breaking news

Clark County Fair to see big changes at animal auctions this year

Anthony Grant credits staff for recruiting success


Anthony Grant and his Dayton Flyers coaching staff had to act fast this spring to put together a roster for the 2017-18 season.

By the time Grant was hired on March 30 , most 2017 recruits had signed. There was a long list of transfers the coaches could pursue, but they had to decide who to recruit. Not long after taking the reins, Grant was reaching out to the players recruited by former coach Archie Miller. Three of the five recruits — guard Jordan Davis, forward Matej Svoboda and center Jordan Pierce — decided to stick with Dayton.

» CLASS COMPLETE: A look at Dayton’s five new recruits

In late April, not long after he announced the hiring of four assistants, Grant said it was important to be patient and decisive in recruiting. That approach paid off this month as the Flyers signed two more recruits — point guard Jalen Crutcher , of Ridgeway High School in Memphis, Tenn., and forward Obadiah Toppin, of Ossining, N.Y., and Mount Zion Prep in Baltimore — to complete the roster of 13 scholarship players.

“We’ve got a great group of returners, a great group of people,” Grant said Wednesday, “and obviously with the newcomers coming, I’m excited about that. I got a chance to meet the group Archie and his staff recruited. I haven’t met Matej in person, but I talked to him on the phone. He’s really excited about coming here and getting his career started. Obviously, the two we were able to add, it’s been really good. Credit the staff for being able to get so much done in such a short time with as late as it was.”

» FIRST LOOK: Dayton has plenty of height on roster

How did the new group of coaches sell the university and the program? Grant played at Dayton, so he knew what to say to recruits. Associate head coach Anthony Solomon coached at Dayton in 2007-08 under Brian Gregory.

Assistant James Kane coached at UD Arena on opposing teams three times and worked with Grant at Virginia Commonwealth and Alabama. Darren Hertz, assistant to the head coach, also knows Grant well from having coached with him at the University of Florida from 1996-2006. The only coach with no prior connections to Dayton or Grant was Ricardo Greer, who got into coaching two years ago at Central Florida after a long playing career in France.

» COACHING CONNECTION: Grant a longtime mentor for Kane

No matter their backgrounds, the coaches didn’t have to study hard before pitching the school to recruits.

“It’s not very hard to sell the University of Dayton,” Kane said. “It’s not.”

Kane coached the previous six seasons at Murray State, which lost at UD Arena in 2012 and 2013. He knew all about the atmosphere at UD Arena and the rabid fan base. He researched the administration before he stepped foot on campus and admired the job Athletic Director Neil Sullivan has done.

» LOOKING BACK: Don Donoher on evolution of UD basketball

As for what to tell recruits about Grant, he didn’t have to formulate a plan.

“I know what to say when it comes to him,” Kane said. “Anthony Grant’s one of the easiest sells when it comes to recruits.”

In the recruiting process, the coaches also want to get to know the recruits and the people who are important to the recruits: parents, other family members, high school coaches, etc.

“You always strive to get them to listen to what you have to say,” Solomon said. “The next step is have them visit your campus. We have a beautiful campus, a great basketball venue that is tradition rich in terms of one of the best home-court advantages in the country. The First Four … I’ve spent 28 years in this business … the greatest month we all know is March. To be at Dayton, it keeps the March mentality fresh year round.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Down on the farm: Reds prospects Mahle, Trammell star for Louisville, Dayton
Down on the farm: Reds prospects Mahle, Trammell star for Louisville, Dayton

OK, so the news wasn’t too good Thursday at Great American Ball Park, but there were highlights in the Reds organization as Class AAA pitcher Tyler Mahle was again impressive in the Louisville Bats’ 5-1 win over Buffalo. The right-hander went 6.2 innings, allowing six hits and one earned run while striking out four. He did not walk a batter...
Reds roller coaster pulling into Kings Island
Reds roller coaster pulling into Kings Island

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the Reds are something of a roller coaster, so Tucker Barnhart, Scott Schebler and Eugenio Suarez will fit in today at Cincinnati Reds Day at Kings Island. The catcher, right fielder and third baseman will be at the amusement Park in Mason, Ohio, to take questions from fans at 11 a.m. at the Festhaus...
Father of Springfield High School player, former South standout help Ohio State team advance in $2M event
Father of Springfield High School player, former South standout help Ohio State team advance in $2M event

Leon Rodgers and Nate Miller met on the basketball court nearly a decade ago and have spent many hours practicing together. The pair are hoping their time together on the court will soon include claiming a share of a multi-million dollar prize. Rodgers and Miller are playing with a team mostly comprised of Ohio State alumni that is participating in...
Sports Today: Rejoice as football plans come into focus
Sports Today: Rejoice as football plans come into focus

Good news: The slowest sports week I can remember* this year is almost over.  Ohio State announced yesterday training camp will begin for the Buckeyes next Thursday. Heroic OSU SID Jerry Emig also gave us a way to kill some time yesterday by publishing the 2017 media guide. I’m not afraid to admit I used to love going through those when...
Dragons beat Chiefs 6-5 in 13 innings
Dragons beat Chiefs 6-5 in 13 innings

Extra innings has not been kind to the Dragons of late. They had dropped all eight of their most recent extra-session contests but snapped that streak Thursday night. It took 13 innings, but the Dragons were gifted a 6-5 defeat of the visiting Peoria Chiefs (Cardinals) at Fifth Third Field. With two outs in the 13th, the Chiefs’ center fielder...
More Stories