Sports Today: National Signing Day gives way to big basketball night


Today is National Signing Day and a notable night for college basketball. 

As I write this, we’re still waiting to see how the winter weather will affect college announcements, but at last check three of the area’s best players were planning to make an announcement today. 

Stay tuned to find out what’s next for star running backs Tavion Thomas and Ra’veion Hargrove plus all-around Springfield athlete Leonard Taylor. 

Ohio State signed most of its class in December but is looking to add a couple of players today — offensive tackle is of particular interest and need… 

Ohio State basketball will take over the spotlight tonight as the 14th-ranked Buckeyes head to Purdue to take on the third-ranked Boilermakers. 

The game matches the top two contenders for Big Ten Player of the Year: Keita Bates-Diop of Ohio State and Vincent Edwards of Purdue. 

Edwards, a Middletown graduate, and Bates-Diop are both seniors who figure to be under-drafted by NBA teams in June before going on to long, productive pro careers. 

This is the only meeting between the two teams, and a win for Purdue would certainly put them in the driver’s seat for a Big Ten championship as they would maintain a two-game lead over Michigan State, a winner last night and Purdue’s next opponent. 

Ohio State doesn’t have much to lose tonight if you ask me. 

A win would mean they have a chance to hang a banner this season, but they have already surpassed expectations. 

Even if the Buckeyes lose, they would have a three-game cushion in terms of staying in the top four, which is important for seeding in the conference tournament that is stupidly being held a week early in New York City… 

Meanwhile, Dayton is back home tonight to take on Duquesne at UD Arena. 

The Flyers’ loss in Pittsburgh to start Atlantic 10 play looked like a bad one at the time, but since then the Dukes have been having the better season. 

First-year coach Keith Dambrot’s team has already won five more games than last season despite dropping a pair of heart-breakers in the previous eight days. 

Exactly what’s ailing Dayton is hard to put a finger on. 

I mean, there are obvious statistical things to look at, but everything feels interconnected, doesn’t it? 

»PREVIEW: What you need to know about Wednesday’s gameBench seeing minutes decline

Overall, things just aren’t right. 

There’s plenty of talent there, but experience is lacking of course. 

Darrell Davis is a veteran but playing in a new role, and Josh Cunningham barely played the previous two seasons. 

Of course, they’ve also had 22 games to figure out how to play together but seem to be going in the other direction.

Their improvement in shooting percentage over the course of the season is definitely eye-opening. I thought this team would be athletic but struggle to makes shots. 

The lack of improvement on defense is kind of baffling. 

So are the fluctuations in the way coach Anthony Grant has substituted. 

It seemed like a lot of guys were on yo-yos in the first half of the season, and now the rotation has been severely curtailed. 

I can imagine that makes getting comfortable and building confidence hard. 

I’m sure it’s tough for any new coach to establish what he wants, never knowing just how youngsters are going to react to a given situation. 

That’s why they make the big bucks though. 

Perhaps short-term pain will yield long-term gain. 

The rest of the schedule isn’t a cakewalk. Finishing over .500 in the regular season could be a challenge… 


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Predicting NCAA Baseball Tournament field of 64
Predicting NCAA Baseball Tournament field of 64

More than any year in recent memory, this NCAA Baseball Tournament field is difficult to pick. The sport had a weird, wild year. Leagues such as the SEC and ACC dominated the top of the national rankings. The two account for eight of the top 16 seeds in the country. The almost-always top-heavy Pac-12 had two as well. That left...
Predicting the NCAA Baseball Tournament field of 64
Predicting the NCAA Baseball Tournament field of 64

More than any year in recent memory, this NCAA Baseball Tournament field is difficult to pick. The sport had a weird, wild year. Leagues such as the SEC and ACC dominated the top of the national rankings. The two account for eight of the top 16 seeds in the country. The almost-always top-heavy Pac-12 had two as well. That left...
2018 SEC Baseball Tournament: Bracket, scores, results (May 28, 2018)
2018 SEC Baseball Tournament: Bracket, scores, results (May 28, 2018)

The 2018 SEC Baseball Tournament continues on Sunday, May 27. Below you can see a bracket, a schedule, dates, and seeds for the event. The event is being held in Hoover, Ala. Ole Miss beat LSU to win the championship. For a high-res version, click here. Sunday, May 27 Game 17: Ole Miss 9, LSU 1 | FINAL | Box score...
WATCH: Al Horford throws down vicious dunk in conference finals
WATCH: Al Horford throws down vicious dunk in conference finals

LSU offers QB TJ Finley
LSU offers QB TJ Finley

LSU’s first in-state quarterback offer has been put on the table. TJ Finley, a 3-star quarterback out of Ponchatoula (La.) High School, picked up an offer from the in-state Tigers on Sunday evening. Finley, the top-ranked passer in Louisiana’s 2020 class, measures up at 6-foot-6 and 215 pounds. He’s a top-10 quarterback ...
More Stories