Atlantic 10 awards: Four Dayton Flyers honored by conference

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Dayton Flyers interviews (March 10, 2021)

Crutcher first Flyer to make one of first three teams three times in his career since Chris Wright

Four Dayton Flyers men’s basketball players earned All-Atlantic 10 Conference honors Wednesday, five days after Dayton’s season ended with a loss to Virginia Commonwealth in the conference tournament.

• Senior guard Jalen Crutcher was named to the All-A-10 first team. He is Dayton’s first two-time first-team selection since Obi Toppin, who made the first team in 2019 and 2020. Crutcher and Toppin are the only players in UD history to make the first team twice.

Crutcher ranked fourth in the A-10 in scoring (18.1 points per game) and sixth in assists (4.8).

“I really had fun here with these guys, creating memories for everybody,” Crutcher said. “It’s been a fun four years for me.”

Crutcher made the second team as a sophomore in 2018. He’s the first UD player to make the all-conference first, second or third team three times in his career since Chris Wright, who made the second team as a sophomore in 2009, the first team in 2010 and the third team in 2011.

• Redshirt senior guard Ibi Watson made the A-10 third team. It’s his first A-10 postseason honor. He ranked 10th in the league in scoring (15.8) and third in 3-point field-goal percentage and made 3-pointers (.427, 61-143).

Watson said Wednesday he hasn’t ruled out returning next season. The NCAA did not count this season against anyone’s eligibility.

“I’m going to graduate, and I’m excited about that,” Watson said, “and then I’ll sit down with my family and decide what my next step should be.”

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• Freshman forward Mustapha Amzil, who ranked third on the team in scoring (9.8), made the all-rookie team. He is the first Dayton player to make the all-rookie team since Toppin in 2019. Toppin was a redshirt freshman that season. Amzil is the first true freshman to make the all-rookie team since Crutcher in 2018.

“I’m very thankful for the (award) and for my teammates and my coaches for putting me in a situation to be successful,” Amzil said. “It’s been very nice playing with these guys. It’s been easy. And I look forward to great things.”

• Redshirt senior center Jordy Tshimanga, a graduate student with a 3.83 GPA in school counseling, made the all-academic team.

“It means a lot,” Tshimanga said. “I come from a hard-working family. Any opportunity we can get, we want to maximize it. I was able to do that and get the recognition for it, which I’m grateful for.”

In a press release, Dayton coach Anthony Grant congratulated all four players for their performances on and off the court.

“We are proud of the way our three seniors represented our program throughout their careers and we are excited about Mustapha’s successes and his potential moving forward,” Grant said. “All of these young men, along with their teammates, coaches and staff members across the Atlantic 10 adapted to the challenges of the pandemic and made tremendous sacrifices to help achieve this recognition and make this season possible. Congratulations to all!”

Complete A-10 Awards

Player of the Year: Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland, VCU

Defensive Player of the Year: Osun Osunniyi, St. Bonaventure

Rookie of the Year: Tyler Kolek, George Mason

Chris Daniels Most Improved Player: Tyler Burton, Richmond

Sixth Man of the Year: Sherif Kenney, La Salle

Coach of the Year: Mark Schmidt, St. Bonaventure

All-Conference First Team

Kellan Grady, Davidson

Jalen Crutcher, Dayton

Tre Mitchell, Massachusetts

Kyle Lofton, St. Bonaventure

Jordan Goodwin, Saint Louis

Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland, VCU

All-Conference Second Team

Marcus Weathers, Duquesne

Blake Francis, Richmond

Jacob Gilyard, Richmond

Jaren Holmes, St. Bonaventure

Osun Osunniyi, St. Bonaventure

Javonte Perkins, Saint Louis

All-Conference Third Team

Ibi Watson, Dayton

Jordan Miller, George Mason

Jamison Battle, George Washington

Fatts Russell, Rhode Island

Grant Golden, Richmond

Vince Williams, VCU

All-Academic Team

Jordy Tshimanga, Dayton

Christian Ray, La Salle

Tre Mitchell, Massachusetts

Jaren Holmes, St. Bonaventure

Gibson Jimerson, Saint Louis

All-Defensive Team

AJ Wilson, George Mason

Jacob Gilyard, Richmond

Osun Osunniyi, St. Bonaventure

Jordan Goodwin, Saint Louis

Hason Ward, VCU

All-Rookie Team

Mustapha Amzil, Dayton

Tyler Kolek, George Mason

Jhamir Brickus, La Salle

Jordan Hall, Saint Joseph’s

Adrian Baldwin, Jr., VCU

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