Dayton already has landed two basketball recruits with high-major scholarship offers and is hoping to snag a third in Western Pennsylvania forward Ryan Luther, who is making an official visit this weekend.
Luther is a a 6-foot-8 senior from Hampton High School who has the ability to go inside or outside. He has about a dozen offers, including Iowa, Virginia Tech, George Washington, Duquesne and Bucknell.
Luther, who is scheduled to arrive tonight and stay through Sunday, is a top target for the Flyers, who are looking to round out their four-player 2014 class with a forward and a scoring guard.
Gahanna Lincoln’s Javon Bess, who has been on campus at least twice, is believed to be their No. 1 priority in the backcourt. They’ve gotten commitments from 6-4 combo guard Darrell Davis of Detroit and 6-11 center Steve McElvene of New Haven, Ind.
“I’m definitely excited to get out there,” Luther said. “I’ve been on campus a couple times before, but not on an official visit. I’ll be able to get to see the most I have ever. I’m just excited because I think it’s a good place so far.”
Luther averaged about 23 points and eight rebounds as a junior, and Dayton was the first school to offer him a scholarship. It came after Hampton attended the Flyers’ team camp in 2012.
“Ryan brings a lot to the table as a player because he has the ability not only play the interior at 6-foot-8 — he has good post moves — but he can also stretch the defense and has good perimeter skills,” Hampton coach Joe Lafko said. “That’s something that’s drawn the attention of a lot of high-caliber coaches.”
Michigan coach John Beilein and Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon attended Luther’s open gym Tuesday. His twin brother Collin, a 6-7 forward, also is a D-I prospect. The two could play together at Duquesne or GW, but UD isn’t recruiting Collin, and playing together at the next level isn’t a priority for the Luthers.
“That’s something they’re looking into and they have options to do that, but it’s certainly not a package deal,” Lafko said. “They’re their own person, they’re their own player, and they’re going to do what’s in the best interest of themselves individually.”
UD coach Archie Miller is from Western Pennsylvania, and the Miller name carries some clout in the region.
John Miller, Archie’s father, is a high school coaching legend, and both sons became star point guards and have followed his career path. Sean Miller is the coach at Arizona.
“I personally have known John Miller for 25 years and was a coach when Archie was still in high school and followed him through his career,” Lafko said. “We’re proud of our Miller roots and Miller connections. Those guys have done an outstanding job as players and coaches.
“(Archie) is building a program in his style. He certainly has a reputation of developing players. I know he’s going to continue to compete well. I’m excited for UD to get an opportunity to have Ryan come out there and play, and I know he’s excited to evaluate his options.”