breaking news

‘Amber, please look at me!’: Siblings dealing with aftermath of car ramming them outside Springfield bar

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

ESPN picks former Texas DT Poona Ford to ‘make some team very happy’ as draft sleeper
ESPN picks former Texas DT Poona Ford to ‘make some team very happy’ as draft sleeper

The Texas Longhorns defensive took a much-needed step forward in 2017, and a large part of that success can be credited to former senior defensive tackle Poona Ford.   However, although Ford impact’s in the trenches was more than noticeable throughout the 2017 slate, the 6-foot, 305-pound lineman was largely...
Path to 2018 NFL Draft: Penn State RB Saquon Barkley
Path to 2018 NFL Draft: Penn State RB Saquon Barkley

Former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley will complete his transition to professional football Thursday night at the 2018 NFL Draft. He spent three seasons carving up opponents in a Nittany Lions uniform and now is expected to be one of the first players off the board. Barkley, who became a father on Tuesday...
Senior Bowl executive details guideline to Nick Saban’s success at producing NFL talent
Senior Bowl executive details guideline to Nick Saban’s success at producing NFL talent

Nick Saban’s tenure at Alabama has produced more NFL talent than any other active college football coach. The Crimson Tide currently have 44 players in the league and are projected to have a school-record 11 draft picks selected during the 2018 NFL Draft this week, according to Sporting News‘ Alex Marvez. Reese&rsquo...
WATCH: SEC Country Live, April 25
WATCH: SEC Country Live, April 25

SEC football news never stops. So join us for SEC Country Live every Monday-Thursday at 3 p.m. ET ! Host Brandon Adams and former Alabama All-American Mike Johnson break down everything you need to know in the SEC football world with news, analysis and so much more. Join the conversation...
USC QB Sam Darnold says NFL teams are concerned with his turnovers
USC QB Sam Darnold says NFL teams are concerned with his turnovers

Sam Darnold’s met with many teams in preparation for the 2018 NFL Draft. During those meeting Darnold was always asked one particular question. Darnold revealed on Wednesday that the biggest concerned raised when he spoke with teams were his turnovers in college, per the Los Angeles Daily News’ Joey...
More Stories