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Veteran players say Dayton freshmen off to good start

Darrell Davis has taken young guards under his wing


Highlights

Jordan Davis has impressed Xeyrius Williams the most.

The five newest Dayton Flyers posed for a photo with UD fan Chris King, a sophomore at Centerville High School, last week at a basketball camp at UD’s Frericks Center.

King, 14, posted the photo to Twitter, giving everyone a first glimpse of the 2017 recruiting class all together in one picture.

The first thing that stands out about the group is its size. Jordan Pierce, the 7-foot center from New Jersey, towers over everyone in the middle. Obadiah Toppin, on the far left, is 6-9. On the far right is the 6-7 Matej Svoboda. Guards Jalen Crutcher and Jordan Davis stand on each side of Pierce.

EARLY START: Anthony Grant on Dayton’s five freshmen

Three of Dayton’s veteran players conducted wide-ranging interviews with the Dayton Daily News on Thursday on campus, and the freshmen were a popular topic.

“We’re going to need them a lot to win this year,” senior guard Darrell Davis said.

“I knew they were going to be good,” redshirt junior forward Josh Cunningham said. “I didn’t know they were going to be this good. I feel a lot of them can come in and play right away, which we need.”

OFFSEASON UPDATE: Dayton focused on individual skill instruction this summer

Crutcher, a 6-3 point guard from Ridgeway High School in Memphis, signed with Dayton on May 6 and arrived on campus June 4. Davis, a 6-4 guard from Dutch Fork High School in Irmo, S.C., signed with Dayton in November and was the first recruit to recommit to UD after the hiring of Anthony Grant in April. He arrived at UD in mid-June.

FEATURE: Williams hopes to be all-conference performer

Darrell Davis, Dayton’s only senior has taken the two guards, Crutcher and Jordan Davis, under his wing.

“They are going to be special,” Davis said. “They love being in the gym. They call me and say, ‘Big bro, want to go to the gym? C’mon, let’s get in the gym. Let’s go now.’ We can be tired. I might go to sleep. I’ll wake up three hours later. They’re like, ‘Let’s get back in the gym and shoot.’ We play one-on-one all the time.’ I love them.”

Of all the freshmen, Jordan Davis has impressed junior forward Xeyrius Williams the most.

“The way he can shoot the ball, I think he’s going to be a big deal for us,” Williams said. “He shoots the ball like a two, but he’s in a point guard’s body.

INJURY NEWS: Antetokounmpo’s status still unknown

Pierce arrived at Dayton on May 27. He’s a graduate of Union Catholic High School in Scotch Plains, N.J..

“He’s still got a long way to go,” Williams said, “but by the time the season comes, he’ll be ready.”

RELATED: Dayton to play Hofstra in Charleston Classic

Svoboda, a 6-7 forward from the Czech Republic, and Toppin, a 6-9 forward from Ossining, N.Y., and Mount Zion Prep in Baltimore, Md., enrolled at UD at the start of the second summer session in June. Both bring size to the roster.

Of Svoboda, Williams said, “He can shoot the ball. He has a very mature game. He’s still getting adjusted to the language difference and our lingo on the team.”



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