Rodney Chatman had the camera on his phone rolling when Anthony Grant entered the locker room at Chaifetz Arena after a 78-76 overtime victory against Saint Louis on Friday. Anyone watching on Instagram — or later when a clip of the video was shared on Twitter — would have seen Dwayne Cohill taking over the celebration at that point.
» ALL THE ANGLES: Collection of videos, photos documenting Crutcher’s shot
“Hold up,” Cohill said to his teammates, who were clapping for Grant. “For a proper introduction, let me introduce to you all Anthony Grant.”
Grant, who punched his fist in the air in celebration earlier as the players mobbed Crutcher on the court, then entered the circle of players and started dancing. They joined him.
Minutes earlier, the man who hit the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer in overtime entered the locker room to a similar greeting. Jalen Crutcher’s teammates doused him with bottled water and then a full cooler of water as AJ Schraffenberger, a digital content creator at UD, filmed the scene. The official Dayton basketball Twitter account shared the video.
The most exciting finish of the season — in a Dayton victory, at least — extended Dayton’s winning streak to seven, the longest since 2017, heading into a 7 p.m. Wednesday game against St. Bonaventure at UD Arena.
Here’s what else the victory did for Dayton:
Great record: At 16-2, Dayton is four victories ahead of where it was last year through 18 games and two victories ahead of where it was in 2017, the last time it made the NCAA tournament. The record is the program’s best through 18 games since the 2008-09 team started 16-2. That team won five more games, reaching 21-2, before losing its third.
The 1957-58 team also started 16-2 and reached 20-2 before losing again. Only one Dayton team has lost only once in its first 18 games: the 1955-56 team that started 18-1.
Through Friday, the only teams in the country with better records than Dayton were: Gonzaga (19-1); San Diego State (17-0); Auburn (15-1); and Liberty (16-1).
First place: At 5-0 in the Atlantic 10 Conference, Dayton has recorded its best start since it was 5-0 in the 2014-15 season. It’s tied for first with Duquesne (15-2, 5-0).
Poll position: Dayton climbed to No. 13 in the Associated Press poll last week, matching its best ranking of the season. Victories against Virginia Commonwealth and Saint Louis, which rank 50th and 53rd in the NCAA Evaluation Tool, should push Dayton higher and possibly into the top 10 for the first since 1967 since it ranked sixth in the first week of the 1967-68 season. The new poll is out Monday.
» NATIONAL ATTENTION: Dayton ‘most fun team to watch’ in college basketball
While that 1967-68 team built its ranking on what it did the previous season, this would be the first Dayton team to climb into the top based on what it did that season since the Flyers ranked eighth on March 4, 1958.
Other rankings: Dayton climbed from No. 6 in the NET to No. 5. It fell from No. 5 to No. 6 in the Ken Pomeroy rankings. The Flyers rank fifth in ESPN’s Basketball Power Index.
» THE BIG SHOT: Crutcher’s mom was too nervous to watch
NCAA picture: ESPN’s Joe Lunardi moved Dayton to No. 8, meaning it would be a No. 2 seed, on his list of 68 NCAA tournament teams. The first strong road victory of the season for the Flyers helps their resume. They are now 3-2 against teams in Quadrant 1 of the NET with neutral court victories against No. 42 Saint Mary’s and No. 32 Virginia Tech and a road victory against No. 53 Saint Louis and losses on a neutral court to No. 2 Kansas and No. 19 Colorado.
Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.