A number of schools reached out to Rodney Chatman when he announced his decision to leave Chattanooga.
“Virginia Tech was very interested and wanted him to come up and visit,” said Chatman’s dad Rodney.
In the end, the 6-foot-1 guard Chatman — he goes by Chatman III, and his dad is Chatman Jr. — visited only one school: the University of Dayton. It was the same story with Dayton’s previous signed recruit: Michigan’s Ibi Watson.
Chatman surprised his dad, mom Glenda and younger brother Bryce, a third-grader, by picking the Flyers on Monday during his visit. His announcement came during a photo shoot at UD. Chatman had put on a Dayton basketball jersey and was answering questions on video. This is a relatively new thing Dayton does with potential recruits.
“They asked, ‘If you wanted to tell the Dayton Flyers one thing, what would it be?’” Chatman Jr. said. “He said, ‘I’m committing to be a Dayton Flyer.’”
Chatman plans to major in sports management, his dad said. He’ll be a junior at UD, but a young junior at 19. He didn’t start playing basketball until he was 12. Until then, baseball had been his sport, but he fell in love with basketball.
“He’s still developing,” Chatman Jr. said. “He’s still growing into his own.”
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Chatman averaged 13.3 points per game as a sophomore at Chattanooga but transferred, his dad said, because he wasn’t a good fit with the new coaching staff.
“Matt McCall was his guy,” Chatman Jr. said.
McCall left Chattanooga for Massachusetts a year ago, and Lamont Paris was hired. The Mocs finished 10-23 last season. Four Chattanooga players have announced they will transfer since the end of the season.
It was McCall’s departure that also paved the way for Dayton to sign Jalen Crutcher last spring. He had signed with Chattanooga but was granted his release when McCall left.
The addition of Chatman gives Dayton 11 scholarship players for the 2018-19 season. Nine of them will be able to play. Chatman and Watson will sit out the season. Dayton has two scholarships open for the coming season.