'You win with veterans'
Coach Anthony Grant is well aware that Dayton fans are excited about this coming season. “We do have a good returning nucleus and good ‘new’ players who are familiar with each other and the system,” he said as UD’s second summer session (attended by all players on the team) was drawing to a close.
Although the only player new to the University this year is freshman forward Moulaye Sissoko, new to the Dayton line-up will be four transfer students who sat out last season: redshirt junior guards Rodney Chatman and Ibi Watson; redshirt junior forward Jordy Tshimanga; and redshirt sophomore forward Chase Johnson. Not quite new is redshirt junior guard Jhery Matos who was injured early last season.
The returning nucleus: forward graduate student Ryan Mikesell ’19, senior guard Trey Landers, junior guard Jalen Crutcher, redshirt sophomore forward Obi Toppin and sophomore guard Dwayne Cohill.
“I tell the players each year is unique,” Grant said. Three players from last year’s team are gone; many who were here did not play.
“Truth is,” Grant said, “this is a different group. Much will depend on how well they accept their different roles and how well they complement each other.”
He recognizes that the team has talent and depth, the latter not a strength in recent years. “Now,” he said, “we have to put it together, row in the same direction and at the same time. A lot will be based on how good they are from the neck up.”
In addition to talent and depth, the squad has — both with the returning players and the transfers — a lot of experience, important because, Grant said, “You win with veterans.”