Xeyrius Williams: Players have bought into new coach

Dayton basketball coach Anthony Grant speaks at his introductory press conference on Saturday, April 1, 2017, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

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Dayton basketball coach Anthony Grant speaks at his introductory press conference on Saturday, April 1, 2017, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

Anthony Grant made a great first impression on the Dayton Flyers. The new coach met his team Saturday before an introductory press conference at UD Arena.

“He’s got the same vision,” sophomore point guard John Crosby said. “He’s not looking to rebuild. He used the terminology reload. I like that. I don’t think we should take a step back just because it’s a new coach.”

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The current Dayton players will face questions about their future because of the new coach. Archie Miller was a big reason the players came to UD. A coaching change often makes players think of transferring.

From all appearances, it appears the current players are committed to staying at UD.

“The core group, I think we’re going to stick together,” Crosby said. “We want to make some big runs. All we’re talking about is getting back and winning the A-10.”

Sophomore Xeyrius Williams seconded that attitude.

“I think everybody’s bought in right now,” Williams said. “A lot of us are stepping into leadership roles, and we can gauge everyone. I think everybody is on the same page. We’re excited. He’s bringing a winning resume here. He knows the game. He’s coached at the NBA level. That’s a big deal. That keeps us bought in.”

Williams did say assistant coach Tom Ostrom told him he would be joining Miller at Indiana, though neither Ostrom or Indiana has officially announced that. Ostrom, who has known Grant for 20 years, attended the press conference. He didn’t comment on his future but praised the hiring of Grant.

Putting a staff together will be a big part of the coming days for Grant. Getting the five-man recruiting class to remain committed to UD is another priority. The players know how important those recruits are to their future.

“I would just say you committed to Dayton in the first place, and I know the leadership is going to be different,” Mikesell said, “but this is a special place, and hopefully, they come here and we enjoy the same success.”

Mikesell didn’t know anything about Grant until he started researching him on Google.

“I thought, ‘Wow, this guy’s a pretty big deal,’ ” Mikesell said. “He coached at the highest level. He knows the game as well as anyone. He’s been all over the place.”

Darrell Davis, who will be the only senior scholarship player next season, said Grant is the right fit for the Flyers. He likes that Grant plans to bring a fast-paced style of play to Dayton.

“He said he wanted to go up and down and play with unselfishness,” Davis said, “and our team is great at that.”

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