Kevin Kuwik hugged Dayton Flyers forward Josh Cunningham and other players with a big smile on his face after the game Tuesday. That said a lot about Kuwik considering his new team, Davidson, had just suffered a 65-64 loss at UD Arena.
Kuwik spent six years on the Dayton bench as an assistant coach on Archie Miller’s staff. He helped Anthony Grant in the weeks after his hiring last spring but was not offered a job on Grant’s staff. Davidson hired Kuwik as the director of basketball operations in August. That’s how he found himself on the visiting bench for the first time Tuesday.
Kuwik’s wife Kathryn, who he met at UD Arena’s Flight Deck, sat behind the Davidson bench with their infant daughter, Natalie, as Kuwik coached against his former team.
“You want nothing but the best for those guys,” said Kuwik, conducting an interview with his daughter in his arms after the game. “I’m proud of all of them. Look at what Darrell (Davis) and Josh (Cunningham) have been through and what they’re doing and some of the younger guys. You want to see everything you talked about in recruiting come through for them.”
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Kuwik said it was weird returning to UD Arena but he and his wife had an amazing experience at Dayton.
“It definitely makes you reflect on all that,” Kuwik said. “We’re Wildcats now, and we love that, too. Coach (Bob) McKillop and the Wildcat family have just been amazing to my family, so it’s been great.”
Diminishing role: Freshman forward Matej Svoboda didn’t play against Davidson. He received two minutes of action in the previous game, an 88-74 loss to Rhode Island.
Major minutes: Both teams played their reserves little. Davidson's Peyton Aldridge and Kellan Grady played all 40 minutes. Dayton's Darrell Davis and Jalen Crutcher played 39 minutes.
Dayton's Kostas Antetokounmpo and John Crosby didn't play in the second half after combining for 11 minutes in the first half. Xeyrius Williams was the only Dayton player to come off the bench in the second half when he played four of his 14 minutes.
Next game: Dayton plays Saint Louis at 4 p.m. Saturday at Chaifetz Arena. CBS Sports Network will televise the game. The Flyers have seven straight wins in the series.
The Billikens (10-11, 3-5) lost 75-74 in overtime Tuesday at home to Virginia Commonwealth (13-8, 5-3). Saint Louis blew a 13-point lead in the second half. De'Riante Jenkins hit a 3-pointer with four seconds to play to send the game to overtime.
Around the A-10: With the loss by Davidson (10-7, 5-2), Rhode Island (15-3, 7-0) leads the Atlantic 10 by two games.
Dayton (10-10, 4-4) moved from a four-way tie for seventh place into sixth place all by itself, just ahead of St. Joseph's (3-3) and Massachusetts (3-4). Dayton is 3-2 against the teams above it in the standings.