- David Jablonski Staff Writer
The Dayton Flyers entered the season with 10 scholarship players and expected to need them all. They still may.
However, one of the 10 hasn’t played in the first three games. Freshman center Jordan Pierce is stuck behind a number of more experienced players. On a roster full of height, even his 6-foot-11 frame hasn’t been enough to get him into games.
Coach Anthony Grant has used his own experience — he saw limited time in his freshman season at Dayton in 1983-84 — to counsel Pierce.
“I’ve had conversations with Jordan,” Grant said Friday after a 79-65 victory against Ohio in the Charleston Classic. “Jordan is a young guy who’s finding his way, and he’s playing behind guys who are pretty talented guys. I told him I had that experience. Right now it’s about how you handle this going forward in terms of your focus and the preparation you get.
“The opportunities you get in practice, the opportunities you get in the weight room, the opportunities you get in individual development are what it’s all about for you right now. You never know when an opportunity might present itself. A guy like Trey (Landers) goes down tonight. You just don’t know. You want to make sure you’re prepared should an opportunity present itself.”
Block party: Kostas Antetokounmpo has seven blocks in three games. The rest of the team has four. All seven blocks have come in the first two games in Charleston.
Making freebies: Dayton is shooting 76.9 percent at the free-throw line in its first three games (40 of 52). John Crosby has made 10 of 11.
Top scorer: Senior guard Darrell Davis has started his final season on a tear, averaging 20.3 points while shooting 48.7 percent from the field and 53.3 percent from 3-point range. He has made 15 of 18 3-pointers.
Encore effort: Hofstra couldn’t build on its 72-69 victory against Dayton in the first round. The Pride lost 78-59 to Clemson in the semifinals in the late game Friday.
Hofstra made 20 of 26 free throws against Dayton and 3 of 10 against Clemson.
Sunday’s games: Clemson will play Temple in the championship game at 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2).
• Auburn will play Hofstra at 7 p.m. in the third-place game (ESPNU).
• Dayton will play Old Dominion at 3:30 p.m. in the fifth-place game (ESPN3).
• Ohio will play Indiana State at 1 p.m. in the seventh-place game (ESPN3).