- Marcus Hartman
Dayton Flyers coach Anthony Grant and a pair of his players met with the local media Monday to discuss the state of the team as the early season continues.
They looked briefly back on a last-second loss at Mississippi State, ahead to Tennessee Tech and beyond.
Here’s video followed by a quick rundown of what was discussed at the most recent media appearance by the Dayton Flyers:
Coach Anthony Grant:
Story of the MSU game was turnovers. Foul trouble was also an issue.
He acknowledge bad starts has been something of a theme early on this season and they need to figure out how to avoid those.
All turnovers aren’t created equal. Maybe half of them were unforced, things they need to clean up and stop doing.
“I think we’ve got the right mindset in terms of when we talk to the guys: they’re understanding how to try to use these experiences to get better.”
He was impressed with how Jalen Crutcher reacted to environment, both on the road and in front of a large crowd of his friends and family. The freshman point guard struggled early but had a good second half.
Why sign him? Talent, basketball junky, certain toughness level, potential to grow all evident last summer. Grant is now seeing basketball IQ develop.
Do they need to get the ball inside more? Yes. That’s been a source of some turnovers, too. Need to execute better.
What about Jordan Pierce making his college debut? Always figured he would get into a game eventually. Needed him with guys in foul trouble and Xeyrius Williams still out. Had a solid debut.
No common thread in foul trouble other than it is typically the big guys. Just need to do a better job avoiding fouls.
Crutcher has to learn what everyone else is doing and how they do it. That is a challenge, but that’s the role of a point guard. He needs to understand everyone’s role and how to make everyone else look good. Process both Crutcher and John Crosby are still going through.
Freshman point guard Jalen Crutcher:
He agreed it would be good to get the ball inside more. Defenses already pay a lot of attention to Kostas Antetokounmpo even though he’s still only played a few college games. “I think it’s because of his last name,” Crutcher said, referring to Kostas’ brother, Giannis, who is an NBA star.
Crutcher hasn’t played with this many big guys in the past, either, so he’s got a lot of new things to absorb.
He got a little understanding of where everyone is on the court, what position they are playing, what each play calls for them to do, etc., in high school, but there’s a lot more to learn at the college level.
He felt like he was more engaged against MSU and played more poised.
He knows they have had some first-half struggles. Defensive intensity tends to ramp up in the second half.
Junior forward Josh Cunningham:
Crutcher played with tremendous confidence at Mississippi State. Needs to keep doing that.
Freshmen were more comfortable in the second half in Starkville.
Turnovers are obviously something they need to clean up.
He didn’t have much of a scouting report for Tennessee State since they played late the night before, but right now the focus is really more on themselves anyway.