Bockhorn still making a difference for Dayton Flyers

Arlen “Bucky” Bockhorn still makes an impact on the University of Dayton men’s basketball program.

Most Flyers fans know him as the color analyst of Dayton games. He’s teamed with Larry Hangsen for 35 seasons. Hangsen provides the play-by-play and it’s Bockhorn who offers the colorful insight.

»RELATED: Flyers fall to Dukes in A-10 opener

Bockhorn also was the first person first-year Flyers coach Anthony Grant sought out after a stinging 70-62 loss to open Atlantic 10 play at Duquesne on Saturday afternoon. They huddled deep into the A.J. Palumbo Center for a long exchange. Grant wanted answers and Bockhorn, ever observant to the Flyers’ slightest nuances and tendencies, was up to the challenge.

»RELATED: UD/Duquesne photo gallery

No surprise in that. Bockhorn is closing on 85 years of age and he’s full of basketball knowledge.

A former Flyer himself who played seven years with the Cincinnati Royals in the NBA, Bockhorn attends most UD practices. He has a nickname for many of the Flyers. Players often seek Bockhorn out during pregame warm-ups. They all pump his raised hand.

That routine will play out again when Dayton (6-7, 0-1) returns to A-10 action by hosting St. Bonaventure (11-2, 1-0) at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at UD Arena.

Here’s five things to know from the Duquesne game:

• Kostas Antetokounmpo, Dayton’s 6-foot-10 redshirt-freshman, picked the wrong Duke to wolf on.

He dunked on burly center Chas Brown twice late in the first half. Brown, a graduate transfer and MVP at Coppin State last season, said Kostas gave him an earful after the second slam. They squared off on the return possession before the inbounds. That resulted in technical fouls on both and a game-changing Dukes’ demeanor.

“Duquesne’s not going to get punked anymore,” first-year coach Keith Dambrot declared. “We’re just not going to get punked.”

»RELATED: New season, fresh start for Flyers

• The loss of junior guard John Crosby had to have disrupted the Flyers’ rotation. He had recently re-earned his starting position and was averaging close to 10 points over the previous four games. But he was a DNP against the Dukes.

The Baltimore native was whacked in practice last Thursday. He made the trip but was out with an “upper body injury,” according to a release.

Senior walk-on guard Joey Gruden saw action for only the second time this season.

• More significant was the Flyers’ inability to match or stop the Dukes when it mattered most. Duquesne outscored Dayton 13-4 to end the first half and 10-1 to close the game. That’s a 23-5 game-deciding difference.

“When you look at the run they closed the half with, that’s a learning experience,” said Grant.

• Senior guard Darrell Davis and 6-7 junior front-liner Josh Cunningham continue to be the Flyers’ go-to players. Davis had a team-high 19 points and five rebounds. Cunningham was good for 14 points, 13 rebounds, three steals, two assists and a block.

Also earning starts were guards Jordan Davis (eight points), Trey Landers (seven) and Jalen Crutcher (seven). They were a combined 7 of 25 in field-goal shooting and 2 of 12 in 3-pointers.

• Dayton failed to score in the final 5:31. That ensured their first losing record in December in the last 18 seasons.

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