Hey everyone, your 2018-19 Blackburn Review MVP has returned to talk about the new faces that will be donning the Dayton red this season. Now, as many of you are aware, some of the best players in Dayton’s recent history were transfers. Jordan Sibert transferred from Ohio State and became a program icon in his two seasons. Charles Cooke III transferred from James Madison University where he became one of the best pure scorers the program has seen in the last 10 years. Players like Vee Sanford and Josh Cunningham each made a significant impact on this program as transfers, and Jhery Matos also falls into the transfer category as well, even if hes contributions have yet to be determined. Archie Miller would be the first person to tell you that success in recruiting at UD relies on your ability to find “diamond in the rough” type players through the transfer portal (as well as getting guys to campus who can’t make grades). Archie was very good at both of the aforementioned and the early returns are that Coach Anthony Grant has a knack for this kind of thing as well, without the questionable academics (that we know of yet). It’s worth noting that 3/4 of these dudes have not logged significant minutes in college. While it’s cool that all you people are riled up for the season and the new roster, everything you do to predict the production of any of the four would be purely speculatin’. So in the words of the mighty Thor, “Who the hell are you guys?”
Ibi Watson- Guard- Michigan
Ibi is probably the most talked-about new face in practice and definitely has the most hype around him as of this writing. Watson was a member of the 2017-2018 NCAA Runner-up Michigan Wolverines where he averaged 2.2 points in only 5.1 minutes per game. He appeared in 26 games that season and played 2 total minutes in that years Final Four. Watson elected to transfer from Michigan because he got buried on the bench of some very deep and talented Michigan squads. It’s the exact kind of situation a school like Dayton looks for in a transfer and it is going to be a popular theme throughout this article, someone who got buried on a deep bench and has a chip on their shoulder to go out and prove that their previous school made a mistake letting them get away. Ibi is 6-4 with good length for a shooting guard, but let’s all collectively hope he took the year off to improve his jump shot, considering he shot just 39% from the field and 32% from 3 in ’17-18 (although that was a large jump from his freshman year where he was 1-18 from 3). One thing that Ibi will bring with him is big game experience. He has seen the biggest stage of college basketball and that kind of experience (even if it was mostly on the bench) for a team who has little to none is vital if Dayton is going to take a leap. He is also the only transfer who has a halfway decent high school mixtape on Youtube. Ibi will be wearing the sacred #2 this season and have two years of eligibility remaining.
Rodney Chatman- Guard- Chattanooga
Chatman comes from a different cloth than Watson. He started every game his final season at Chattanooga averaging 13.3 points, 4.5 assists, and 4.1 rebounds per game with 45/33/79 shooting splits. Chatman will bring the most experience of actually playing the game among the new faces, and if certain sources are to be believed, could be cracking the starting lineup this season. Current UMass coach, Matt McCall, recruited Chatman to Chattanooga, and when he left for Amherst Chatman knew he was going to be out the door as well as Chatman’s Dad, Rodney Chatman Jr. Pops played for USC in the 90’s and has been on record saying McCall was “his guy”, which should also tell you something about how reluctant young college basketball players are to go to fucking Amherst, MA. It only took one visit to the bucolic UD campus for Chatman to commit to the Flyers, and he will bring along much needed depth for the back court this season. He will wear #0 to ensure Josh Cunningham is immediately forgotten, and have two years of eligibility.
Jordy Tshimanga- Center- Nebraska
Jordy is looking to be the man in the middle for the Flyers this season. He played in 62 games with 27 starts in his two seasons at Nebraska. In 2017-18, he had 18 starts in his 31 games played and averaged 4.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 13.6 minutes per game even though he played through a minor knee injury. The big man measures out at 6′ 11″ 268 lbs. so he will definitely be holding down the paint for much of the Flyers season this year. From the film I have watched he seems to have fluid post moves and is a load down there. His lateral quickness leaves a bit to be desired but the word from camp is that he has slimmed down since his Nebraska days and is beginning to get quicker which is ideal. The Montreal native was a four-star selection by Scout.com and was rated as the No. 150 prospect in the senior class by Rivals.com. ESPN.com rated him as the third-best prospect in the state of Massachusetts in 2016. He represented Canada in the 2014 NIKE Global Challenge and played in the Under Armour All-America camp in 2015. I am looking for big things from the big man this season. He will wear #32 and will also have two years of eligibility.
Chase Johnson- Forward- Florida
Rounding out the list of transfers is Chase Johnson from Florida. A four star recruit out of high school who battled injuries in his years as a Gator. He only appeared in 6 games in 2 years at Florida so he comes to Dayton with not a lot of game tape to be seen. Johnson played his high school ball for prep school power Huntington Prep in West Virginia who boast alumni the likes of Andrew Wiggins and Miles Bridges, who now play in the NBA. Johnson brings some great athleticism and feel for the game, but will have to get his body back into game shape seeing as he saw little to no action in Florida (which it looks like he’s done given what we’ve seen on social media from the summer weight room). If Chase can get back into game shape, avoid injury, and buy into the program, Grant could have potentially found a true diamond in the rough. Johnson is the only member of this group who will have 3 years of eligibility left and will wear #40.
So there you have it. A nice, little guide to who will be joining the Flyer fellas this upcoming season. We are in the dog days of summer, which means Football is right around the corner to provide a nice distraction until the Flyers open with Larry Bird State to open up the newly finished arena in November. Our HOPE is that we can bring you some piece of content once a week until the season starts. That’s the hope, that’s all I’m saying.
If you haven’t listened to our summer casts yet and you’re reading this article, what the hell are you doing? Interviews with Gruden/Bonsu, Bobby Wehrli and Kyle Davis are up on Soundcloud, Spotify and iTunes, as well as our most recent conversation about scheduling.
Wear red, remain LOWD.