— The Dayton Flyers returned from a few days off practice to begin getting ready for a visit from Georgia State on Saturday night.
Here is a rundown of what they had to say during interviews with the local media:
COACH ANTHONY GRANT
- After losing three of their last four games, the Flyers are concentrating on themselves and what they need to do to improve. Energy and effort and accountability on defense were lacking against Penn in a loss last Saturday. That has been addressed.
- His players need to understand how hard they need to play consistently and to work on defense both collectively and individually.
- “I think we have to mature as a basketball team with the choices and decisions we make on the floor, in the locker room, in practice. All those areas. As a young basketball team,w e just have to learn. It’s a growth process.”
- He remembers battles with Georgia State coach Ron Hunter when he was playing at Miami (Ohio) and Grant was a Flyer in the mid-80s. (Hunter is a Dayton native who played at Chaminade Julienne.)
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- He has a lot of respect for Hunter as a coach. He’s been successful at his previous stops and built a good program at Georgia State.
- Grant called GSU’s sophomore point guard a guy on the NBA radar. (He didn’t use his name, but he probably meant D’Marcus Simonds.)
- Defensively, the Panthers will mix things up, including calling on a matchup zone, and they have some offensive players who are dangerous.
- As far as positives, Grant likes his team’s leadership. Praised Darrell Davis and Josh Cunningham. He’s looking for more consistency from other players young and old. Those two impress him with the way they practice and prepare.
- He knew Jordan Davis could score from seeing him in the summer. “He’s a guy to me as he gets more comfortable and understands the game more he can be more aggressive and more assertive in terms of scoring the basketball and providing our team with that gift, that weapon.”
- Xeyrius Williams has returned to practice after missing time with a back injury. They hope he’ll be available this weeknd if he doesn’t have any setbacks. He’s a veteran and it’s been good to have him back.
- Regarding Hunter, he remembered Hunter liked to gloat when his Redskins won but was hard to find when they lost to the Flyers. Now each of them only tend to remember the games they won.
- Grant also pointed out Hunter got to play with “some guy named Ron Harper. He was a pretty good player.” After laughing, Grant said Hunter is a great guy. “I’m happy for him and the success he’s enjoying.”
- He’s coached against Hunter’s teams in the past. This game was scheduled after Grant was hired because it’s good for strength of schedule. Thinks they will contend for their conference championship and have a high RPI, which is good for the Flyers.
- Grant sounded happy the schedule has turned out to be pretty tough. That was the plan. It helps them have more opportunities at the end of the season if they win. Right now they need to work on themselves and improve.
FRESHMAN JORDAN DAVIS
- He is just trying to get better every day and to learn from his mistakes.
- He has been adjusting to being a role player instead of a star like he was in high school, but that hasn’t been too hard.
- The Flyers have to keep playing through ups and downs. Good things happen when they play hard.
- Davis is glad to be able to just focus on basketball now during winter break.
- Everybody is skilled, fast and strong at this level, so he has to take advantage of small things, scouting reports, etc.
- Not that hard getting to know each other’s games because they’ve been plaing together since the summer.
FRESHMAN MATEJ SVOBODA
- He feels more comfortable with every passing day.
- Everything was pretty foreign at first but now he’s more comfortable with the team and the concepts they play.
- He might have had a little homesickness but he is really comfortable here.
- He will miss seeing his family for Christmas but that’s OK.
- He agreed having time to focus more on basketball during break could be good for them.