breaking news

Gunshot victim, suspect argue before shooting in Xenia, police say

SPORTS DAILY: Reaction mixed to a Gem City Jam revival


When I wondered last week in this space if we’ll ever see a resumption of the Gem City Jam men’s college basketball series after this current 20-year pause, the deluge of response surprised me.

Sentiment broke mostly along party lines, with faithful University of Dayton fans brushing the notion aside like lint from an overcoat and Wright State supporters wondering what they did to earn such disdain from the venerable school across town.

One longtime UD season-ticket holder wrote:

“I’m not anti-Wright State as my wife and son are both graduates, but the game doesn’t do anything for us. We used to attend Wright State games in the old gym when Ralph (Underhill) was coaching there but then they built the non-fan-friendly Nutter Center. No parking and steps down to and up from the floor.

“Why don’t you do an article about the Nutt and give credit to the idiots who approved the design?”

Can’t say I ever perceived the Nutter Center to be an impediment to reviving the UD-WSU series, except maybe for the fact that WSU rarely comes close to filling it. But the game would be a hot ticket regardless of venue, some of the proceeds could go to charity and this area could call itself a basketball hotbed and actually be telling the truth for once.

Too much opposition, though, judging by reader comments like this one:

“Come on Sean, it’s a nice idea to have a game between Dayton and Wright State. However, such a game would have to benefit all parties. Why should UD risk losing an NCAA bid by lowering their RPI or God forbid losing to Wright State. … I like the idea for this rivalry. However, it only makes sense if the two teams are reasonably close in rankings much like Xavier and Cincinnati. As a fan I would enjoy watching a hometown series. Unfortunately, it has to make sense on several levels for both universities.”

Wright State indeed needs to pick up the pace a bit. The Raiders and the Horizon League are not quite on the level, to say the least, of UD and the Atlantic 10. But in a given year, although the almighty RPI rankings might tell a different story, the gap between the programs doesn’t seem all that vast. The Raiders, in fact, have been contending for the NCAA Tournament the past few years, falling one win short in three of the last four.

Maybe new coach Scott Nagy, armed with a contract that pays him $500,000 per year, can bring WSU further up the national pecking order in the coming years. Then we’ll see how much RPI or strength of schedule truly matter in keeping the schools apart or whether other factors, such as UD’s fear of losing to the commuter school across town, might carry more weight than many believe.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Squash champion seeks sublet, frequently
Squash champion seeks sublet, frequently

Ramy Ashour is widely considered the most gifted squash player in history, wowing audiences around the world with his spectacular flair. Yet he lives anonymously — and peripatetically — in New York. Since leaving Cairo in 2014, Ashour has sublet apartments on 92nd and Lexington, 53rd and Seventh Avenue, 66th and Columbus and 58th and 10th...
US aims to groom tennis champs at national campus in Florida
US aims to groom tennis champs at national campus in Florida

Drive past the strip malls with their fast-food chains, past the fast-rising McMansions, past the palm trees lined up just so along green, green grass about 25 miles east of Walt Disney World, and eventually a sign arises, announcing in capital letters, "USTA National Campus, the home of American tennis."  Welcome to the 65-acre, 100-court...
A crowded Cubs outfield has plenty to prove in 2018
A crowded Cubs outfield has plenty to prove in 2018

After Ben Zobrist earned his second straight ring and was named the World Series MVP in 2016, you can't blame him for taking some time to relax last offseason. But that's old news. Zobrist, who turns 37 in May, is coming off a subpar season and doesn't know how he will be used this year in Joe Maddon's revolving-door lineup. So Zobrist took only 10...
Mets’ Adrian Gonzalez has plans to tutor Dominic Smith
Mets’ Adrian Gonzalez has plans to tutor Dominic Smith

Adrian Gonzalez, the New York Mets’ new first baseman, played the most games in the major leagues from 2006 to 2016. Yet Gonzalez never reached the World Series, and when his Los Angeles Dodgers finally made it last fall, he watched most of it on television in a suite. A back injury had knocked him out of the postseason. “Somewhat of a...
Despite doping scandals, Olympic fever grips Russian cinemas
Despite doping scandals, Olympic fever grips Russian cinemas

Russia's going crazy for the Olympics. The 1972 Olympics.  Even as the Russian team faces up to being barred from next month's Winter Games for doping offenses, audiences are flocking to see a movie about Soviet glory on the Olympic basketball court 46 years ago.  "Three Seconds" tells the story of the Soviet Union team which won...
More Stories