Dayton Flyers coach Anthony Grant addressed the fan base from his office at the Cronin Center on Thursday night after the team flew home from Brooklyn, N.Y, following the cancellation of the Atlantic 10 tournament.
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Dayton’s 29-2 season ended when the NCAA announced the cancellation of the its tournament Thursday afternoon. The official Dayton basketball Twitter account shared a video with Grant’s comments.
“Flyer Nation, on behalf of all of our players, our staff and everybody associated with Dayton Flyer basketball,” Grant said, “we just want to thank you guys for the opportunity to represent this campus, this community and a lot of special people over the course of the year. Certainly we sit here disappointed the season has ended in such abrupt fashion, but without a doubt, for our safety and the well being of our players, our staff and all of our supporters and family, we feel the right decision was made.
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“Although we feel there was more to accomplish over the course of the season, there’s nothing that can take away from what these young men did on the court over the course of the season. History was made in a lot of different areas. With the effort and the love for each other, they represented this university and community in an unbelievable fashion.”
Dayton sold out a record 14 games this season, and Grant thanked the fans for the “love and support” they showed on the road and at home and for making “this place what we always knew it was: one of the best environments in college basketball.”
Later in the night, Grant spoke on ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt Show.
“I would love to talk you under different circumstances,” Grant said, “but we all realize this is way bigger than basketball.”
The players received the news as they were preparing to watch the second-round game between Virginia Commonwealth and Massachusetts at noon Thursday. Earlier in the day, Grant had told them a cancellation was possible. He said there was a lot of emotion when it became official. He thanked the team for an “unbelievable year.”
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Van Pelt asked Grant about what his team’s potential would have been in March Madness.
“I think is unprecedented what we’re going through right now,” Grant said. “This team had a chance to do some special things. i’m going to try remember the accomplishments we did make over the course of the season, the legacy of our seniors and the entire time. You can go down the line: going 18-0 in A-10 play and winning the conference championship, winning 20 games in a row and being ranked third in the country to finish the regular season. Those are the things we’ll remember.”
A message from our leader, Coach Anthony Grant ❤️💙#JoinTheFight pic.twitter.com/hTxGqSqh8n— Dayton Basketball (@DaytonMBB) March 13, 2020
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