Thu, Mar 4, 2021
Second-Seeded Rams Won First Two Meetings During The Season
RICHMOND, Va. – The University of Dayton Flyers will meet VCU in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Championships Friday. Game time is 3:30 p.m. ET. The Flyers are the tournament’s seventh seed, while VCU is the No. 2 seed.
Dayton is 14-8 after Thursday’s 84-72 win over Rhode Island. Ibi Watson led UD with a season-high 25 points, and Jalen Crutcher added 14. In addition to 39 points scored by the two seniors, four freshman also combined for 39 points — 14 by Mustapha Amzil, nine by Zimi Nwokeji and eight each by R.J. Blakney and Koby Brea.
The game will carried by WHIO Radio, televised on the NBC Sports Network and streamed on the NBC Sports App. 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 (16).0 and minutes (37.4), and percentage-wise, is nearly a 50-40-80 guy. He shoots 48% FG, 43% from 3-pt. and 76% from the line.
• Rodney Chatman had seven assists and three steals in the Rhode Island win.
• Jordy Tshimanga had seven rebounds vs. URI. It his 19th game with five or more this year.
• 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.
• R.J. Blakney has scored 32 points (12-17 FG) and grabbed 15 rebounds in his last three games.
• The Flyers are 9-3 against teams with winning records, and 5-5 vs. foes with losing records.
• Friday’s winner will play Davidson or George Mason Saturday at 9 p.m. ET in the A-10 semis.
• The A-10 championship finals will be played UD Arena on Sunday, March 14.
GAME PREVIEW COURTESY OF DAYTON MEDIA RELATIONS