Within the past week Dayton announced that forwards Xeyrius Williams and Matej Svoboda were leaving the program. Today it became official that John Crosby, Jordan Pierce, and Kostas Antetokounmpo will be transferring as well. While the departing of five players never sounds good, it could turn out to be a blessing for the Dayton Flyers. A lot of changes are destined to be made throughout this offseason, but lets break down the state of the Flyers as it is right now.
Although Williams was a key player for Dayton in the 2016-17 season, he hardly saw the floor last year. Struggling defensively and unable to create his own shots, Williams certainly regressed this past season. As for Svoboda and Pierce, they both saw very little action all year and did not show any improvement as the season progressed. Upperclassman John Crosby began the year as Dayton’s starting point guard, but quickly lost his spot to freshman star Jalen Crutcher. Crosby’s minutes per game decreased to virtually nothing as the season wore on.
Finally, Kostas Antetokounmpo, the final player leaving Dayton, had all the hype coming in. The younger brother of NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kostas’ college career got off to a rather slow start. Nevertheless, the raw but talented Antetokounmpo started to show flashes of promise as the season came to a close. While Dayton would like to have Antetokounmpo back for another year, he has decided to enter the 2018 NBA Draft and pursue a career in professional basketball.
Now that we’ve talked about who Dayton has lost, lets discuss who the Flyers will add. Redshirt junior forward Ryan Mikesell will return after sitting out all of last season with an injury. Redshirt freshman Obadiah Toppin will also have an opportunity to see the court for the Flyers. Toppin is a 6’10” forward with a lot of athleticism. Dayton also brings in top 100 freshman Dwayne Cohill. Cohill is a 6’3″ combo guard out of Cleveland who will have a chance to be the Atlantic 10’s top freshman next season. Lastly, 6’6″ JUCO prospect Jhery Matos committed to the Flyers a few weeks back.
With five scholarships now open, Anthony Grant will hit the recruiting trail hard. While it remains unclear if his primary focus will be on high school recruits, JUCO prospects, or fifth-year graduate transfers, Flyer fans have every reason to feel confident in Grant’s recruiting. Grant has recruited extremely well throughout his years coaching in the college ranks. While the rebuild might take another year or two, Dayton has a solid core and a coach who knows how to bring in talent. 2017-18 might have been a rough year, but things are looking up for the Flyers.
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