Welcome to A10 Talk’s postseason Top 25 player countdown where we’ll be breaking down the best players in the Atlantic 10 this past year, as voted on by our staff. Each day, we’ll release a new article as we unveil our list. Today, we look at #17 Jalen Crutcher of Dayton.
What He Did
Starting in every game of the 2018-19 season, sophomore point guard Jalen Crutcher picked up right where he left off as a freshman. Averaging 36.5 minutes per game, the Memphis native certainly had his work cut out for him. Without a true back-up point guard, Crutcher was Dayton’s primary ball-handler throughout the season. Putting up a balanced 13.2 points, 5.7 assists, and 4.0 rebounds per game, the 6’1″ sophomore earned himself a spot on the A-10’s All-Conference Third Team. In a season which the Flyers struggled to hit shots from behind the arc, Crutcher provided a boost by shooting over 36% from three. Arguably Crutcher’s best performance of the season came in a 77-48 win over Rhode Island when he dropped 20 points to go along with four rebounds and four assists.
What He’ll Do
Entering his junior year, Jalen Crutcher will have something new available to him that was not present his first two seasons: legitimate point guard help. Chattanooga transfer Rodney Chatman will be eligible for Dayton after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. I expect Crutcher and Chatman (a redshirt junior) to battle for the starting point guard spot and split playing time fairly evenly throughout the year. With Chatman sharing point guard duties and sophomore guard Dwayne Cohill continuing to improve, Crutcher will see his minutes decrease in 2019-20. That said, I think his efficiency will increase as a result. No longer needing to play 35-40 minutes per night, Crutcher will be able to play with fresher legs. Fresher legs usually lead to more made shots and extra energy on defense.
All in all, Crutcher will continue to be a key player for Dayton next season. With a deep, talented bench finally available to the Flyers, I expect Crutcher to play around 25 minutes per game. As a result, I think his shooting percentages and assist/turnover ratio will continue to improve. I would not be surprised to see the junior point guard back on this list again next year. It should be a fun and exciting 2019-20 campaign for Crutcher and the Flyers.
Featured image via daytonflyers.com