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  #1  
Old 04-11-2012, 09:26 PM
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2013 Recruiting Class

The newest Flyer --- Taylor Fricano from Palatine, ILL. 6'3" OH who plays for Sky High VB Club. She joins previous commits 5'11' Setter Rachel Fortner from Villa Hills, KY and 6'3" MB Alyssa Beach from Perrysburg, OH.

This looks to be Sheff's strongest recruiting class to date. All 3 of these ladies should be Senior Aces (Top 250) and one or two might jump into the Top 100. They replace Sam, Kray and Paige.

This is also the earliest all the scholarships for a class have been filled. That is good news. For awhile we seemed to be behind in commitments. There seems to be a drag for a couple years when you have a coaching change. Plus having to pick up two setter transfers one off-season probably changed recruiting time commitments and priorities, etc. So it's good to see things line up for this recruiting class on a timeline more consistant with the elite programs.

Welcome Taylor, Alyssa and Rachel!!!! Look forward to seeing you on the court.
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  #2  
Old 04-11-2012, 10:43 PM
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:48 AM
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Good to have them on board. Ultimately its who works hard and applies themselves. Once they all get to campus, those HS prep clippings no longer pay the freight. My hope is these new commitments have the right stuff and know how to grind like the prior kids.

Are we still looking at transfers or are we done?
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:06 AM
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That is a great recruiting class. Kelly and his staff seem to have solidified their recruiting contacts and what is unique about playing for UD. I do agree that you don't know about a player's ability and work ethic until they are on campus but all of those players are tested against high level competition. And we haven't recruited a 6'3" outside hitter since Yvonne Marten.

I think that Kelly and his staff excel with player development. I doubt that there are many (if any) staffs in the country that can help you reach your volleyball goals any better than Kelly's staff. If they can bring in top 100 players UD can become a top national program.

My understanding is that the top transfers have all opted for other schools. We were in the running for a couple but finished as bridesmaids.
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:00 AM
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I know we finished as the number 2 choice for Laura Wincinski because she said that in a newspaper article. And I think one or two others took a long hard look at Dayton. I hate finishing as a bridesmaid, but I also know that several top recruits a year ago didn't even give Dayton the time of day. So we have to look at this as a positive and stay on course. Being on a short list gives you the chance to make your pitch and continued success during the season will get us there to landing top recruits as both high school players for four years at UD and the top transfers for a couple years.

I'll be honest, two years ago I thought our recruiting was way behind the eight ball. I don't feel that way today. Having the 2013 class lined up by the end of March 2012 is sitting in pretty good shape (a year and a half before they are due to arrive on campus). And, one of the 2013 recruits committed a year ago, which is excellent. The program is continuing to move forward and as fans we should all be proud of that. I know we all want to get to the Sweet 16, and would prefer one big step forward, but as long as we continue to take smaller steps forward we will get there.

Most people don't realize, four years ago we had a shot at the Sweet 16 because we drew home-court advantage by hosting the NCAAs and had a beatable quad of teams in Dayton. We got beat in the first round -- but it was there for the taking because of our draw. Compare that to the last two years. We had a shot at the Sweet 16 because of the talent on the court. That's a big difference. I'll take a lucky draw any day I can get it, but long term success comes down to the talent on the court, and that's what UD has had the last 2 years -- one of the best teams in the country. And we will have that again this coming year. Three years in a row were the bar has been raised. When the team makes that list of goals at the beginning of the season, the last one on the list is no longer "Making the NCAA Tournament". This program has added "Making the Second Weekend in the NCAAs" to that list of goals.

This will be the third year in a row we have the talent to make the second weekend. I'm hoping it will be a very charming year.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:56 PM
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I dont get too wound up on recruiting anymore. Sort of a grain-of-salt approach. Ive seen it too many times in basketball and soccer where HS prep credentials meant almost nothing once the kids got on campus. Its like everybody is starting from ground zero again and each kid will respond differently -- regardless of inherent skill set. The ones that respond to coaching and self-motivation and added responsibility and competitive drive tend to pull away from the ones that hope it comes easy.

Not that Im against recruiting a soopa star, but I think after the Top-20 or so kids in the country, 21-500 is largely marginalized down to attitude and desire. I guess what Im saying is unless we're bringing in a Top-20 kid, I dont count the chickens. I dont undersell the possibilities however.

I think most coaches in most sports do a very poor job of recruiting competitive drive. They sign talent, but they dont sign the right headspace attached at the neck to leverage all that god given ability. I think UD is unique in that we have a number of coaches that seem to know how to identify players that are "undervalued" and probably better than players rated higher, because they see signs of competitive drive and attitude that lends well to growing as an athlete into something more than others predict.

I think Sheff does a good job of that. Certainly Mike Tucker has written the book on scouring Dayton and Cincinnati for "unknowns" that turn into career starters. And Mike Kelly may have been the best of them all.

Too bad we did not get one of those big-time transfers but we were "in the game". Its about volume. You just keep knocking and I think by and large we are doing that. Its not easy to out-bid a BCS school for a kid's services. Most BCS campuses look like a Fortune 500 headquarters. Nothing we can do about the conference we're in. There are some obstacles beyond our control.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:12 PM
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Chris, I agree 100% that attitude and commitment are just as important as talent. I seriously doubt that players coming in here aren't aware of the work ethic of current players. I don't think that Primadonnas will be coming here because UD doesn't offer the things that primadonnas are interested in

Megan Campbell flew under the radar for a long time and when you watch her now you wonder how that happened. But most of the impact players have been playing club ball for a long time. I doubt that are as many under the radar vball players as bball players

Having said that I understand the lack of trust in rankings. All Flyer fans have seen lesser 'ranked' players dominate our Flyer teams at one time or another.
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:30 PM
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I don't disagree with the above comments -- but there is one underlying fact that can't be disputed -- every Final Four team in recent history was loaded (3-6 players) with Top 100 talent and back-filled with Top 250 talent. Do the research and it's simply a fact whether you believe in the ranking system or not, it does prove out when it comes to the top teams in the nation.

We can dominate the A-10 by bringing in those kids that will work their tails off to get better. And I think we can get to the Sweet 16 with the right mix of those kids and our current coaching staff. And in turn those accomplishments SHOULD help us land Top 50 recruits and transfers on a consistant basis. But you can't discount the fact you have to have top talent to make the Final Four and that's where I'd like to see this program go.
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Old 04-14-2012, 01:53 PM
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Much of Chris's disdain for rankings (and my agreeing with him) has to do with basketball experience. I think that vball rankings are more accurate because of the amount of time spent playing against high level competition. There are players who have the ability to be studs but if they aren't playing aau ball they are difficult to find and it will take a while for them to develop.

I know of a sophomore who is a foster child and probably will not get the opportunity to play aau ball. When I met her she had never really played any vball but I could see IMMENSE potential talent there. Kelly and I talked about this last year. He agrees that many players with the potential to be great will never get a chance because of the focus on club ball and tournaments. The same applies to bball but bball skills can be self taught. You can teach yourself to serve the ball and improve your blocking without help but most other things require one or more training partners.

I definitely want top 100 recruits.
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Old 04-14-2012, 04:03 PM
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I think most teams making the Final Four -- the Penn States, Nebraskas, Stanfords of the world -- have Top-25 recruits. These are the Rolls Royce cant-miss phenom players that are pretty much a sure thing in college. And most of these teams have more than 1. Usually 2-3-4.

After you get past the top 20 or 30 kids however, the field becomes far more marginalized. Sure those programs still round out their rosters with Top-150 kids, but my impression is their last 8-9 players on the roster are no better than our first 8-9 players. Theirs might be rated higher out of HS, but in terms of "the eyeball test", its pretty even in terms of what they actually do in college.

You take the 2-3 Top-30 kids off of Nebraska, and I think we can play Nebraska even or even beat them. The rest of their roster is not appreciably better than ours. We just do not have the "Lebron James" player who can match up with the other team's superstar.

And I doubt we ever get those kids. Only 5-6 schools are gonna ever get those cant-miss, sure-fire Rolls Royce studs that are guaranteed commodities. After that initial group of kids, I dont see much difference at all between kids 40-300.

If a kid ranked #55 is the perfect fit for us, fills a need, and has the right attitude and aptitude to work within our program, Im all for it. But I have no problem passing up a #55 kid for a #201 kid if the #201 kid is just a better fit or has a better work ethic and embraces what we do. Because I doubt theres really all that much of a difference in college potential between either one. Whichever kid works harder and applies themselves will probably have the better career.

Few and far between are the kids that can just walk on the court go through the motions and still be dominating. Penn State and UCLA get those kids. We dont. I doubt we ever will.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:52 AM
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It is hard to argue with anything you said. The superstud top twenties are pretty well identified and they are huge difference makers, but you don't want them if they are primodonnas . But, Megan did make all american last year and we haven't seen the best of her yet.

If we reach the next level we would then be looking for recruits that want to travel the road less traveled. We would be looking for the stud who wants to beat nebraska, penn state etc while enjoying a great university and fan support. They are out there but it certainly is easier for many 17 year olds to just go to nebraska than to take them on.

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Old 04-22-2012, 07:11 PM
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Lauren Gresham

Newest recruit.

A little sleuthing from Sheff's tweet and Rich Kern -

http://www.richkern.com/vb/recruits/...=2013&View=All

http://stlouiscycnews.blogspot.com/2...ommits-to.html
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:56 PM
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Dayton University!
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:50 AM
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A very strong class just got even stronger. Like I said above, we've been a little behind in recruiting the last couple years. When you have a coaching change that sometimes happens. But this 2013 class is awesome and is locked down early -- in the spring of 2012. That is EXCELLENT recruiting. Congrats to the coaching staff!

FYI -- here is a run down of some of the top programs. Number of commitments is impacted on the number of scholarships available by any school for any given year -- but you can see Dayton has pulled its recruiting (both timeline and quality of recruits since the best players commit early) up to the highest level for the 2013 class and can now start locking down 2014. Number of 2013 committed recruits:

UCal - 4
Dayton - 4
FL State - 3
ILL - 3
KY - 2
Marquette - 5 + 1 2014
MN 4 + 1 2014
NE - 4
tOSU - 3
Purdue - 3
TX AM - 3
X - 3
WI - 4
USC - 2
UCLA - 2
TX - 1
TN - 2
SLU - 1
PSU - 1 + 3 2014
No Iowa - 1
MI - 2
Maryland - 2
Louisville - 2
LBSU - 1
Kan St - 1 + 1 2014
IN - 2 + 1 2014
HI - 2
FL - 0 + 1 2014 (7 in 2012 which explains 0 for 2013)
Cincy - 1
Baylor - 3
Stanford - 0 (5 in 2012 which explains 0 for 2013 - but none for 2014 yet)
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:33 PM
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I am also very happy with the recruiting. It is great to see the height. Height is more important in vball than it is in bball. But, having slow tall players doesn't help you nearly as much But, I know how much kelly values athleticism and these players are probably similar to Yvonne and Kray athletically which obviously means they have the potential to become dominant players

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