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First Four: Radford beats LIU-Brooklyn for first NCAA Tournament win

Published: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 @ 8:51 PM
Updated: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 @ 8:54 PM


            DAYTON, OH - MARCH 13: Carlik Jones #1 of the Radford Highlanders is pursued by Joel Hernandez #0 of the Long Island Blackbirds during the second half of the First Four game in the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at UD Arena on March 13, 2018 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
DAYTON, OH - MARCH 13: Carlik Jones #1 of the Radford Highlanders is pursued by Joel Hernandez #0 of the Long Island Blackbirds during the second half of the First Four game in the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at UD Arena on March 13, 2018 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Radford and LIU Brooklyn met in a battle of No. 16 seeds in the First Four opener Tuesday night at UD Arena with the hope of ending losing streaks. Both programs were playing for their first NCAA Tournament win.

Radford no longer has to say it’s never won in the tournament. The Highlanders won on their third try, answering every challenge by LIU in the second half to pull away late for a 71-61 victory.

Radford (23-12) advances to play East Region No. 1 seed Villanova at 6:50 p.m. Thursday in Pittsburgh.

Radford used a 14-2 run over a four-minute span to take a lead 49-40 with 12:28 left led by Carlik Jones, Travis Fields Jr. and Donald Hicks. After LIU (18-17) cut Radford’s lead to 59-58, the Highlanders finished with a 12-3 run over the final five minutes. LIU’s last field goal came with 6:47 left.

Fields came off the bench and made three 3-pointers in the second half to tie a season high with 13 points. Ed Polite Jr. also scored 13, Jones had 12 and Hicks 11.

LIU, now 0-7 in NCAA play, was led by Jashaun Agosto with 16 points, Raiquan Clark with 14 and Julian Batts with 13.

Radford was the hot-shooting team early and built a 20-11 lead halfway through the first half. LIU scored 11 points off nine Radford turnovers and chipped away at the lead to trail 30-28 at the half on a 3-pointer by Joel Hernandez. Radford outshot LIU 52 to 44 percent in the half and 47 to 38 percent for the game.

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Cincinnati Bengals: 5 reasons to buy John Ross stock in 2018

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 3:13 PM

Bengals’ wide receiver John Ross catches a pass defended by cornerback William Jackson during organized team activities Tuesday, May 22 at the practice facility near Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Staff Writer
Bengals’ wide receiver John Ross catches a pass defended by cornerback William Jackson during organized team activities Tuesday, May 22 at the practice facility near Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF(Staff Writer)

The Cincinnati Bengals might have answered a lot of questions during the offseason. 

They revamped the offensive line, experienced lots of turnover on the coaching staff and added some players who could give the defense a different look. 

>>RELATED: A return to the playoffs? Bengals headed in right direction

They also found out what a healthy John Ross looks like, at least in shorts and a helmet. 

The true test of the his being “back” will come when the pads go on, of course, but there is reason for optimism at this point the 2017 top 10 pick will look like a top 10 pick in 2018. 

1. Ross definitely has the right attitude.

At times last season the first-round pick out of Washington seemed frustrated. He was understandably down about his inability to contribute. 

In contrast, he was upbeat when talking to reporters this spring. 

“Sitting out so long last year and not being able to participate the way I wanted to, it just feel like a new year, a new person and kind of like the old me before I finished my last year of college,” he said Jun 14. "I’m starting to feel better every day and learning every day.”

2. He wants to be more than a speed merchant. 

After breaking the NFL combine record for fastest 40-yard dash time, Ross became known first and foremost as a guy who can pick ‘em up and put ‘em down. 

He showed in minicamp he can do more than take the top off the defense, catching short passes and streaking all across the field. 

“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “Last week I made a play on the defense and the offense is jumping up and down going crazy. It’s not just running by somebody and people saying, ‘He can run.’ That gets pretty old pretty quick, so just trying to one of those spark plugs for the offense to get ‘em going and getting everybody to go crazy and seeing everybody have a good time.” 

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 04: Wide receiver John Ross of Washington runs the 40-yard dash in an unofficial record time of 4.22 seconds during day four of the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 4, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)(Staff Writer)

3. Offensive changes should help him. 

When Ross was drafted, his impact was anticipated in the simplest of ways: Two deep threats are better than one, so having Ross line up on the opposite side from A.J. Green could really put defenses who want to provide coverage help to Green’s side a dilemma. 

Bill Lazor’s overhauled offense should utilize Ross in multiple ways, though, and his intent to turn up the tempo will create more opportunities for everyone because the Bengals are likely to run more plays. 

4. He has the confidence of his coach. 

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis insisted in March he liked John Ross as an all-around football player despite his “redshirt year.” 

He reiterated his happiness with the youngster after an impressive first day of OTAs.

“I think his upper body looks way different,” Lewis said. “I think he’s maturing as a man, and he’s developing as a man physically.

“Last year he didn’t have any offseason of weight training whatsoever or virtually nothing or anything of substance so this was the first time over the last six weeks that he’s had an opportunity to do those kind of things.” 

“John grew up in Long Beach, Calif., so I have no question about his confidence,” Lewis said. “I know where he went to school, I know where he grew up and I know the block he lived on. I don’t worry about John and his confidence. You have to be confident just to walk every day.”

5. Ross always felt Lewis had his back, anyway.

“I just feel like a lot of people see it like last year he was a villain in my story, and I don’t think that was the case, but it’s good,” Ross said to hear Lewis praising him in the press
“When you do good things, people notice and they say good things about you. I think it’s a testament to how hard I’ve worked in this offseason so basically I’ve just got to continue to do that, not so much to hear it but to help.” 

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Dayton’s Anthony Grant reflects on winning gold, talks about offseason plans for Flyers

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 3:03 PM

Dayton Flyers: A look at 2018-19 roster

Dayton Flyers coach Anthony Grant returned to Dayton earlier this week after helping coach the United States U-18 team to gold in the FIBA Americas Championship.

Grant spoke on Thursday about his experiences at the tournament in Saint Catharines, Ont., and his thoughts on Dayton’s offseason.

» RELATED: ‘High ceiling’ gives Antetokounmpo chance of getting drafted

Here’s a quick recap of the conversation. There will be more to follow this weekend.

On winning gold: “I had a blast. It was a fun group to work with. Coach (Danny) Manning and coach (Bill) Self were awesome, just really down-to-earth guys who did a really great job with the team. I told the guys, ‘To me, watching the way they came together within two and a half weeks, it was like a team that had been together for five or six months.’”

On spring workouts: “The first summer session was really for our returning players to continue the improvements and get better in the weight room. We used the time on the court for skill work and individual development.”

» LOCAL CONNECTIONS: Players to watch in NBA Draft

On upcoming second summer session: “All of our guys are here now. We’ve got all 11 scholarship players here. Obviously, we’ve had some transition with our strength coach and with one of the assistant coaches (Casey Cathrall and James Kane leaving the program), so now it’s a matter of as we move forward not only the individual development in terms of skill but also introducing the new guys and returning guys to each other, trying to get them familiar with some of the basics of what we do offensively and defensively.”

On losing Kane and Cathrall: “Those guys were great pieces to our staff, and certainly — I speak on behalf of our players and our staff — we’ll miss them because they were great people first and foremost, and I think they did a great job, which created the opportunities that they felt were best for them at this stage in their careers. We wish them luck. We’ll move forward.”

On his impressions of newcomers: “They’re great kids. I think we’ve got a really good group. You’ve two freshmen coming in who will play (Dwayne Cohill and Frankie Policelli), and then Jhery (Matos), the junior college guy coming in, and the two transfers (Ibi Watson and Rodney Chatman). So we’ve got five new pieces, three of which will be eligible to play next year, but all five of them will have a strong impact on our team.”

» ATLANTIC 10 NEWS: Catching up on offseason news

On whether Dayton will add any players to the roster for the 2018-19 season: “I wouldn’t rule anything out. Obviously, you’re always keeping your eyes and ears open for what’s out there. we’ll see what happens.”

On Kostas Antetokounmpo’s draft chances Thursday: “We’ll get a chance to watch it, and hopefully he’ll have a good outcome for himself, whether that be the opportunity to hear his name called or just to get in a good situation where he has a great chance to make a roster and pursue his goals and dreams. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for both he and Darrell (Davis) that they get a good situation to pursue the chance to make money playing the game.”

Dayton Flyers in NBA: Top 10 career scorers(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

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Report: Former Dayton forward to change teams

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 10:46 AM

Former University of Dayton standout Devin Oliver. PHOTO COURTESY OF ProStep Sports Agency
WHIO Radio
Former University of Dayton standout Devin Oliver. PHOTO COURTESY OF ProStep Sports Agency(WHIO Radio)

Former Dayton Flyers forward Devin Oliver will play his next season of professional basketball in Turkey after two seasons in Slovenia, according to a report by Sportando.com.

An announcement is expected soon about Oliver signing with Banvit, which plays in Bandirma, Turkey.

» RELATED: Former Dayton center picks new school

Oliver played for Petrol Olimpija the last two seasons in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and helped lead the team to two championships. He averaged 13.2 points and 7.3 rebounds last season.

“So proud of this team for everything we’ve been through this year,” Oliver wrote on Instagram in May. “Between the highs and the lows, we finished up with a FREAKING CHAMPIONSHIP. 2 years in Olimpija, 2 consecutive national championships. Also very thankful for winning back to back finals MVPS.”

» LOOKING BACK: Oliver makes his mark in Slovenia

Oliver will also play this summer with former Dayton teammates Vee Sanford and Dyshawn Pierre in The Basketball Tournament for the second straight year. Their team plays its first-round game July 14.

o proud of this team for everything we’ve been through this year. Between the highs and the lows, we finished up with a FREAKING CHAMPIONSHIP. 2 years in Olimpija, 2 consecutive national championships. Also very thankful for winning back to back finals MVPS.

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WATCH: Reds fan deserves ‘Star of the Game’ award for this act

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 11:08 AM

2018 Cincinnati Reds: 10 things to know

Scooter Gennett hit a two-run home run to tie the game. Eugenio Suarez blasted the go-ahead shot one pitch later. And starting pitcher Tyler Mahle earned his third win in his last three decisions.

But the real Star of the Game in the Reds 5-3 victory against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday was a fan in the moon deck in right field.

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After a home run by Niko Goodrum made it 2-0 Tigers in the fourth inning, a Reds fan who came up with the ball offered not one, but two good deeds for a couple of Detroit fans:

 

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