Sports Today: How patient are Dayton Flyers fans right now?

  • Marcus Hartman
10:11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 Sports
Staff Writer
A fan cheers during a game between Dayton and Tennessee Tech on Dec. 6, 2017, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

Let’s see how much ground we can cover today after a busy week for sports in the Miami Valley. 

Going by the Facebook comments on my Dayton Flyers basketball column yesterday, fans are far from panicking about the struggles of Anthony Grant’s first season as coach at his alma mater. 

One pointed out the loss of four starters from last season and the continuing effect of the sad and unexpected loss of Steve McElvene and preached patience as Grant establishes his practices with his recruits. 

Two others pointed out the need for better defense (no question that’s going to be necessary), another called for pushing the pace offensively and, yes, one did post the Flyers need a new coach. 

Of course, this is not a big sample size, but in my experience the majority is rarely silent when things aren’t going well. 

As always, I welcome your feedback via email, on Twitter or Facebook… 

Dayton is back in action Saturday night at 6 against VCU. 

This game presents at least two obvious challenges: It is on the road, where Dayton has been pretty terrible this season, and it is against a team with a score to settle. 

The Flyers drubbed the Rams at UD Arena in January, a game that made some wonder if Dayton was ready to go on a run. 

That of course did not happen, but this time around they are coming off a similar performance at home against Duquesne… 

Wright State avoided an upset at home last night to remain in first place in the Horizon League. 

The Raiders are still tied with Northern Kentucky thanks to a late hot streak by Grant Benzinger, who scored 22 points in a 68-64 win over Green Bay

“When things weren’t going well offensively, and it was most of the night, we still guarded and we rebounded,” Raiders coach Scott Nagy said. ” We talk about that all the time, and it won us the game.”

The Norse nearly were upset by Milwaukee but pulled out a 54-52 win on their home floor. 

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The Panthers are next for Wright State while Green Bay heads to NKU this weekend. 

Then the Raiders have a bye before playing host to Northern Kentucky next Friday night in a game that certainly looks like it will decide the Horizon League champion… 

WSU rallies to beat Green Bay

After a one-day delay, we were out and about at signing day ceremonies yesterday in Dayton and Springfield

Mike Hartsock caught up with Tavion Thomas and Joseph Scates after the two Dunbar standouts signed with Cincinnati and Iowa State, respectively. 

I watched a dozen Wildcats share their future plans with friends and family in the library at Springfield. 

Thomas and Springfield’s Leonard Taylor both talked about the opportunity to play ball close to home and help the Bearcats program grow back into something special under former Ohio State assistant Luke Fickell. 

Springfield coach Maurice Douglass told the crowd Urbana has expressed the desire to build with local talent, too, in Division II… 

Signing day at Dunbar.

Meanwhile, the news of the impending breakup of the GWOC continues to resonate. 

Trotwood-Madison superintendent Kevin Bell was diplomatic in answering questions about the move, which as of now looks like it will leave the Rams to contend with the larger schools in the league after the smaller ones opted to form their own new conference. 

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He acknowledged there are concerns that decision had a racial component and wondered why adults seemed not to want their kids to be in a competitive situation anymore against the Rams, who have played in two straight state championship games in football (they won last fall) and made the title game in basketball last season. 

For (our students), they have to ask why don’t these other schools want to compete with us? Kids are kids and they just want to compete. They want to have good rivalries and enjoy the sport. At the kid level, I don’t see any concern or issue. … What’s the problem all of a sudden? Ultimately, it’s an adult-based concern.” 

10 members of the Greater Western Ohio Conference are reportedly dropping out of the GWOC.

We’ve already mentioned the Dayton game, but what else is on tap this weekend? 

Miami University hosts Toledo tonight in a game you can watch on CBS Sports Network at 6. 

WSU returns to action Saturday night against Milwaukee, and the first-place Dayton women’s basketball team plays at noon Sunday at Georgia Washington. You can watch the Flyers on ESPNU. 

The Ohio State men host Iowa at 6 p.m. Saturday on BTN. The Buckeyes will look to avoid a letdown after their stunning win at Purdue on Wednesday night. The Hawkeyes nearly knocked off Michigan State earlier this week, but that game was in Iowa City (where Ohio State already won this season).