Three of the 10 scholarship players the Dayton Flyers had on their roster at the end of the 2022-23 season are now in the transfer portal.
Richard Amaefule, a 6-foot-9 forward from London, England, entered the portal on Thursday, according to VerbalCommits.com, which keeps track of transfers. He followed Mustapha Amzil, who announced his decision to transfer on Tuesday, and R.J. Blakney, who made the same announcement Wednesday. Those Flyers are three of more than 880 players in the portal, as of Thursday.
That means Dayton now has five open scholarships on the 2023-24 roster. There could be more depending on the decisions of other players. These are the seven remaining scholarship players: Toumani Camara; DaRon Holmes II; Malachi Smith; Koby Brea; Kobe Elvis; Mike Sharavjamts; and Zimi Nwokeji.
Dayton has one freshman in its 2023 recruiting class: Jaiun Simon, a 6-7 forward from Mableton, Ga.
Coaches have reached out to a number of transfers since the season ended on March 12 as they look to rebuild the roster entering coach Anthony Grant’s seventh season.
Amaefule committed to Dayton in April 2021 after one season at East Tennessee State and never found playing time. He sat out the 2021-22 season as a medical redshirt but was healthy most of the season and throughout the spring until breaking his right foot in May. He landed on another player’s foot while playing basketball at home in London.
“It was a setback,” Amaefule said last summer, “but we’ve been there before.”
Amaefule battled another injury issue — torn tendons and a fractured left ankle — earlier in his career. He was still recovering from that injury when he arrived at Dayton, and it’s why the coaches decided to redshirt him in his first season at UD.
“I think it first started my freshman year of high school,” he said. “I had the same thing that happened with this one. I was playing on it, but I didn’t realize the extent of it. Over a few years, it progressed and kept getting worse. My junior year, I went to see a doctor and he told me it was fractured. I sat out my senior year to rehab and came back and went to East Tennessee State and did little bit more work there and came here and decided it was best to redshirt and make sure everything was taken care of.”
Amaefule said last summer he hoped to be healthy by the time practices started, but he was still sidelined again when the season began and didn’t make his debut until the fourth game of the season when he came off the bench for two minutes in the second half on Nov. 15 in a 60-52 loss at UNLV.
Amaefule appeared in seven games and played a total of 23 minutes — 11 of which came during a 77-49 loss at Virginia Tech on Dec. 7. He missed his six field-goal attempts but finally got on the board in his final appearance Feb. 22 at Massachusetts by making 1 of 2 free throws.
Amaefule may have to sit out another season if he stays in Division I because he’ll be a two-time transfer. Players can transfer once without sitting out but will have to apply for a waiver to play right away if they transfer again.
According to a recent NCAA memo sent to schools, “an undergraduate transfer waiver will only be considered for student-athletes who transfer for reasons related to the student-athlete’s physical or mental health and well-being; due to exigent circumstances outside the student-athlete’s control (e.g., physical or sexual assault or discrimination based on a protected class); or assertions involving diagnosed education impacting disabilities.”
Waivers will be denied if the athlete is transferring because of a lack of playing time or a coaching change, for example.
Amaefule is the 13th player recruited and signed by Grant and his staff to enter the transfer portal. Here’s the list of those players, the dates they entered the portal and where they ended up:
• Frankie Policelli, April 10, 2018 (Stony Brook).
• Jhery Matos, March 30, 2018 (Charlotte).
• Luke Frazier, March 22, 2021 (Ohio/John Carroll)
• Dwayne Cohill, April 16, 2021 (Youngstown State)
• Rodney Chatman, March 23, 2021 (Vanderbilt).
• Lynn Greer III, Dec. 27, 2021 (Saint Joseph’s).
• Moulaye Sissoko, March 23, 2022 (North Texas)
•. Elijah Weaver, March 29, 2022 (Chicago State).
• Tyrone Baker, Dec. 19, 2022 (Florida SouthWestern State College).
• Kaleb Washington, Dec. 20, 2022 (has yet to commit to new school).
• Mustapha Amzil, March 21, 2023 (has yet to commit to new school).
• R.J. Blakney, March 22, 2023 (has yet to commit to new school).
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