Highlights: Cunningham, Toppin star in Dayton's win over Richmond David Jablonski - Staff Writer
Photo: David Jablonski - Staff Writer
Photo: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

Dayton Flyers: First look at 2019-20 roster after addition of Chase Johnson

All 13 scholarships filled at the moment for Grant’s third season

The 6-foot-9 forward from Ripley, W.Va., and Huntington Prep will enroll at UD for the second semester and start practicing with the team. He’ll be eligible to play next December after the end of the first semester.

“We’re excited to add Chase to our program,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said in a press release. “He is a talented player who is blessed with size and athleticism. He fits our style of play very well, plays multiple positions and is a competitor. He will join us for the second semester, which allows him acclimate academically to UD and become familiar with our system and culture. He will also be an asset to our current team with his abilities and experiences in practice on a daily basis, while continuing to develop and bond with his teammates."

» RICHMOND GAME: Five takeawaysTwenty photosArchdeacon on Dayton’s inside duo

With Johnson joining the team, the roster is complete for the 2019-20 season. All 13 scholarships have been filled. Of course, that could change if any players transfer in the spring, but for now, the third team of the Anthony Grant era is a deep and experienced group.

It will be fascinating to see who starts the season opener, who becomes a part of the rotation and who loses the battle for playing time. Here’s an early guess at the starting lineup in the first game next November: Jalen Crutcher, Trey Landers, Ryan Mikesell, Obi Toppin and Ibi Watson.

All but two players from the 13 could still be with the team in the 2020-21 season. Here’s a look at next year’s roster as it stands right now:

Dayton’s Trey Landers and Jalen Crutcher pose for a photo after a victory against Richmond on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff
Photo: Staff Writer

Guards

RETURNERS

Trey Landers, 6-5, Sr.: The Wayne grad will be one of two Flyers — Mikesell is the other — who will celebrate Senior Night in March 2020. Both players are the only remaining players from their original recruiting class. Landers arrived at UD in the same class as Kostas Antetokounmpo, who left UD last spring and now plays in the NBA G League. Mikesell was part of a class that included John Crosby (now at Delaware State), Sam Miller (Charleston) and Xeyrius Williams (Akron).

Jalen Crutcher, 6-1, Jr.: The Memphis native, the first new recruit signed during the Grant era, has emerged as one of the best point guards in the Atlantic 10 this season. He’s a consistent 3-point shooting threat who has racked up the assists throwing alley-oop passes to Toppin.

» MORE ON THE FLYERS: Obi Toppin dunk trackerAll the links to follow the team

If the roster doesn’t change in the next two years, Crutcher will be part of a huge senior class in 2021 that includes Davis, Watson, Jhery Matos, Rodney Chatman and Jordy Tshimanga.

Jordan Davis, 6-2, Jr.: While he has increased his averages across the board, his 3-point shooting accuracy has dropped from 39.4 to 25.4 in the first 14 games of his sophomore season. Davis will be one of three players on the roster next year, along with Landers and Mikesell, who signed with Dayton during the Archie Miller era.

Jhery Matos, 6-5, R-Jr.: The junior-college transfer from the Dominican Republic was proving to be a consistent contributor and solid defender until he tore ligaments in his foot in the sixth game this season. He had surgery in December and will earn a medical redshirt and has two years of eligibility remaining.

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Dwayne Cohill, 6-2, So.: He’s averaging 3.4 points in 13.8 minutes per game as a freshman and will be a valuable reserve all season because Dayton is playing a seven-man rotation with the eight available player, Frankie Policelli, receiving limited minutes.

NEWCOMERS

Ibi Watson, 6-5, R-Jr.: The Pickerington Central grad transferred from Michigan to Dayton in April. He was a three-star recruit in the class of 2016. He ranked 208th in the class, according to 247Sports.com. At Michigan, Watson appeared in 45 games in two seasons, receiving limited minutes each season. He averaged 2.2 points and 0.8 rebounds in 5.2 minutes per game as a sophomore.

Rodney Chatman, 6-1, R-Jr.: Chatman transferred from Chattanooga to Dayton in May. Of the four transfers sitting out this season, he has the most playing experience at the college level. He started 28 games as a sophomore and averaged 32.3 minutes. He averaged 13.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.5 assists. 

Dunks by Dayton's Obi Toppin in first 13 games of 2018-19 season
Video: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

Forwards

RETURNERS

Ryan Mikesell, 6-7, R-Sr.: The St. Henry grad will leave Dayton a year later than planned because he redshirted last season after undergoing two surgeries for hip impingements. He’s averaging 8.7 points and 4.9 rebounds through 14 games this season, and through 13 games, he led Dayton starters in the plus-minus stat. When he’s on the court, Dayton has outscored its opponents by 11.2 points per 40 minutes. That’s almost two times better than any other starter.

Obi Toppin, 6-9, R-So.: As Dayton’s sixth man this season, he has been the team’s breakout star and could become the first Dayton player to win the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year award. He’s already won the weekly award three times. With 37 dunks in 14 games, he’s chasing Chris Wright’s single-season school record of 66.

Frankie Policelli, 6-7, So.: Dayton planned to redshirt Policelli, but the Matos injury forced him into action. He made his first career 3-pointer Saturday in a 72-48 victory against Georgia Southern. In seven appearances, he has played 35 minutes.

NEWCOMERS

Chase Johnson, 6-9, R-So.: Johnson, who committed to Dayton on Sunday and officially joined the roster Monday, will be the highest-ranked recruit on the roster. He was a four-star prospect who ranked 98th in the class of 2017, according to ESPN.com. Johnson appeared in two games this season for the Florida Gators, averaging 3.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in six minutes per game. Injuries and illness slowed him throughout his time in Gainesville. He has three seasons of eligibility remaining, so he would be part of a senior class in 2022 that includes Toppin, Cohill and Policelli.

Center

NEWCOMER

Jordy Tshimanga, 6-11, R-Jr.: After started 18 games last season as a sophomore for Nebraska, averaging 4.0 points and 4.6 rebounds in 13.6 minutes per game, he transferred to Dayton in August. He ranked 162nd in the class of 2016, according to 247Sports.com.

Moulaye Sissoko, 6-10, Fr.: The only true freshman entering the program in 2019, Sissoko committed to Dayton in October. He is a three-star recruit who ranks 306th in the 2019 class, according to 247Sports.com. He’s from Mali in West Africa and is now playing at Lincoln Academy in Suwanee, Ga. 

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