Last season, fans of the Dayton Flyers spent as much time focusing on next season as the ongoing season. They saw the four transfers sitting on the end of the bench and couldn’t help dreaming about the potential of the 2019-20 roster.
It’s a different story this season. There has not been as much talk about the future because the present has so much promise. However, with one of the team’s newcomers now on campus for the second semester, it’s a good time to take a quick glance at the 2020-21 roster.
The following list of 11 players does not include Obi Toppin, who has two seasons of eligibility remaining after this one. He could elect to return. However, based on the attention Toppin has received this season from NBA Draft experts and the fact that he explored his draft options last season to get an early peek at the process and that he’s the age of a college senior now, it’s a safe bet he stays in the draft this season. That would open another scholarship for Dayton.
With Toppin, Dayton again would be a sure bet to start next season in the top 25. Without him, there’s still plenty of reason to be optimistic because of how much experience Dayton will have. Five players will be playing their final seasons of college basketball.
Here’s a glance at next year’s roster, minus Toppin and also Chase Johnson, who medically withdrew from school in January, though coach Anthony Grant left the door open to him returning. If Toppin leaves and Johnson doesn’t return, Dayton has two scholarships open.
The grades listed are the grades the players will be in next season.
Jalen Crutcher, 6-1, Sr., G: The first recruit to sign with the Flyers after the hiring of Anthony Grant in the spring of 2017 has a chance to finish his career with more than 1,500 points. That would put him in the top 20 in the Dayton record book.
Rodney Chatman, 6-1, R-Sr., G: The Chattanooga transfer has started all season and has helped limit the load on Crutcher while providing strong defense.
Ibi Watson, 6-5, R-Sr., G: Coming off the bench in all but one game, when he replaced the injured Crutcher, Watson has been Dayton’s top 3-point shooter.
Jordy Tshimanga, 6-11, R-Sr., C: The practice time he missed in the preseason makes it hard to judge Tshimanga’s play. He didn’t practice at all once practice started in October until two days before the start of the Maui Invitational. However, he has been healthy ever since and contributed valuable minutes in a limited role.
Jhery Matos, 6-5, R-Sr., G: He has been the last man off the bench in most games this season.
Dwayne Cohill, 6-2, Jr., G: With a deeper roster this season, his minutes have declined from his freshman season, but he’s still playing an important role off the bench.
Moulaye Sissoko, 6-9, R-Fr., C: He’s listed as a newcomer here even though he’s been on the roster since last season. Dayton announced two days after the season opener in November he would redshirt this season.
Zimife Nwokeji, 6-7, R-Fr., F: He committed to Dayton on Dec. 15 and enrolled in school in January. He’s a member of the class of 2019 who was spending a post-graduate year at the SPIRE Institute. He’s able to practice with the team. That should give him a chance to contribute right away next season.
Lukas Frazier, 6-4, Fr., G: The first player from the 2020 class to commit to Dayton, Frazier is a senior at Lake Catholic High School in Mentor. He’s the 10th-ranked player in Ohio’s 2020 class, according to 247Sports.com.
Koby Brea, 6-6, Fr., G: He committed to Dayton in October. A senior at Monsignor Scanlan in Bronx, N.Y., Brea could redshirt as a freshman at UD because of his age. He won’t turn 18 until November 2020.
R.J. Blakney, 6-6, Fr., G: Like Nwokeji, Blakney should be ready to contribute right away because he’ll be a year removed from high school. He’s spending a post-graduate year at at the Loomis Chaffee School. He committed to Dayton in October.
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.