Crutcher, Davis are carrying load
Increased playing time has yet to slow freshman guards.
Freshman guards Jalen Crutcher and Jordan Davis keep giving Dayton Flyers fans reasons to hope this season will stand out despite the program having a rare down year. It’s hard to imagine Dayton hovering around .500 next year if the duo continues to improve.
Crutcher, the first recruit signed by Anthony Grant and his staff, and Davis, the first Archie Miller recruit to say he would stick with the Flyers after the hiring of Grant, played some of their best basketball Saturday in an 88-84 overtime loss at Virginia Commonwealth.
Crutcher had 21 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. He’s a triple-double waiting to happen.
Davis had 19 points, four rebounds and four assists.
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They may have been fatigued in the final minutes (combining to play all but four minutes in the game) but didn’t show it, leading the Flyers back from a 17-point deficit to force overtime.
The conditioning level of the freshmen has pleased Grant.
“We’ve talked about this before, the freshman wall that some guys hit,” the Dayton coach said Monday on WHIO’s Anthony Grant Show. “I think if our guys hit it, they actually hit it early, to be honest, right around final exam, Christmas break time. I saw we just didn’t have it at that time.”
Their minutes have continued to increase as Grant leans on the starting five.
In 12 A-10 games, Crutcher has averaged 35.4 minutes. Davis has averaged 29.8.
That number would be higher if not for playing 10 minutes at Richmond. Fans wondered why he didn’t play more in that game. That’s not a question anymore. Davis has rarely left the court in recent weeks.
Grant has seen the stamina of Davis and Crut c her improve since the start of the second semester in January.
“I don’t really see any issues at this point with their performance and they’re obviously playing really heavy minutes,” Grant said. “They’ve been able to come back the next day in practice and be ready to go and be fully engaged.
“They seem to be doing well. Anymore nowadays, for these kids, once their high school season is over, they immediately go into AAU. Maybe there’s a week in between, but they’re always playing ball. It’s a year-round sport.”
Dayton coach Anthony Grant, talking to Jordan Davis, says the freshman guard’s conditioning has improved as the season has progressed. Davis has averaged 29.8 minutes in 12 Atlantic 10 games.