Dayton freshman guard Cohill ‘all about the team’

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Dayton's Dwayne Cohill making his mark early on defensive side

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Prolific high school scorer has made an impact on defense in first two games

Dayton Flyers freshman guard Dwayne Cohill made an immediate impact when he entered the game against Coppin State on Saturday at UD Arena. In his first three seconds on the court, five minutes into the game, he dove to compete for a loose ball after a Coppin State player lost the handle, forcing a turnover.

Cohill jumped up clapping. Teammate Trey Landers rushed over to give him a high five and then a head tap.

For a player who totalled 2,130 points — the 31st most in Ohio high school history — for Holy Name High School in the last four years, Cohill has proven early in his career to be more than a scorer.

“It’s not difficult at all because I’m all about the team,” Cohill said Tuesday before practice at the Cronin Center. “In high school, I was able to score the ball whenever I wanted and do whatever they needed to do. Same thing here. I feel I can score if I need to, but there’s times in games when they need me to defend the best player or just get the team involved, run the team, so I just do whatever the team needs. If they need me to score, then I’ll score.”

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Cohill scored the first three points of his college career at the free-throw line after being fouled on a 3-point attempt in the season-opening 78-70 victory against North Florida. He had five points in 19 minutes in that game and then six points in 21 minutes in a 76-46 victory against Coppin State.

Cohill has made 3 of 11 shots from the field and 5 of 7 free throws. More points may come later. For now, Dayton needs defense from the freshman.

“If he has time to score the ball, by all means score the ball,” Landers said, “but at the end of the day, defense is going to keep you on the floor with coach (Anthony) Grant. He preaches defense. (Cohill’s) a great team player. He’s all about team and family. He’s never been a guy who focuses on himself. I call it, ‘we before me.’ That’s what describes him.”

Cohill had never seen a game at UD Arena until he played in the exhibition game against Capital on Nov. 2. Now he's played in front of three crowds of more than 12,000 fans.

Cohill said he wasn’t nervous playing his first games. He tried to treat it like any other game he played in high school, telling himself, “I’m going to play my game and do what I do best.”

» VIDEOS: Game 1 highlightsGame 2 highlightsTuesday interviews

Cohill’s mom Jo Ann Williams attended the exhibition game and the opener. A number of other family members also attended the North Florida game. The Flyers (2-0) return to action at 7 p.m. Friday against Purdue Fort Wayne (2-2).

“It’s been fun playing in front of all the fans, playing with my teammates,” Cohill said. “It’s everything I expected. I just come out with a lot of energy. I wasn’t expecting to be a big minutes guy, but I got a lot of minutes the last couple of games. I just try to make an impact on the court, whether it’s scoring, playing defense or getting my teammates involved and just feeding off the crowd’s energy.”

NOTES: Wednesday was National Signing Day. Dayton expects its lone 2019 commit, Moulaye Sissoko, to sign on Thursday. Sissoko committed in October. … The Dayton women's basketball program announced the signing of Mariah Perez, who verbally committed in September.


FRIDAY’S GAME

Purdue Fort Wayne at Dayton, 7 p.m., Fox Sports Ohio, AM 1290 and News 95.7 WHIO

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