Sun, Feb 28, 2021
Last Year’s Regular Season Champion Visits This Year’s Regular Season Champion
DAYTON – The University of Dayton Flyers travel to St. Bonaventure on Monday to close out the regular season. Game time is 5 p.m. ET.
Dayton is 12-8, and 8-7 in the Atlantic 10 after Wednesday’s 97-84 loss at Saint Joseph’s. Five Flyers reached double digits in the game, including three freshmen — R. J. Blakney had 15, Zimi Nwokeji 13 and Mustapha Amzil 11. Jalen Crutcher led with 17 and Ibi Watson added 16. The Bonnies are 13-3 overall and 11-3 in the Atlantic 10. They have clinched the A-10 regular season title.
The game will carried by WHIO Radio, televised on ESPNU and streamed on ESPN+. Streaming audio, video and stats will be available at DaytonFlyers.com.
• Moving into a bigger role this year, Jalen Crutcher got the kind of attention during the preseason that he is getting from opponents during the season. He was on the Naismith, Wooden, NABC and Bob Cousy Award Watch Lists, as well as the Lute Olson mid-season list.
• 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 consensus national PoY Obi Toppin. Crutcher is the first Flyer with 1,200 career points, 500 assists and 200 three-pointers.
• Crutcher lived up to his nickname of “Clutcher” in Dayton’s first six wins, scoring UD’s final points in the last seconds of regulation or overtime at the line. At Saint Louis, he scored 13 in the first half, was shut out for the first 15:59 of the second half, and then after Saint Louis tied the game, he scored 14 points in the final 4:01 to pave the way to a five-point road win.
• Ibi Watson is second on the team in scoring (15.7) and minutes (37.9), and percentage-wise, is nearly a 50-40-80 guy. He shoots 47% FG, 41% from 3-pt. and 78% from the line.
• Rodney Chatman returned to action at Rhode Island, after missing 11 games with a torn tendon in his right hand. He started in the SLU win, getting nine points and five assists.
• Zimi Nwokeji’s 29-point outburst at Rhode Island was the second-most in UD history, and the most in more than 25 years. (Shawn Haughn had 30 vs. SLU on 2/13/94).
•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 then had 15 vs. GMU (with 6 reb & 4 asst).
• Amzil was A-10 Rookie of the Week exactly 50 days after he signed with UD on Nov. 16.
• He was named A-10 Rookie for the third time (the first multiple RotW this year) on Feb. 8.
• Jordy Tshimanga pulled down 16 rebounds at Fordham, the most by a Flyer in three years. He is averaging 9.1 rebounds in his last 11 contests.
• Dayton’s 12-8 record includes four losses by two points or less.
• Five of UD’s seven A-10 losses are to teams below them in the standings.
• The Atlantic 10 championship will play its preliminary rounds March 3-6 in Richmond, Va., with the A-10 finals on Sunday, March 14 at the University of Dayton Arena.
COURTESY DAYTON ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS