Jalen Crutcher, an important part of the Flyers’ success in 2019-20, announced his decision to return to UD for his senior season. Photo courtesy of Flyer News.
Jalen Crutcher, University of Dayton men’s basketball point guard, announced Sunday, “Dear Dayton fans, I’m back,” in a post to Instagram, confirming his return for his senior season.
Crutcher, one of three Flyers to declare for the 2020 NBA Draft, kept things simple with just five words to announce his return to UD. Ibi Watson, senior guard, also announced his return earlier this summer, while likely lottery pick Obi Toppin has kept his name entered in the NBA Draft.
Early entrants have until Monday to remove their names from the draft and maintain their college eligibility. The draft lottery is scheduled to take place Aug. 25, with the draft scheduled for Oct. 16.
Crutcher, from Memphis, Tenn., was a vital piece of the Flyers’ success in their incredible 2019-20 run, where they posted a 29-2 overall record (perfect 18-0 in A10 play), before a likely No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament was thwarted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Not only did the pandemic wipe out the possibility for the Flyers to make a run at a national championship, the first in program history, but it also eliminated opportunities for draft-eligible players to try out for NBA teams.
Now, Crutcher will hope to recapture the success that made him a memorable figure at UD when he nailed a game-winning three-pointer on the road against Saint Louis to cement the Flyers’ early hold atop the A10 on January 17.
Averaging 15.1 points, 4.9 assists and 42 percent shooting from three-point range last year, the A10 First Team selection is an early favorite to be A10 Player of the Year in 2020-21.
In his three seasons at UD, in which he has started 85 of 94 games played, Crutcher has scored 1,170 points and ranks ninth in school history with 470 assists.
However, for Crutcher to build off of his success during his career at UD and make coming back worth it, a season will need to take place.
Although little has been said or confirmed about winter sports, the continued situation of and around the COVID-19 pandemic could throw a wrench into the Flyers’ (and the rest of college basketball’s) 2020-21 season.
During the 2019-20 season, Crutcher established himself as more than just a sidekick, and assuming this season takes place, he will have the chance to take the reigns and earn his place in next year’s NBA Draft and amongst UD basketball legends.