Archive for the Category ◊ Sports ◊

Where’s the Leadership at UD Flyers Basketball?
Thursday, February 15th, 2018 | Author:

Update

For some reason, coach Grant likes to play zone defense and the players don’t like defending much at all.   The recent lopsided loss to a mediocre George Mason takes the cake in the unfolding of a very ugly year (perhaps the Dayton fans have become spoiled *, but when was the last time the Flyers were 11-14?).  For the 10th time this season, the Flyers’ opponent shot around 50% from behind the 3-point arc.   This is not a result of playing great teams.  It’s the result of some missing ingredients.

* Dayton Flyers have been to a post-season basketball tournament (NCAA or NIT) 15 of the last 20 years

 

January 9, 2018

I don’t claim to be a basketball coaching expert.  My insights are based on five years of coaching middle school and 9th grade AAU basketball. In addition, I don’t know much about the new UD Flyers head coach Anthony Grant other than he is a former UD player that possesses a decent record as a head coach in the D-1 college ranks.

I would say that I started pondering Mr. Grant’s coaching decisions during the 2nd game of the season.  With more than 9 minutes to go in a close game, coach Grant elected to not insert his team captain and leading scorer, Josh Cunningham, back into the game.  A game that the Flyers eventually lost 72-69.

It’s also fairly evident that the coaching staff does not stress strong man-up defense.  Even against a slower-footed team such as Penn, coach Grant had the Flyers playing a 2-3 zone while the Ivy league basketball team shot 57% from beyond the 3-point line.  A game the Flyers lost 78-70.   My understanding of basketball fundamentals is that you often have to man-up when a team is hot from beyond the arc.

Meanwhile the offensive schemes often do not make sense.  For example, Josh Cunningham is a superb scorer with his back to the basket and he puts the ball in the hoop more than 65% of the time.  For some reason, the Flyers’ offensive schemes have Cuningham coming outside the 3-point line to take possession of the ball.  It appears that the coaching staff is not aware of the power in using Cunningham in a basic pick & roll as a way of getting the rock into his hands.

I used to tell my sons that a coach (grade school, college, or professional) has three primary roles in managing a team:

1) Recruiting, selecting, or drafting the best players that fit your planned approach for being successful in the sport

2) Managing the game tactics so you can exploit the opposing team’s weaknesses and defend against their strengths

3) Motivating the players to constantly improve and overcome adversity when the season or games aren’t going as desired

When I recently read an article that quoted coach Grant as saying the team needs a psychiatrist, this told me that he was already shirking some of his coaching responsibilities.  In some ways, this is akin to throwing the players under the bus.

It’s still a wide-open season in the A-10 conference.  Perhaps coach Grant will spend sufficient time with Bucky Bockhorn to help turn the season around.

 

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The NFL Social Justice League is Taking a Hit
Monday, December 04th, 2017 | Author:

The NFL continues to dig a deeper hole:

Week 13 doesn’t appear to be the National Football League’s lucky number as photos of stadiums across the league still show an awful lot of empty seats. Meanwhile, the sad in-person attendance mirrors the continually plummeting TV ratings.

Source: Empty Seats Greatly Outnumber Spectators As NFL Attendance Crisis Continues

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Cycling in Ohio in December
Sunday, December 03rd, 2017 | Author:

It’s always a great day when you can go bicycling outdoors in Ohio in early December.  My buddy and I did roughly 23 miles on the famous Dayton River Corridor in 52F weather.   Not too shabby…

 

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Ohio Sports Weekend
Monday, November 27th, 2017 | Author:

I would have to say it was a pretty fruitful weekend for our sports teams…  We attended two Wright State Raiders basketball games in addition to one Dayton Flyers game.  All of these contests had the home team winning.  In addition, the Ohio State Buckeyes, Cincinnati Bengals, and Columbus Blue Jackets were all winners as well.  It’s not very often that all five teams that you support are victorious over a holiday weekend.

Check out the interesting photos from the basketball games below:

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Ohio State Football
Sunday, October 29th, 2017 | Author:

We went to the Ohio State (#6) vs Penn State (#2) game yesterday in Columbus and saw a doozy of a football match-up.  Due to the fact that the Buckeyes had to overcome all sorts of adversity (much of it self-induced, such as 100 yards worth of penalties), the come-back victory was more momentous than just winning a game.  It was a great teaching opportunity to show what can happen if you don’t quit, even when nothing appears to be going your way.  Even when the OSU team was down 21-3, they continued to claw-back… with success at the end of the long journey (another 4-hour college football game).

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Football and Honor
Sunday, October 08th, 2017 | Author:

There have been more interesting comments about the NFL than you can shake a stick at, such as here, here, and here… It doesn’t surprise me that the most cogent observations come courtesy of Victor Davis Hanson:

Meanwhile, the NFL has successfully lobbied for exemption from federal antitrust regulations. NFL owners are crony capitalists who want the state both to subsidize them and leave them alone.

Racial politics in the NFL have become increasingly problematic. The mega-wealthy franchise owners are almost all white businesspeople. Their multimillionaire players are about 70 percent African-American. So there is little diversity among the players, but even less among the owners.

Politically correct orthodoxy dictates that even quasi-public entities like the NFL should “look like America.” But instead, the NFL apparently sees itself as an old-fashioned meritocracy where athletic skills and corporate success alone determine who plays and who owns.

The progressive notions of “proportional representation” and “disparate impact” that sometimes govern universities and government mysteriously do not apply to the NFL, where few Latinos or Asians are included.

But most importantly, the league has entirely forgotten the fundamental rule of business: Never ignore, insult or talk down to the loyal consumers who provide the leagues’ support and income.

 

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Sports and Entertainment… and ESPN
Wednesday, September 13th, 2017 | Author:

You can call me old-fashioned or a sports-traditionalist, but I don’t care for all the commentary around sports, or the efforts at treating it as ‘entertainment’.   I may represent a small minority, but I attend games or watch them on television (or my computer) to experience the purity of the athleticism.  In fact, I don’t believe that I’ve ever watched the ‘talking heads’ on any of the ESPN sports programs, and I’ve long ago removed those overwrought sports websites (e.g., Deadspin) from my newsfeed.  The only reason that I would tune into ESPN on my TV is that a specific game that I want to see live is being aired on that channel.

It appears that the leadership at ESPN is making it even more difficult to tolerate their broadcasts:

The leadership at ESPN seems to think it can change the way people think by injecting left wing politics into its coverage of professional sports. Instead, they are alienating sports fans, many of whom are conservatives, and destroying their brand at the same time.

Source: ESPN Determined to Kill its Brand With Left Wing Politics

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Cincy Tennis 2017
Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 | Author:

For more than 30 years, we’ve been attending the annual ATP tennis event in northern Cincinnati (about 45 minutes from our home).  It’s not been one of the better years for player participation at the Cincinnati tennis tournament.   Only 3 of the top 10 players were able to compete in this year’s event (many player injuries  — perhaps tennis is becoming too demanding on the human body).  Nevertheless, we got a chance to sit in the front row for some very good matches with David Ferrer and Juan Del Potro.

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I would have never thought that Sela could beat Isner… Is this a replay of ‘David vs Goliath’?  Go figure:

American John Isner is out of the tournament as the No. 23 seed lost to Dudi Sela 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-3. Isner has yet to make the second week at the All England Club and is 4-15 in five-set matches since his famed 2010 first-round match at Wimbledon that ended 70-68 in the final set.The 6-foot-10 Isner had quite a height advantage over the 5-9 Sela, but that didn’t help on this day. Isner clocked 45 aces in the match but couldn’t win any of Sela’s service games in the fifth set, going 0-for-6 on break points.

John Isner and Dudi Sela had fans laughing as they posed for a picture before their match

Source: Wimbledon men’s results Thursday

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Affirmative Action vs Meritocracy
Monday, May 08th, 2017 | Author:

I’ve explained to many a person, that our culture is still enamored with false pretenses and virtue signaling (also known as Political Correctness). Unfortunately, many day-to-day decisions at universities, government, and other large organizations have very little to do with considering merit.  A good example is the reduction of staff at ESPN:

ESPN NFL reporter Ed Werder, one of the most prominent faces among the layoffs last month, said in a podcast that he heard quality of work would not be a consideration when employees were let go. He lamented that “it seemed to me that quality work should be the only consideration.” Not in this America, the one ruled by social-media perception and dismissive of the real world.

Source: How a Gawker-Affiliated Website Made ESPN Politically Correct

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