Sports Today: College basketball roster churn offers distraction from bad baseball


I really don’t want to lead off with the latest Reds loss every day, and thanks to the ever-evolving college basketball landscape, I guess I don’t have to. 

As promised, the college basketball season has been eventful for Dayton and Wright State. 

The Flyers added another player Monday with a commitment from Rodney Chatman III. 

He is a transfer from Chattanooga, and yet another small guard who is joining coach Anthony Grant’s program. 

» RELATED: Chatman fifth member of Dayton’s recruiting class

The 6-foot-1 Chatman, who averaged 13.3 points per game as a college sophomore last season, joins sophomores-to-be Jalen Crutcher and Jordan Davis plus incoming four-star freshman Dwayne Cohill in the potential lineup for 2019-20. 

Crutcher is a point guard, Davis a shooter and Cohill listed as the No. 14 combo guard in the country for 2018 by 247Sports, so it will be interesting to see how they share the ball. 

Along with Chatman, 6-5 swingman Ibi Watson will be sitting out this season, so the backcourt figures to be quite deep a year from now (with Trey Landers, too). 

What will the frontcourt look like? 

A lot could be riding on the potential of a pair of 6-foot-8 New York natives who haven’t played a college game yet: Obadiah Toppin, who redshirted last season, and Frankie Policelli, an incoming freshman who signed recently… 

While Grant probably knew he would have a lot of scholarships to hand out this spring, Wright State coach Scott Nagy was caught by surprise when he had a pair. 

First Everett Winchester transferred. Then Cincinnati Moeller senior Jeremiah Davenport announced he won’t be heading north when this academic year is over because he’s enrolling in prep school instead. 

I thought Winchester’s loss, while bad, might not hurt that much with Davenport coming in. 

Losing both certainly hurts some of the momentum from last season’s run to the NCAA tournament, but of course Loudon Love, Cole Gentry, Mark Hughes and Jaylon Hall all coming back…  

The Cincinnati Reds lost to the Mets 7-6 last night to remain on pace to have the worst season of the modern era of Major League Baseball. 

It was their ninth loss in 10 one-run games. That type of thing usually evens out over the year, but in this case I wouldn’t bet on it. 

The most impressive part of this disastrous start to the season is how thoroughly the Reds have managed to suck all the fun out of almost every game. 

They not only lose, they almost never have the lead. 

It’s almost unbelievable the consistency with which they can fall behind. 

“The bottom line is we came up short,” Riggleman said. “People get tired of hearing it, but I’ll tell you what, I promise you, it’s going to click in. I’m not sure what day it’s going to click in, but it is and we’re going to make some noise in this division.”

He’s definitely got one thing right — people are tired of hearing things will get better eventually since there’s not much evidence that is the case. 

RELATED: Why Hunter Greene’s next start is being pushed back

If they are going to make any noise, having only one regular outfielder who makes an out almost every time he bats would help. 

With Billy Hamilton getting it going lately, could Adam Duvall be the odd man out if the Reds ditch the four-man rotation and start the same three dudes most days? 

Riggleman sort of makes it sound like it could be Scott Schebler

Although Duvall is a superior outfielder, Schebler is having a far better season. 

Is there a wrong answer here? 

Yes, but it doesn’t matter since the team is going to be terrible either way… 

Here’s a surprise: The Cincinnati Bengals offense could be pretty interesting this season. 

While parsing coach-speak in the offseason can be difficult and frustrating, tidbits about the changes coming on that side of the ball are intriguing. 

Andy Dalton says they are starting from scratch

“This is a complete change,” Dalton said. “What we were doing before was basically Jay (Gruden’s) offense with the adaptation of Hue (Jackson), he put his stuff on it, then (Ken Zampese) took over and he did his thing. Now we’re starting from Square 1. This is all new.”

What does that mean? 

Well, bengals.com has offered some hints in various stories this spring

Bengals offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, ushering in a new hybrid scheme, has seized his players’ ears in the first week of off-season workouts as he outlines the changes. His introduction of the number system that is mostly associated with the Air Coryell scheme to an offense that caters to the quarterback in the finest word-based West Coast tradition finds Lazor trying to marry pro football’s two major offensive programs of the last 50 years.

This is interesting if you’re a football nerd like me. 

The West Coast offense was developed by Bill Walsh in Cincinnati, and a version of that has been run by the Bengals since Dalton’s rookie year, which coincided with the arrival of Jay Gruden as offensive coordinator. 

Gruden replaced the Air Coryell system of Bob Bratkowski. 

Now it appears Lazor is going to try to use elements of both while also working in the spread and hurry-up concepts he learned while working for Chip Kelly with the Eagles. 

Of course, few plays are going to work if they aren’t blocked well. 

RELATED: Pro Football Focus rates the Bengals draft picks

The Bengals added a pair of players expected to start (Cordy Glenn and Billy Price) while hoping a new coach can light a fire under some players who haven’t done much so far in their pro careers. 

In May, we might as well believe this unit will be a lot better. 

It really can’t be worse, but it doesn’t have to be as good as the Cowboys were to open up far more options for the play-caller. 

Dalton has a lot of weapons (if they are all healthy), so he can do a lot of damage with just a little time to work if the offense clicks with him…


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