New Dayton recruit: ‘I can’t wait to be there getting buckets’

Jhery Matos, second from right in second row, watches a game against Fordham from behind the Dayton bench on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

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Jhery Matos, second from right in second row, watches a game against Fordham from behind the Dayton bench on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

Jhery Matos experience Dayton game for first time Saturday

The arena where Jhery Matos plays home games this season is nine miles from Fordham University, where he’ll likely play a game next season with the Dayton Flyers.

The Monroe College Athletic Complex is a long subway ride from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where Dayton will play in the Atlantic 10 tournament a year from now. It’s an easy drive from a number of other A-10 destinations: Rhode Island and Massachusetts, in particular, and even La Salle and St. Joseph’s in Philadelphia.

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In that way, Matos should feel comfortable in A-10 road games in the 2018-19 season. He already knows he’ll feel comfortable in home games at UD Arena. One visit convinced him it’s the place for him.

Matos, a 6-foot-6 guard with two seasons of eligibility remaining, verbally committed to Dayton on Sunday after watching the Flyers beat Fordham 80-70 on Saturday. He was part of a sellout crowd of 13,350. He said he's never played in front of a crowd like that.

“It’s a crazy, amazing atmosphere,” Matos said Monday. “I can’t wait to be there getting buckets.”

When Matos debuts, he’ll be the first player from the Dominican Republic and the 11th foreign-born player to play for Dayton. He left his home country to attend school in Florida for his last two years of high school. He has spent the last two years at junior colleges. His family remains in the Dominican Republic.

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“Growing up in the Dominican Republic was tough, but at least my family always had my back,” Matos said. “That’s what I miss most right now. I started playing basketball because of Kobe Bryant. Before I was doing track and field.”

Matos described himself as an energetic, tough and skilled player whose best attribute is his athleticism. As for why he picked Dayton, Matos said, “What I like most about Dayton is the commitment of the coaching staff and honestly everyone that is around the team. The moment I met the Dayton coaching staff, I felt that Dayton is the right place for me to be.”

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