Dayton Flyers

Dayton’s Kostas Antetokounmpo suffers injury in Greece

Leave a comment

Kostas Antetokounmpo, the younger brother of Milwaukee Bucks All-Star, Giannis, may have to wait for his college career to begin at Dayton.

Antetokounmpo, who missed every single game last season after the NCAA ruled him a partial qualifier, suffered a tibia fracture, according to Marcus Hartman of the Dayton Daily News. The extent of the injury is unknown at this time, but it occurred in Greece where he was training with his home country for the FIBA U20 European Championship, which is set to begin at the end of this week in Crete.

The 6-foot-10 forward was a four-star recruit coming out of high school, rated as the No. 89 overall prospect by Rivals. As a partial qualifier, he was allowed to practice with the team after the first semester. He did not lose a year of eligibility this past season.

If the injury isn’t anything major, Antetokounmpo will be part of a versatile set of wings for the Flyers, one that includes Josh Cunningham and Xeyrius Williams. Rising juniors Ryan Mikesell and Sam Miller are also part of a frontline that will look to make up for the production left behind by Kendall Pollard.

Since taking over his alma mater this spring, Dayton head coach Anthony Grant has praised the play of the younger Antetokounmpo.

“This is a huge summer for him,” Grant previously told the Dayton Daily News. When you think about it, the last time he played organized basketball was two years ago. You want to see him put it all together. He’s got a lot of organized basketball was two years ago. You want to see him put it all together. He’s got a lot of potential.”

March Madness 2017 Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament Preview, Bracket and Conference Postseason Awards

Frederick Breedon/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Atlantic 10 Player of the Year: T.J. Cline, Richmond

The 6-foot-9 senior forward was not only one of the most efficient players in the conference, he was the only player in the Atlantic 10 to rank top-5 in (18.6 PPG), rebounds (8.1 RPG) and assists (5.7 APG). He had a triple-double — 34 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists — against Duquesne and then recorded another one — 19 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists — in his final game at Richmond.

Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year: Archie Miller, Dayton

Last year, Dayton was in a three-way tie for first place. This season, the Flyers won it outright with a 15-3 conference record. Miller had to balance early-season injuries to Kendall Pollard and transfer Josh Cunningham, which shortended his frontline. Following a loss to VCU, which finished in second place, the Flyers went on a nine-game winning streak, capped with a win at home against the Rams.

First-Team All-Atlantic 10

  • T.J. Cline, Richmond
  • Jaylen Adams, St. Bonaventure: The senior guard was second in the conference in scoring at 20.8 points, and led the A10 in assists and 6.6 dimes per game.
  • Charles Cooke, Dayton: Also an all-defense selection by the A10 coaches, Cooke led the Flyers in scoring at 16.5 points per game to go along with his 5.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists a night.
  • Jack Gibbs, Davidson: The conference’s leading scorer at 22.0 points per game. The repeat selection registered a handful of 30-point games.
  • Marquise Moore, George Mason: At 6-foot-2, the senior guard averaged a double-double — 17.4 points and 10.5 rebounds per game — leading the A10 in rebounding at 6-foot-2. He was instrumental in an eight-win turnaround for the Patriots.

Second Team All-Atlantic 10:

  • Peyton Aldridge, Davidson,
  • Tyler Cavanaugh, George Washington
  • JeQuan Lewis, VCU
  • Hassan Martin, Rhode Island
  • Scoochie Smith, Dayton

RELATED: Player of the Year | Coach of the Year | NBC Sports All-Americans

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Audioboom

It’s been three years since the Atlantic 10 set a conference record by sending six teams to the NCAA Tournament. For the third straight year, the league is set to send half that amount, at best.

Rhode Island entered the season in the preseason top-25, but will likely remain on the bubble unless it makes it to Sunday’s tournament title game. Dayton won the league outright after overcoming early season injuries on the frontline. The Flyers are safe, as is VCU, who finished second to Dayton in the A10 standings this season.

The A10 wasn’t as strong as in previous seasons, but it could result in an eventful week in Pittsburgh. Will Dayton and VCU face off in a rubber match? Will Rhode Island secure its first NCAA Tournament bid since 1999? Or is there a bid stealer ready to make a run?

The Bracket

When: March 8-13

Where: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh

Final: Sunday, March 13 12:30 p.m.

Favorite: Dayton

The Flyers topped the league for the second straight season; this time outright. After dealing with injuries early in the season, which played a role in a loss in a marquee home game against Saint Mary’s, followed by an upset loss to Nebraska, putting them on the wrong side of the Wooden Legacy bracket. However, Dayton enters Pittsburgh as winners of nine of its last 10. That span includes a win at Rhode Island and avenging a loss to VCU. Scoochie Smith, Charles Cooke and Kendall Pollard lead an experienced team with the league’s best offense, matched with a solid defense.

And if they lose?: VCU

The Rams finished second in the A10 and owns a win over Dayton. Like the Flyers, VCU has an experienced group led by seniors JeQuan Lewis and Mo-Alie Cox. Both meetings were decided by single digits. In both games, the Rams frontline, anchored by Cox and Justin Tillman, gave Dayton’s front court fits.

Will Wade (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Other Contenders:

  • Rhode Island: The Rams enter this year as the conference favorite. They certainly have the talent, and perhaps a sense of urgency kicks in as the Rams are still one the bubble.
  • Richmond: Led by A10 Player of the Year T.J. Cline, the Spiders head to Pittsburgh as winners of four in a row. However, Richmond is 0-2 against VCU this season, a team it could potential face in the semifinals.

Sleeper: St. Bonaventure

With Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley, the Bonnies have two guards who can really light it up. While they finished the regular season 6-4, they did give both VCU and Dayton a tough test during meetings last month.

The Bubble Dwellers: One

  • Rhode Island: The Rams followed up a marquee non-conference win against a ranked Cincinnati team by losing four of their next six. A 21-win season, and a recent win over VCU, could keep URI on the right side of the bubble. However, a one-an-done performance this week could mean a long night on Selection Sunday.

Defining moment of the season: JeQuan Lewis takes a charge on in-bounds pass with 0.4 seconds remaining.

On Feb. 8, George Washington’s Yuta Watanabe hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds left in a game against VCU. In lieu of going the length of the court for the next-to-impossible buzzer-beater, JeQuan Lewis drew a charge on Tyler Cavanaugh, sunk two free throws and the Rams left D.C. with the heist of a 54-53 victory. The previous game, a premature court storm by the St. Bonaventure fans, gave VCU a free throw, which helped force overtime.

VCU would have been on the wrong side of the bubble had it not won both those games, especially with Lewis’ quick thinking against the Colonials. Instead, the Rams are all but assured a seventh consecutive bid to the NCAA Tournament.

CBT Prediction: Dayton

CBT Roundtable: College Basketball’s Biggest Disappointments

Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Travis Hines: Given the expectations weren’t all that high for the Huskies, consider this one hell of an achievement to find them here. They’ve been that bad while Markelle Fultz has been amazing. You have to start with Fultz’s brilliance to fully understand Washington’s ineptitude. The potential No. 1 draft pick is averaging 22.8 points on 49.7 percent shooting from the floor and 48.7 percent from the 3-point line while also putting up 6.9 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game. Throw in the 2.1 steals and 1.2 blocks, and he’s literally on pace to post numbers that have never been posted in college basketball. As a freshman. That’s just absurd. What else is absurd is that Washington has a guy of Fultz’s caliber performing up to the hype and still somehow sits 4-5 with losses to Yale, TCU (twice), Nevada and Gonzaga, which came in especially embarrassing fashion in a 27-point drubbing on national television.

The “how’ of Washington’s struggles clearly land on the defensive end of the floor, where one coach remarked to our Rob Dauster that “They were so ******* bad on defense. It was like they had never been coached. They had no plan.” So, that’s not good, I don’t think. The Huskies’ season is disappointing on a number of levels, first being it appears that we won’t be watching Fultz in the NCAA tournament, which is a bummer. The second is Lorenzo Romar didn’t need to surround Fultz with McDonald’s All-Americans to have a successful season. Capable dudes (given a defensive plan) would have been enough. And Washington wasn’t able to do that. How disappointing.

Rob Dauster: UConn has been an absolute mess this season. They lost to Wagner and Northeastern at home in their first two games. They barely escaped Loyola Marymount with a win. They went 1-2 in the Maui Invitational, with the one win coming in a closer-than-it-should’ve-been win over Chaminade. If that wasn’t enough, UConn has also been devastated by injury, with two starters – McDonald’s all-american point guard Alterique Gilbert and Terry Larrier, who was their best player at the start of the year – going down with season-ending injuries. This was a team that entered the season with a legitimate case to be considered a top 25 team and is, in all likelihood, going to end the year with a win over a potentially NIT-bound Syracuse team in Madison Square Garden being the highlight of their year.

This is how bad things have gotten for UConn: When I was at the game at MSG, a UConn fan told me that he would consider this season a success “if UConn shows up as a bad loss when they show Syracuse’s NCAA tournament résumé.” For a team that has won two of the last six national titles, that’s quite a fall from grace.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Audioboom

Terrence Payne: Outside of the major six conferences, the Atlantic 10 is up there as one of the best. The A10 looked like it was on its way to another banner year when the preseason poll included both Rhode Island and Dayton. Currently, both teams find themselves outside the top-25, but more importantly, the conference as a whole finds itself with an underwhelming non-conference résumé. The A-10 is slightly above the American Athletic Conference for seventh place in the Conference RPI rankings, while KenPom rates the A10 as the eighth toughest league.

Rhode Island landed an early-season victory over No. 24 Cincinnati on a neutral floor, but the Rams have lost three out of four, all on the road, to Valparaiso, Providence and Houston. Dayton has been plagued by injuries to Kendall Pollard and transfer Josh Cunningham, which contributed to a 2-2 start. The Flyers have won five straight since, but Dayton could enter conference player with its best out of league win being against Northwestern or New Mexico, neither team pegged to land an at-large bid at this point. And it’s not just the team’s that began the season ranked. VCU, another A-10 power, hasn’t looked up to par, dropping back-to-back games against Illinois and Georgia Tech.

With a few weeks before conference play begins, the A-10 is lacking signature wins. Three years after receiving six bids, an all-time high for the conference, the A-10 is on pace to have, at best, half that amount this upcoming March.

Scott Phillips: It’s tough to call a young, injury-riddled team disappointing, but if Tom Izzo can angrily sit at the end of his own bench in the middle of games then we’re allowed to have such feelings. This Spartans team is 7-4 with single-digit home wins over Florida Gulf Coast, Oral Roberts and Tennessee Tech. Michigan State’s rebounding and free-throw shooting woes have cast serious concerns about their ability to win games early in the Big Ten without Miles Bridges. Of course, I expect Michigan State to make the NCAA tournament – and figure things out quickly – but they better do that before conference play begins.

Flyers take Clinton campaign plane to Alabama

1 Comment

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign came to an end last week, but its remnants found their way into the world of college basketball this week.

Dayton’s charter flight Monday to Tuscaloosa to face Alabama was the former Secretary of State’s campaign plane, the Dayton Daily News reports.

While there was a political statement emblazoned on the side of the plane, it wasn’t any type of statement by the Flyers. They booked the flight through a charter company, who provides whatever aircraft are available to them to meet the needs of the traveling party. The plane Dayton took was a Boeing 737-800.

The Flyers had better luck than the Clinton campaign, beating the Tide, 77-72, on Tuesday afternoon.

Minnesota PG picks Dayton

Leave a comment

Dayton may have just added its point guard of the future.

Three-star Minnesota native McKinley Wright committed to coach Archie Miller and the Flyers on Tuesday.

“McKinley Wright is another strong guard addition for Dayton as he can attack the paint and make plays for others with his quickness,” NBCSports.com recruiting analyst Scott Phillips said of the 2017 prospect. “The Flyers beat some solid competition for Wright and Archie Miller continues to recruit well there.”

The Flyers secured Wright’s commitment over offers from Xavier, Memphis and Minnesota. He’ll be joining a team that will be losing starting point guard Scoochie Smith, who averaged 11.7 points and 4.3 assists as a junior. Wright gives them an immediate replacement option to run Miller’s offense and help defend on the perimeter.

Wright is the third commit from Miller in his 2017 class with power forward Jordan Pierce and shooting guard Jordan Davis already in the fold. Both players committed within the last month.

Judge rejects Ohio basketball player’s reinstatement bid

Associated Press
Leave a comment

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) A federal judge on Friday again rejected a star basketball player’s bid for reinstatement to the University of Dayton after a suspension linked to a female student’s sexual assault accusation.

Dyshawn Pierre’s one-semester suspension ends soon, but he’d hoped for a ruling to help clear his record and let him rejoin the team immediately.

His attorney, Peter Ginsberg, said he and Pierre are disappointed and considering their options, such as appealing the decision or continuing with his lawsuit against the university.

The university, which declined to comment on the ruling, previously said Pierre didn’t suffer irreparable harm and there was no reason to cut short the suspension.

His lawsuit noted that Montgomery County prosecutors declined to file charges against the 6-foot-6 senior from Toronto. Pierre has said the allegation stemmed from a consensual sexual encounter, and he called the school’s investigation “fundamentally unfair” with a “wholly irrational, unsubstantiated” conclusion after a hearing that didn’t accommodate his learning disability.

“In circumstances of this seriousness, the university owed a duty to do more than the bare minimum,” Ginsberg said. “It should have been fair and thorough and professional, and Dayton has been none of those things.”

In October, U.S. District Judge Thomas Rose denied a temporary order to stop the school from enforcing the suspension. Rose ruled that the public interest is served by allowing universities to carry out disciplinary rules and procedures to keep an educational environment harassment-free.

He wrote that the school’s hearing board found Pierre was “unable to demonstrate that he received any words or actions that indicated he had effective consent for sexual intercourse or sexual contact.”

Ginsberg argued that the disciplinary board lacked training to interpret medical and law enforcement issues in the case.

It’s unclear whether Pierre will play this season. Coach Archie Miller told the Dayton Daily News on Thursday that he’ll meet with Pierre when the suspension ends Dec. 20 to gauge his physical and mental status and ability to contribute this season. Miller said Pierre will play “if it’s feasible” or sit out a year.

The Flyers are 7-1 after upsetting No. 21 Vanderbilt on Thursday.