Sports Today: It’s a guard, guard world for Dayton basketball (and everyone else)

For all the stuff we talk about every day in the sports world, games pretty much always come down to who has the ball in their hands.

That's what we're focusing on today thanks to Anthony Grant opening up to David Jablonski about his emphasis on building backcourt depth for the future of Dayton basketball.

"We talked about a need for our team to have more guys with play-making ability and the need to increase our skill level on the perimeter," Grant said. "When you look at last year, we were a pretty efficient team in terms of our ability to score the ball, but we struggled in terms of our ability to take care of the ball at times and with some of the decision making in crucial situations, so the priority for myself and our staff was to increase the skill level and the play-making ability on our team, so when you can add a guy like Rodney to go along with Crutcher and Cohill — and Jordan Davis is a guy who's developing that ability to play-make for us as well in the backcourt — it really helps." 

Not only are the Flyers scheduled to be deep in the backcourt in two years, they also will be old (that’s a good thing).

» LOOK AHEAD: What the roster looks like now

A team with multiple ball-handlers on the floor all the time can be hard to guard. The offense’s big advantage is always that it knows where the ball is going before the defense, but executing is obviously easier said than done.

Of course you don’t want to be locked into playing a certain way, so beefing up frontcourt seems like a big priority now.

Grant was noncommittal about what he will do with the two scholarships he has left for this year, when he will have potential All-Atlantic 10 senior Josh Cunningham down low with a pair of freshmen…

Meanwhile, the emphasis on quarterback seems to only grow each year in football. 

The evolution of offenses at the college level has changed the skillset a lot of teams are looking for, but it has also elevated the importance of decision-making.

Ohio State transfer Joe Burrow might not have the same upside as a hotshot freshman, but he brings something coaches covet: Experience.

Oh, not much game experience, but he has proven he can handle life off the field as a college football player. That is no small thing as the off-the-field trappings have been known to catch both athletes and non-athletes ever since athletes and non-athletes started going to college.

Coaches love to eliminate variables when they are acquiring talent, so that along with his obvious skills for the position have to make him a tantalizing possibility.

The schools that have been reported to be in the the running for him certainly form an interesting mix.

Subsequently it has been reported he is set to visit Cincinnati and LSU.

He would find a crowded quarterback room at both places, though LSU does not have a returning starter. UC does, but his 2017 season was nothing to write home about.

Would reuniting with Luke Fickell be the safest bet?

Fickell might need him worse than Burrow needs the Bearcats given his reported options.

While I still believe UC and Fickell are a good fit, it remains to be seen how many losing seasons the fanbase will tolerate.

I think the cupboard was pretty bare when he arrived, and Fickell has done a good job with his first two recruiting classes, but a four-star quarterback could help him avoid another 4-8 season while the rest of the roster matures.

Of course, Burrow might prefer to brighter lights of the SEC, Pac-12 or another Big Ten school…

Southwest Ohio was home to not one but two professional baseball walk-off wins Wednesday. 

Adam Duvall sent Reds fans home happy with a walk-off home run against the Mets at Great American Ball Park.

The Reds on a series for the second time this season, a nice bounce-back from an embarrassing weekend against the Marlins.

Sal Romano was strong for six innings, which is probably the biggest development, while the bullpen allowed only one base runner in four innings.

Next it is off to the West Coast, where Matt Harvey is expected to make his Reds debut at some point..

The Dayton Dragons won in extra-innings, too, as Jeter Downs wore the laurel of hero with a bloop single that scored Morgan Lofstrom in the 10th inning. 

Adrian Rodriguez make his second straight strong start for Dayton, allowing one run in six innings.

Good pitching and clutch hitting: What more can you ask for?

Also of note: Jose Siri has been activated from the disabled list.

The outfielder who starred in Dayton last season is headed back to Daytona after recovering from a thumb injury that has kept him out since early spring…

About the Author