his first two starts. He lowered his ERA from 6.17 to 5.49 and picked up his first victory of the season.

“There were times this year when I didn’t think I was going to get another win in the big leagues,” Harvey said, “so it was good to get one on the board.”

» PHOTOS: Reds vs. Pirates

The Pirates loaded the bases with one out against Harvey in the first but didn’t score. Corey Dickerson flied out to center field, and Colin Moran struck out to end the inning.

“I think being the first home game, I was a little amped up in the first and kind of got all out of sorts,” Harvey said. “That could have gone the wrong way obviously.”

Big picture: The Reds improved to 17-32. Their .347 winning percentage, if it stands up, would be the second worst in franchise history. They are on pace to finish 56-106.

Big hit: Scooter Gennett hit a grand slam in the fifth to give the Reds a 6-2 lead. He has five grand slams in two seasons with the Reds. He’s tied for seventh for most grand slams in franchise history. He added two more RBIs and is tied for the team lead with Eugenio Suarez with 33 RBIs.

Strong start: Gennett and Eugenio Suarez hit back-to-back RBI doubles to give the Reds a 2-0 lead in the first inning.

» RELATED: Reds add another rookie to roster

Missed chance: The Pirates loaded the bases with one out in the seventh. Reds reliever David Hernandez got out of the jam with a popout and groundout.

Career milestone: Joey Votto received an intentional walk Tuesday for the 135th time in his career, tying him with Johnny Bench for the Reds record. Bench reached the mark in 8,674 plate appearances. Votto needed 6,346.

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Lorenzen expected to return to Reds bullpen on Wednesday

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 5:43 PM

Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen is introduced before a game against the Nationals on Opening Day on Friday, March 30, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff
Staff Writer
Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen is introduced before a game against the Nationals on Opening Day on Friday, March 30, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff(Staff Writer)

Relief pitcher Michael Lorenzen, who has spent the entire season on the disabled list, should rejoin the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday after making three rehab appearances with Double-A Pensacola.

Lorenzen was in the Reds clubhouse on Tuesday before the start of a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park.

» RELATED: Reds add another rookie to roster

“It feels good to almost be back,” Lorenzen said. “I think all parties are happy. I think the training staff is sick of me arguing with them and debating with them when I should be back. I’m excited to finally be here and see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

A right shoulder strain sidelined Lorenzen in spring training. He allowed one hit and no runs in four innings with Pensacola. His two-inning outing Sunday was the last hurdle before his return.

“I feel great with one day off,” Lorenzen said. “I feel good to go (Tuesday).”

» PITCHING STRUGGLES: Starters continue to hold Reds back

Lorenzen said it was the Reds’ decision to not activate him Tuesday. The move is expected to come Wednesday. He said he wanted to pitch three weeks ago. He has felt great for a while now.

“I want to be out there seeing the guys play,” Lorenzen said. “ It’s tough to watch. With (Jared) Hughes and the leadership in the bullpen, they were able to do a real good job without me.”

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Dayton’s Benjamin to play Tulane senior in first round of NCAA championships

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 6:20 PM

Dayton tennis player Jordan Benjamin. Photo courtesy of University of Dayton
Staff Writer
Dayton tennis player Jordan Benjamin. Photo courtesy of University of Dayton(Staff Writer)

Dayton Flyers junior Jordan Benjamin will face Tulane senior Constantin Schmitz at 8 a.m.  Wednesday in the first round of the NCAA tennis championship at Wake Forest University. The bracket was announced Tuesday.

Benjamin will be the first UD tennis player to play in the national tournament.

» RELATED: Benjamin makes UD history

Benjamin finished the regular season 16-0 in dual matches. He’s 20-1 overall in singles play. He was named A-10 Performer of the Year. He ranks 121st in the International Tennis Association Division I rankings.

Schmitz, a native of Germany, ranks 15th in the nation. He’s 28-8 in singles play.

“I’ve been training hard these last couple days, and I will continue to do so in the upcoming weeks,” Benjamin said earlier this month. “My goal is to win a couple rounds. The dream would be to win it all, but you’ve got to make some small goals. I think these first couple rounds will be very winnable. I have to stay focused, prepare very well and let my tennis do the talking.”

Benjamin or Schmitz will play Georgia Tech’s Carlos Divar, who ranks 55th, or Memphis’ Ryan Peniston, who ranks 36th.

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