Sports Today: Same script for Dayton basketball teams, for better or for worse


Guess no corners have been turned by the Dayton Flyers. 

I know that’s passive voice and we’re not supposed to use it, but it sort of feels appropriate for this predictably perplexing team that can’t quite seem to get it right on a regular basis. 

Both recent and less recent history pointed to a Flyers loss at St. Joseph’s, and that is what came to pass Wednesday night

Instead of their first three-game winning streak of the season, the Flyers lost to another team they probably should have beaten. 

This was a stinker all the way around as the Flyers shot just 37.1 percent and allowed the Hawks to shoot nearly 50 percent. 

» GAME STORY: Flyers settle for long-range shots and don’t make enough

» RELATED: Grant says defense didn’t get it done

Seniors Josh Cunningham and Darrell Davis combined for only 21 points while the freshmen guard tandem of Jordan Davis and Jalen Crutcher combined for 30. 

Crutcher, who certainly qualifies as one of the season’s bright spots so far, accounted for 23 of those but didn’t have much help. 

The scholarship players who came off the bench had six points and glue guy Trey Landers was shut out. 

That’s certainly a formula for failure. 

Meanwhile, Grant said this week he has high expectations when it comes to recruiting. 

That doesn’t come as a big surprise since he has already signed a top-100 player in the 2018 class and has offered several other highly-regarded prospects. 

This would seem to be counter to the approach of Archie Miller, who built a roster mostly with diamonds in the rough from high school and transfers who then combined to overachieve. 

» READ MORE: Grant sees Dayton as a destination for top recruits

The obvious followup, though, is this: Will it work? 

Only time will tell, but I would say this is an approach Grant has to take if he really wants to take the program to the next level. 

Miller was obviously great at maximizing his roster, but that will only take you so far. 

When I compared Dayton to programs such as Xavier, Creighton, Butler and Gonzaga — teams that have made the leap from mid-major to power programs — the one glaring difference was recruiting. 

Of course, they’ve got to be coached up once they are on campus, too… 

On the bright side, the Dayton women’s basketball team is still going strong. 

Those Flyers improved to 6-0 in the Atlantic 10 while handing Fordham its first conference loss Wednesday night. 

JaVonna Layfield scored 10 of her 26 points in the fourth quarter and added 13 rebounds as Shauna Green’s team prevailed 63-62. 

The defending conference champs are back home Sunday for a noon game against George Washington that will be televised on CBS Sports Network… 

Ohio State men’s basketball keeps rolling, too, as Chris Holtmann’s Buckeyes held on for a 71-65 win at Northwestern

The Buckeyes got a nice road win despite an off night from Keita Bates-Diop, who was there for a couple of key baskets in the second half but finished with only 10 points. 

Micah Potter picked up the slack with 13 points off the bench while C.J. Jackson shot the ball poorly but still had a strong all-around game. 

The OSU point guard had 12 points, eight assists, five rebounds and three steals with two turnovers in 36 minutes. 

RELATED: Buckeyes among the winners of NFL early entry deadline day

That is one thing that hasn’t changed from the Thad Matta era: The Buckeyes will go as their point guards. 

Jackson and Andrew Dakich, both of whom had some rough moments in some early-season losses, have given the team much more than it got the past two seasons. 

Meanwhile, Diop has thrived with the sort of game that never seemed to fit in Matta’s offensive scheme. 

READ MORE at Marcus Hartman’s “Cus Words Blog

The Buckeyes are up to 12th in KenPom’s ratings, and the are just better in pretty much every way than they were over the last few years when D’Angelo Russell’s shooting star was the only thing to get excited about. 

Amazingly, Holtmann is 7-0 in the Big Ten, something no first-year coach has been in 95 years…

Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Middletown’s Vincent Edwards continues to thrive for the Big Ten’s other 7-0 team (Purdue) while it looks like Wayne graduate D’Mitrik Trice is getting closer to returning for struggling Wisconsin

Trice is back practicing after undergoing foot surgery in December


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