Archie Miller always knew the 2017 recruiting class would be crucial to the Dayton Flyers. He knew they were losing four seniors who would be hard to replace.
“We know it’s an important one,” Miller said last August before UD had any commitments. “I think it’s going to be one of our bigger ones.”
By the time Miller left for Indiana in March, Dayton had signed four players for 2017 and had another verbal commitment.
Miller’s departure put the whole class in jeopardy. One of new coach Anthony Grant’s top priorities was convincing the recruits to stay. Grant went 3-for-5 in that regard. Miller was 0-for-2 with Brian Gregory’s recruits when he took over in 2011.
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Grant also added two new recruits of his own to the class, so Dayton’s class is again a five-man group, and barring any more changes, all 13 scholarships are filled for the 2017-18 season. Here’s a glance at the five new Flyers listed in the order they signed:
Jordan Davis: The 6-foot-4 guard from Dutch Fork High School in Irmo, S.C., was the first 2017 recruit to commit to Dayton in August and the first one to say he was sticking with the Flyers after Grant took over.
“In my opinion, he’s going to be the best basketball player to come out of Dutch Fork,” Dutch Fork coach Matt Brown said last year. “We’ve been here for 20-25 years now. He comes from a great family. Jordan’s a very quiet kid. He’s, ‘Yes, sir. No, sir.’ He doesn’t care if he scores 30. He doesn’t care if he scores 10. He just wants to win and help the team get better, which is a rarity of a player his stature. You don’t get that a lot. He’s a good kid.”
Jordan Pierce: The 7-foot center from Union Catholic High School in Scotch Plains, N.J., committed to Dayton Sept. 4, eight days after Davis.
“To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to commit,” Pierce said in September. “I had another official visit with Temple, but everything just felt right. The same vibe I get from the University of Dayton is the same vibe I get from Union Catholic. It feels right. This is the place I want to be.”
Matej Svoboda: The 20-year-old, 6-7 forward from the Czech Republic committed to Dayton after visiting campus in February and signed May 1. He was the first recruit to sign during the Grant era.
“I like the style he wants to play,” Svoboda wrote in an email to the Dayton Daily News. “He is a really good coach with NBA experience, and I’m sure he can make me a better player and also do big things with Dayton.”
Jalen Crutcher: The 6-3 point guard from Ridgeway High School in Memphis, Tenn., was the first player recruited by the new Dayton coaching staff to sign with the Flyers.
“My strengths are getting my teammates involved, shooting the ball and scoring with both hands and my on-the-ball defense,” Crutcher said.
Obadiah Toppin: The 6-9 forward from Ossining, N.Y., spent a post-graduate year at Mt. Zion Prep in Baltimore, Md. He committed to Dayton on Tuesday.