Dayton players huddle before a game against Alabama on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016, at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, Ala. David Jablonski/Staff

Anthony Grant: Jalen Crutcher has skill sets that fit Dayton Flyers

Crutcher, a senior at Ridgeway High School, is the fourth player in Dayton’s 2017 recruiting class to sign and the first player recruited by new coach Anthony Grant and his staff to pick the Flyers. The three previous recruits to sign — guard Jordan Davis, center Jordan Pierce and forward Matej Svoboda — were orginally recruited by Archie Miller and his staff.

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Crutcher’s signing also means Dayton has a point guard on the roster for the 2017-18 season.

“I chose Dayton because I think I have an opportunity to come in and play as a freshman,” Crutcher said, “and I love the coaching staff and the fans!”

Crutcher is a three-star guard, according to Rivals.com. He ranked 63rd among point guards in the class of 2017, according to 247Sports.com.

Crutcher originally signed with Chattanooga over Massachusetts and Murray State, among others. New Dayton assistant coach James Kane was a coach at Murray State at that time.

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When Chattanooga lost its coach, Matt McCall, to Massachusetts, Crutcher asked for a release from his letter of intent. Florida Gulf Coast and DePaul were among the other schools recruiting Crutcher.

“He’s a great kid, from a great family,” Grant said. “When he reopened his recruitment, he was a guy one of my assistants was familiar with, and he did an outstanding job of connecting with Jalen and his family and explaining the opportunity we have here at Dayton. We were able to get him up here on a visit. He fell in love with the place, and we were fortunate to get him to make that decision to join us.”

Crutcher visited UD on Friday and flew back to Memphis on Saturday after signing. He announced his signing on Twitter and thanked God, the coaches who recruited him and his family who helped him during the process. He posted a photo of himself with Grant and three assistant coaches at UD Arena.

“He can shoot the ball,” Grant said. “He can score the ball. He’s a guy that can create for himself and generate offense for himself and others as well. He has a variety of skill sets that fit the way we want to play.”

Two scholarships remain open for Dayton. For now, Crutcher is the only point guard on the roster. He’ll have a chance to play right away.

“You play guys that are ready to play,” Grant said. “He’s a guy that can contribute and help our team. I don’t subscribe to the idea that the class or their age determines whether or not they have an opportunity.”

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