Embry-Riddle's Romeo Crouch, Eli Jenkins leading basketball team on another Cinderella run

·2 min read

DAYTONA BEACH — The Embry-Riddle basketball team had to wait nearly 18 months to play an actual game thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, but, so far, this season has been worth the wait.

At 13-4, the Eagles' combination of experience and hunger appears to have them on the path back to the NCAA Division II tournament. The last time ERAU made it to the dance, in 2020, all games were canceled due to the onset of the pandemic.

Behind this latest Cinderella run is a pair of senior guards, Romeo Crouch and Elijah Jenkins, who lead the team in scoring.

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Senior guard Romeo Crouch (1) leads the Eagles in scoring (19.3 ppg) and assists (85) this season.
Senior guard Romeo Crouch (1) leads the Eagles in scoring (19.3 ppg) and assists (85) this season.

Confidence ... not ego

What has been the key behind Crouch and Jenkins' success this year?

Simply believing they are the best in the conference while, at the same time, understanding there's room to grow.

"I do believe now I am one of the top guards around," Crouch said. "But that is not me being overly cocky. From my freshman year I worked on being in this position and it is paying off."

The Titusville native transferred to ERAU after two seasons at Presbyterian College, where he played all 68 games beginning as a true freshman.

When he came to Daytona, head coach Steve Ridder asked Crouch to be the team's point guard — a position he wasn't familiar with..

"Through my whole career I had never been asked to be in that point guard role," he said. "It scared me, but also humbled me."

Now in his final year, Crouch is leading the team in points per game (19.3) and assists (85).

All in for 2021-22

Both Crouch and Jenkins are making their goals for this season clear.

"We have the immense talent to make it our year," Jenkins said. "This group is not only set with a lot of playmakers, but experienced upperclassman to get the job done."

Jenkins has been the glue that holds the unit together.

Possibly going down as one of the best players program history, Jenkins holds school records for points in a single game (44), is sixth in three-pointers made (249) and 28th in points (1,039).

"I'm grateful for every minute, game, experience, record, trophy I've had in my time here," he said. "Truly, it's one of those great experiences I won't forget."

This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: NCAA basketball: Embry-Riddle men barreling toward Division II tournament

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