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

Miamisburg grad Myers fitting in well at Ohio State
Miamisburg grad Myers fitting in well at Ohio State

Miamisburg High School graduate Josh Myers has fit in well with the Ohio State Buckeyes, at least if this description by the veteran leader of the offensive line is any indication. “His nickname’s Tommy,” said Ohio State fifth-year senior center Billy Price. ” He’s a country boy. He’s country lovin’. We yell...
Urban Meyer on sixth season: ‘Hard to imagine how time flies’
Urban Meyer on sixth season: ‘Hard to imagine how time flies’

Three trophies stood next to Urban Meyer as he spoke at Big Ten Media Days. There are always trophies. A college football coach is either posing next to them, hoisting them in the air or agonizing over a lack of them in his trophy case. The two Big Ten division trophies and the Big Ten championship trophy were front and center Monday at the McCormick...
Ohio State, Dayton, Purdue, Xavier among suitors for Versailles’ Ahrens
Ohio State, Dayton, Purdue, Xavier among suitors for Versailles’ Ahrens

This has not been the summer Justin Ahrens expected. When the Versailles basketball star wrapped up his junior season in March, he thought his college destination was determined. After committing to Ohio State last August, there was no reason to think the three-star guard wouldn’t be a Buckeye. Then Ohio State stunned the basketball world by...
Shawnee baseball coach Rob Cassell steps down
Shawnee baseball coach Rob Cassell steps down

Shawnee High School baseball coach Rob Cassell has missed many of his son’s games over the last decade, and he doesn’t want to miss any more. Cassell informed Shawnee players during a meeting on Sunday night he will not return to coach the team next season. Cassell’s oldest son Nick is entering his freshman year at Tecumseh, and another...
The Big Ten: It’s a TV entity with associated schools and sports now
The Big Ten: It’s a TV entity with associated schools and sports now

Ten years ago, the Big Ten created a television network so more people could watch the league’s athletes play sports. (In the short term, this resulted in fewer people being able to see some of its most prominent athletes play sports, but that’s another story.) The league, then and now led by commissioner Jim Delany, wanted more control...
More Stories