Davidson game marks return of former assistant coach to UD Arena

Dayton’s John Crosby, right, congratulates Josh Cunningham after a basket against Rhode Island as Jalen Crutcher, left, and Darrell Davis, second from left, watch on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, at UD Arena.

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Dayton’s John Crosby, right, congratulates Josh Cunningham after a basket against Rhode Island as Jalen Crutcher, left, and Darrell Davis, second from left, watch on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, at UD Arena.

Kevin Kuwik now director of basketball operations for Davidson

The Dayton Flyers will see a familiar face on the opposite bench at 7 p.m. Tuesday when the Davidson Wildcats visit UD Arena.

After six seasons as an assistant coach on Archie Miller’s staff at Dayton, Kevin Kuwik was hired in August as Davidson’s director of basketball operations. Kuwik recruited Dayton sophomore guard Trey Landers, among others, and Landers said he’s looking forward to seeing Kuwik and playing against him.

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Although Landers hasn’t communicated with Kuwik this season, he said, “We know he’s still watching our games and checking on us. He’s important to us no matter what side of the ball he’s on.”

Kuwik stayed at Dayton for a couple weeks after the hiring of Anthony Grant but was not hired by Grant. Wayne High School hired Kuwik in June as its head boys basketball coach. He left five weeks later to take the job at Davidson.

Davidson coach Bob McKillop raved about the hiring of Kuwik when asked about him in October at Atlantic 10 Media Day.

“It’s like getting a top-50 recruit,” McKillop said.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Reaction to Saturday loss to the Rams.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Highlights: Dayton's Josh Cunningham scores 32 vs. Rhode Island

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Kuwik left a program that won two straight A-10 championships for one contending for its second regular-season title in four years. Davidson (10-7, 5-1) sits in second place behind Rhode Island (15-3, 7-0).

» ARCHDEACON: Cunningham shines bright on dim day for Dayton

The Wildcats proved they belong among the A-10 contenders with their 83-73 victory Friday against St. Bonaventure. That was Davidson’s fifth straight victory since opening A-10 play with a 69-58 loss at Richmond. They have also defeated Saint Louis, George Mason, George Washington and Fordham.

For McKillop, the turning point came at Saint Louis when the Wildcats faced a 33-22 halftime deficit.

"It started with the first half against Saint Louis with our backs against the wall," McKillop told the Charlotte Post on Friday. "This was a team that really almost knocked us out the first half and we were scratching, wondering. We came out the second half and it's been tremendous progress amongst our guys emotionally ever since that second half in Saint Louis."

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Davidson features one of the tallest rosters in the country, ranking 30th in height. Its starters stand between 6-foot-4 and 6-9.

Davidson’s top player is Leavittsburg, Ohio, native Peyton Aldridge, a senior forward who averages 20.1 points per game. He has scored 1,812 points in his career.

This is the second big challenge in a row for Dayton (9-10, 3-4), which lost 88-74 at home to Rhode Island on Saturday, falling into a tie with three other teams for seventh place.

“It is hard playing back-to-back games against two very good teams,” Landers said after the loss to Rhode Island. “At the end of the day, I feel we’ll be all right. You’ve got to live, and you’ve got to learn. We’ll take this as a learning lesson. We’ve got a good team on Tuesday. We’ve got to get prepared (Sunday) and Monday. They’ve got really big guys, and they can play.”


TUESDAY’S GAME

Davidson at Dayton, 7 p.m., CBS Sports Network, FM 95.7, AM 1290 WHIO

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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WATCH: Dayton's top plays from loss to Davidson on March 10, 2017, in A-10 quarterfinals.

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Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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WATCH: All the big shots from Dayton's comeback in final six minutes.

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