Dayton loses third-year center to transfer portal

Moulaye Sissoko scored eight points in each of Dayton’s last two games

Dayton Flyers forward Moulaye Sissoko entered the transfer portal late Wednesday night.

The Twitter account, which posts an update on every player who enters the portal, announced the Sissoko news, and Sissoko and teammate Mustapha Amzil shared the Tweet. As of early Thursday, there were 717 players in the portal, according to the Verbal Commits list.

“Good luck to my brother,” Amzil wrote. “Great teammate and person.”

Sissoko has three seasons of eligibility remaining. His decision means Dayton has one of 13 scholarships open for the 2022-23 season. It gives coach Anthony Grant and his staff the option of adding to a 2022 recruiting class that, at the moment, has one member: 6-foot-7 forward Mike Sharavjamts, of Mongolia and the International Sports Academy in Willoughby, Ohio.

A 6-foot-9 center from Mali, Sissoko spent three years at the University of Dayton. Dayton offered him a scholarship in June of 2018. He committed to the program that October. At that time, he was three-star recruit who ranked 306th in the 2019 class, according to He had offers from Mississippi State, Penn State and South Carolina among others. He was playing at Lincoln Academy in Suwanee, Ga.

Sissoko was the only member of the 2019 recruiting class when he arrived on campus. He had 12 points and nine rebounds in an exhibition game against Cedarville but then did not see action in the season opener against Indiana State. Two days after that game, UD announced he would redshirt that season.

“We’re excited about Moulaye’s potential,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said in a press release at that time. “This redshirt season will allow him to continue to develop and grow athletically and academically. He will be with us every day, and that experience will benefit him greatly in terms of his basketball future.”

Sissoko sat on the bench throughout the 2019-20 season as Dayton won 29 games but practiced all season. He gained attention that season on social media. After every victory late in the season, one of UD’s digital content creators Jon Asher or A.J. Schraffenberger would film Sissoko saying, “We got the dub!”

Sissoko finally made his college debut in the first game of the 2020-21 season, which was delayed until Dec. 1 because of COVID-19 cancellations. He had two points in 11 minutes in a 66-63 victory against Eastern Illinois.

“I think having a chance to experience college basketball last year certainly helped him,” Grant said at the time. “Everybody’s different in terms of how they take advantage of that year in terms of learning what it takes to play college basketball. I think his familiarity with our system and terminology will help. Mou’s a guy that was here in the states for three years. The language and style of play, all that stuff was new to him — both academically and athletically.”

Sissoko appeared in 14 games in the 2020-21 season, averaging 1.4 points and 2.7 rebounds in 9.6 minutes per game. He did not play after Jan. 30 because of a knee injury and underwent season-ending surgery in late February.

“We wanted to give him every opportunity to see if he could get himself back,” Grant said. “After a few weeks, it became apparent this was the best course of action. Now it’s about moving forward and getting him rehabilitated and back healthy and doing what he loves to do.”

Sissoko entered the 2021-22 season healthy and played well when he got chances. He appeared in 30 of 35 games and averaged 7.0 minutes per game. He averaged 2.4 points and 2.0 rebounds. He had a career-high 12 points against Austin Peay in November and scored eight points in each of Dayton’s National Invitation Tournament games against Toledo and Vanderbilt, making 8 of 9 shots.

“As a team player, you’ve got to know your role and what the coaches are asking you to do,” Sissoko said in January. “You’ve got to be able to stay ready. Every time I get on the court, I’m just trying to impact winning, whether it’s by grabbing rebounds or playing defense or pick-and-roll coverages.”

Teammate Toumani Camara called Sissoko a hard worker.

“He sticks to what he does,” Camara said. “He doesn’t go out of character. His competitiveness is huge. He’s my roommate, so he’s like a brother to me. I mean everyone’s like a brother to me, but I’m really close to him. It’s been hard for him because he didn’t play much lately, and every time, I try to keep him motivated. He’s been doing a great job, and that makes me happy so much to see him play and be able to play hard every time and get some minutes and get some results out of it.”

Sissoko is the 11th Dayton player to enter the portal since the end of the 2017-18 season. Here’s who preceded him: John Crosby (Delaware State); Xeyrius Williams (Akron); Jordan Pierce (Tennessee-Martin); Frankie Policelli (Stony Brook); Jordan Davis (Middle Tennessee State/Jacksonville); Jhery Matos (Charlotte); Rodney Chatman (Vanderbilt); Dwayne Cohill (Youngstown State); Luke Frazier (Ohio); and Lynn Greer III (Saint Joseph’s).

As a first-time transfer, Sissoko can play right away at his next school without sitting out a season.

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