DAYTON — The University of Dayton Flyers will remain home Saturday, Jan. 2, when the George Mason Patriots visit Tom Blackburn Court. Game time is 4:30 p.m. ET.
Dayton is 4-2, and 0-1 in the Atlantic 10 after falling to La Salle 67-65 on Wednesday. All six UD games have come down to the final 30 seconds of play, and both losses were on shots taken with less than three seconds to play. The Flyers were led by freshman Mustapha Amzil, who scored 22 points in the Dayton debut. Jalen Crutcher added 19 points (on just 10 shots).
• Moving into a more visibly primary role this year, Jalen Crutcher is getting the kind of attention from the media during the preseason that he will no doubt get from opponents during the season. He is on the Naismith, Wooden NABC and Bob Cousy Award Watch Lists.
• Crutcher, a four-year starter, was ranked the 12th-best player in the country by ESPN, 16th in CBSSports.com’s top college basketball players. The Athletic rated him sixth among its top 20 guards in the country. He was also named Second Team Preseason All-America by Stadium.
• Keep in mind that Crutcher was UD’s co-MVP last season, with Obi Toppin. Crutcher is the first Flyer with 1,200 points, 500 assists and 200 three-pointers.
• Crutcher has lived up to his nickname of “Clutcher” in all four of Dayton’s wins, scoring UD’s final points in the last seconds at the line to clinch the victories.
•If a “true freshman” is a player who signed the previous year and is playing without redshirting, can you call a player who signed in November and scores 22 points in December start a “truer freshman?” We call him Mustapha Amzil, and the 22 points he scored in first college game were the most at UD in 14 years. He also had seven rebounds vs. La Salle.
• “True” freshman Koby Brea also made his first appearance in the La Salle game, after missing the first five games with a wrist injury. He drained the first shot he took as a Flyer (a three-pointer from the left wing), and had three points and an assist in 14 minutes.
• Rodney Chatman is the only returnee who started every game last season. An elite defender, he held several of the best guards UD faced last year well under their average, including NBA top draft pick Anthony Edwards, Saint Mary’s Jordan Ford and Rhode Island’s Fatts Russell. He scored 21 points and was superb defending All-SEC guard Devontae Shuler vs. Ole Miss.
• Ibi Watson is third on the team in scoring (16.5) and second in minutes (39.7), and, percentage-wise, is a 50-43-90 guy. He shoots 50% FG, 43% from 3-pt. and 92% from the line.
• Chase Johnson announced on Dec. 30 that he was leaving the program for health reasons.
• Coach Anthony Grant was the consensus national coach of the year in 2019-20, the first UD basketball coach to earn that honor. He received his Naismith Trophy while in Atlanta Friday.
• The Flyers are on the road for two games, playing at Fordham on Jan. 5 (6 p.m.) and Davidson on Jan. 8 (9 p.m.).
• Dayton is back home on Wednesday, Jan. 2, when Duquesne comes to town at 7 p.m. ET.
GAME PREVIEW COURTESY DAYTON MEDIA RELATIONS