Dayton bounces back with victory over Tennessee Tech

Published: Wednesday, December 06, 2017 @ 7:59 PM

Dayton's Jalen Crutcher scores against Tennessee Tech on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, at UD Arena.
David Jablonski - Staff Writer
Dayton's Jalen Crutcher scores against Tennessee Tech on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, at UD Arena.(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

The Dayton Flyers evened their record at 4-4 after dropping before .500 for the first time in almost 12 years, beating Tennessee Tech 79-66 on Wednesday at UD Arena.

Darrell Davis scored 19 points to lead the Flyers. Josh Cunningham had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Jordan Davis scored 14 points and made 4 of 6 3-pointers.

Dayton led 32-24 at halftime and had a double-digit lead for most of the second half, though the Golden Eagles (7-3) got as close as seven points at one point. Dayton put the game away for good on a couple of layups by Trey Landers in the final minutes

Content Continues Below

Dayton made 8 of 23 3-pointers. Tennessee Tech made 10 of 24. The Flyers committed 17 turnovers, which was nine fewer than they had Sunday in a loss at Mississippi State.

This was the first of three straight home games for Dayton, which hosts Penn at 3 p.m. Saturday.

HALFTIME RECAP

Seven players scored in the first half for Dayton.

Key player: Cunningham was one of three Dayton players with six points. He also has eight rebounds and two assists.

Key stat: The Flyers shot 53.8 percent from the field. Tennessee Tech shot 32.1 percent. Dayton outscored Tennessee Tech 22-10 in the paint and 10-0 in fast-break points.

» TENNESSEE TECH GAME: Dayton tries to get back to .500Full previewTurnover problem | Freshman center makes debut

Big run: Dayton trailed 11-6 at the 14:47 mark and then went on a 15-0 run. The Golden Eagles ended the run with 9:26 to play in the half.

Largest lead: Dayton led by as many as 14 points with 3:24 to go.

Interesting development: After seeing limited minutes in the last two games, John Crosby played 12 minutes in the first half. He had four points, one assist and one turnover. He entered the game in the opening minutes when Jalen Crutcher left the game with an injury. Crutcher did return and appeared fine.

Good sign: Kostas Antetokounmpo played 17 minutes in the first half without committing a foul. He has six points and three rebounds.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Former Ohio State football player passes away

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 4:55 PM

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 15: Mike Kudla #57 of the Ohio State Buckeyes recovers a fumble by quarterback Kyle Orton #18 of the Purdue Boilermakers for a touchdown during the fourth quarter on November 15, 2003 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeatede Purdue 16-13. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 15: Mike Kudla #57 of the Ohio State Buckeyes recovers a fumble by quarterback Kyle Orton #18 of the Purdue Boilermakers for a touchdown during the fourth quarter on November 15, 2003 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeatede Purdue 16-13. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)

Highland Local Schools announced Monday afternoon the passing of former Ohio State football player Mike Kudla. 

No cause of death was released, but Kudla was only 34. 

After graduating from Highland in 2002, Kudla played linebacker and defensive end for the Buckeyes from 2002-05. 

Content Continues Below
He was an All-Big Ten first-team pick in 2005 and had three sacks in a season-ending win over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. 

Trending - Most Read Stories

Xenia’s Samari Curtis, a one-time Xavier recruit, wants to be more than a scorer

Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 @ 1:08 PM

Xenia jr. Samari Curtis addresses a 67-60 defeat of Olentangy Liberty in the 16th Annual Premier Health Flyin to the Hoop at Trent Arena in Kettering on Sat., Jan. 13, 2018. MARC PENDLETON /

Samari Curtis sounds more interested in improving his game this summer than figuring out where he will take it in 2019. 

The Xenia basketball standout committed to Xavier in February but reopened his recruitment in May

In an interview Monday, he said the Musketeers have remained in touch while Dayton, Cincinnati, Louisville, Missouri and Indiana are also recruiting him. 

Content Continues Below

That’s not a top six, though. 

Curtis says he doesn’t have one of those. 

He’s not in a rush to commit again, but he didn’t rule out making a decision soon, either.

“I’m gonna make the decision when I feel the time is right for me,” he said. “It doesn’t really matter. If I find the perfect program tomorrow or two months from now, that’s when I’m going to commit.” 

Curtis and several other Dayton-area standouts are playing together for C2K Elite on the AAU circuit this spring and summer, and he said he’s enjoying the experience. 

“Everything’s going good this summer. I’ve just been working a lot and my coach is pushing me a lot, so that’s all I can ask for,” he said. 

After leading the GWOC in scoring the past two seasons, there are few questions about Curtis’ ability to put the ball in the basket. 

>>RELATED: High-scoring Curtis wants to be program-changer for Xenia

The 6-foot-4 four-star prospect said he is trying to develop every part of his game this summer with an eye on a different role in college. 

“My best role to me is point guard,” Curtis said. “Most of the colleges want me to play point guard. My size makes me look like I play off the ball, but I’m more of a point guard than anything.” 

 

He may have some work to do to make that a reality. 

Brian Snow, a recruiting analyst for 247Sports, said he still sees Curtis as a pure shooting guard. 

“I saw Samari this past week in Atlanta and he played well,” Snow said Tuesday. “In the two games I saw, he especially shot the ball well, and he shows significant potential as a defender as well as with his ability to get to the rim. 

“Right now his game is much more suited to being a secondary ball-handler who is a scorer first and makes plays from the wing as a scoring guard as opposed to a floor general who dominates the ball and is asked to run a team.” 

While Curtis is unquestionably The Man when he dons the Blue and White at Xenia, he is surrounded by talented players who can score on his AAU team (including Trotwood-Madison’s Amari Davis, Springfield’s RaHeim Moss and former Sidney standout Andre Gordon). 

>>RELATED: Area’s best basketball players teaming up this summer in AAU

C2K Elite coach Quincey Simpson can also offer some personal expertise when it comes to becoming a college point guard. His son, Zavier, is the starter at that position at Michigan (though Curtis and the younger Simpson have different types of games). 

“He’s always getting on me. I like it,” Curtis said of the elder Simpson. “He’s just always getting on me about little stuff a point guard has to do to be good at the Division I level, so I’m just taking it all in and using it every game.”

There are two more events left for C2K Elite this summer — one in Grand Rapids this weekend and the UAA Finals in Las Vegas the weekend after that — then Curtis can begin to look ahead to his senior season at Xenia. 

The Buccaneers went 11-12 last season against a brutal schedule, and Curtis is sure to be the focal point again this fall for his last go ‘round in X-town. 

“We were doing good and then I got a concussion so that kind of ruined our momentum,” Curtis said of last season, when he averaged 30.4 points, 5.2 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game. 

“I feel like this year I won’t have to worry about injuries so we should have a good year. I just know we’re gonna shock a lot of people.” 
  

Trending - Most Read Stories

Scoochie Smith weighing his options after strong performance in NBA Summer League

Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 @ 5:08 PM

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 15:  Scoochie Smith #12 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives between Giddy Potts #20 and Rawle Alkins #1 of the Toronto Raptors during a quarterfinal game of the 2018 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Cavaliers defeated the Raptors 82-68. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 15: Scoochie Smith #12 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives between Giddy Potts #20 and Rawle Alkins #1 of the Toronto Raptors during a quarterfinal game of the 2018 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Cavaliers defeated the Raptors 82-68. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Former Dayton Flyers point guard Scoochie Smith always felt he could play in the NBA. He showed he deserves a chance with his performance in the NBA Summer League.

Smith spoke to the Dayton Daily News on the phone from Las Vegas, Nev., on Tuesday as he prepared to leave town after playing seven games in 11 days with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

While Smith had confidence about his ability to play at the next level, he said, “Sometimes you’ve got to reassure the people. That’s what happened.”

Content Continues Below

» ALUMNI NEWS: Bonsu finds job in NBA

Smith earned an invitation to training camp with the Cavaliers and said while he would probably accept it, he hasn’t made up his mind yet. He’s keeping his options open in case other teams express interest in him.

Smith averaged 8.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 16.9 minutes per game in Las Vegas. His role grew as the Cavaliers advanced past the preliminary round into the Summer League tournament.

Smith, who finished his Dayton career with 1,289 points in 2017 and ranks 28th in school history, said he learned to be more aggressive and stay in attack mode.

“I think that will help me a lot,” he said.

In a 112-109 double-overtime loss to the Lakers on Monday in the semifinals, Smith had 14 points, five rebounds and a team-high five assists in 27 minutes. He made 4 of 12 shots from the field.

» OFFSEASON FEATURES: Donnie JonesJosh CunninghamTrey LandersRyan Mikesell

Smith’s best performance came Saturday in the second round of the tournament. He scored 15 of his 17 points in the last seven minutes in a 92-87 victory over the Houston Rockets.

“I was just waiting on my moment,” Smith said. “I was fortunate enough it came during that Houston game, not right at the end of the tournament. I still got to showcase some more.”

Smith said the Cavaliers were happy with his play, and he thought they were maybe a little surprised by how well he performed.

“I think they learned a lot about me,” he said.

» RECRUITING: Dayton among the teams pursuing Xenia senior

This was Smith’s second experience in the Summer League. He played with the Boston Celtics in the Summer League a year ago but saw limited playing time.

“They drafted about four guys, so it was kind of tough for me to find an opportunity,” Smith said. “Staying positive and doing what I did in my first year (in pro basketball) helped me get the opportunity this week.”

Smith started his professional career last year in Australia and played in 27 games for the Cairns Taipans, averaging 10.2 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

Smith then returned to Ohio to play for the Canton Charge, the Cavaliers’ affiliate in the NBA G-League. He averaged 14.3 points, 8.1 assists and 4.3 rebounds. He shot 51.9 percent from the floor and 52.3 percent from 3-point range. He had his best game — 26 points and 10 assists — in the final game March 23.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Former Dayton guard Bonsu finds job in NBA

Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 @ 3:46 PM

Dayton’s Joey Gruden and Jeremiah Bonsu leave the court after a victory against Saint Joseph’s College on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff
Dayton’s Joey Gruden and Jeremiah Bonsu leave the court after a victory against Saint Joseph’s College on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

Former Dayton Flyers walk-on guard Jeremiah Bonsu is taking his career to the NBA.

After graduating from the University of Dayton in 2017 and spending a season at Bowling Green as a graduate assistant men’s basketball coach, Bonsu has a new job as a player development intern with the Dallas Mavericks.

» OFFSEASON FEATURES: Donnie JonesJosh CunninghamTrey LandersRyan Mikesell

Content Continues Below

Bonsu’s former teammate at Dayton, Kostas Antetokounmpo, signed a two-way contract with the Mavericks last week.

Bonsu spent three seasons with the Flyers. He never scored a point and appeared in only two games as a senior, but he became a popular player in part because of his celebrations on the bench.

» RELATED: Bonsu on Senior Night emotions

Bonsu, a graduate of Pickerington North High School, wrote two articles for The Players’ Tribune during his career, one about the death of teammate Steve McElvene and another about his unlikely path to college basketball.

Trending - Most Read Stories