Dayton season preview: UD roster again full of international talent

Dayton has had a diverse roster throughout Anthony Grant’s six seasons

EDITOR’S NOTE: David Jablonski is counting down to the Dayton men’s basketball season opener on Nov. 7 with 25 pieces (one every day until Nov. 7) previewing the 2022-23 season. This is the ninth story.

I first ranked the top international players in Dayton Flyers history in May of 2017 right after the program signed Matej Svoboda, who would be the first player from the Czech Republic to play for the UD men’s basketball program.

Since then, Dayton has continued to add international talent. It had players from five different countries on the roster last season, lost one of those players but added the first Division I player in college basketball history from Mongolia: Mike Sharavajamts.

Sharavajamts joins Toumani Camara (Belgium), Kobe Elvis (Canada), Richard Amaefule (England) and Mustapha Amzil (Finland) on the 2022-23 roster.

Here’s a look at the top scorers from other countries in UD history. The list includes players who grew up in other countries — not Chris Harris, for example, who was born in England but moved to the USA when he was 2 — but does not include the current Flyers.

1. Dyshawn Pierre, Whitby, Ont. (2012-16)

The 6-7 forward finished his career with 1,423 points points. He ranks 24th in school history in scoring.

Pierre played a big role in Dayton’s biggest victory in the Archie Miller era, hitting three free throws with 27 seconds left in the NCAA tournament victory over Ohio State to set the stage of Vee Sanford’s last-second shot.

“At the end of the day, I just remember the whole Elite Eight run all together,” Pierre said. “It was just a magical moment. A lot of people didn’t know how far we were going to make it or if we were even going to make the tournament. The three free throws, I don’t think about it, but it’s probably one the biggest moments of my basketball career.”

Pierre has enjoyed a successful career in Europe and has played for Fenerbahçe Beko in Turkey the last three seasons.

2. Makur Shayok, Khartoum, Sudan (1990-92)

The 6-8 center, whose first name was spelled Makor during his time in Dayton, scored 541 points in two seasons with the Flyers. He started playing basketball as a senior in high school in Sudan in part because of the success of Manute Bol, a native of Sudan then playing in the NBA. Shayok played two seasons at Alvin Community College in Texas before transferring to Dayton.

Shayok was the first foreign-born Dayton player in the modern era. He was married with two kids when he signed with the Flyers and had two more kids with his wife Helen by the time he finished his career at the age of 25.

3. Jordy Tshimanga, Montreal, Quebec (2018-20)

A 6-11 center who played two seasons at Nebraska, transferred to Dayton and then sat out the 2018-19 season as a transfer, Tshimanga scored 236 points in two seasons on the court. He was a key reserve for the 29-2 team of 2019-20. He averaged 6.7 points and 7.7 rebounds, both career highs, as a fifth-year senior a year later.

Tshimanga now plays for the Saskatchewan Rattlers in the Canadian Elite Basketball League.

4. Alex Gavrilovic, Strasbourg, France (2011-14)

The 6-9 center scored 198 points in three seasons at Dayton. He averaged 2.3 points in the Elite Eight season of 2013-14. He appeared in only one NCAA tournament game, seeing four minutes of action in the first half of the Sweet 16 game against Stanford.

Gavrilovic transferred to Towson for his final season. He averaged 5.4 points for Towson in the 2014-15 season.

5. Maurice Beyina, Bangui, Central African Republic (1993-97)

The 6-6 forward scored 183 points and appeared in 95 games in four seasons. He averaged 3.6 points as a senior.

Beyina was initially granted three seasons of eligibility by the NCAA when he signed with Dayton because he played in the Jabbo Kenner Summer League in Washington, D.C., in 1992. He appealed the NCAA’s decision and was allowed to play a fourth season. He was a 25-year-old senior in 1996-97.

6. Kostas Antetokounmpo, Athens, Greece (2016-18)

Antetokounmpo sat out his first season as an academic redshirt and scored 151 points in 29 games in his only season at Dayton. He left school after his redshirt freshman season and was the last player selected in the 2018 NBA Draft. He appeared in 22 games over three seasons in the NBA and won a ring with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020. He played in France last season and signed a two-way contract with the Chicago Bulls earlier this month.

7. Stephen Bamigbola, Lagos, Nigeria (1997-2000)

The 6-9 center scored 105 points in three seasons with Dayton. He came to the United States to play at Liberty University but had to sit out the 1995-96 season because of transcript problems. He transferred to Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Md., before arriving at UD in the 1997-98 season.

Bamigbola saw limited action in his first two seasons. He appeared in nine games as a senior and then was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team. He never played for the Flyers again.

8. Moulaye Sissoko, Bamako, Mali (2019-22)

The 6-9 center redshirted as a freshman in the 2019-20 season and then saw limited action in two seasons before transferring to North Texas in the spring of 2022. He scored 92 points in his Dayton career.

9. Marco Pikaar, Leiden, Holland (1992-96)

The 6-10 center scored 77 points in four seasons. Even though he saw limited action in 94 games, Pikaar enjoyed his time at UD.

“How many guys can say they got to play Division I basketball?” he said in 1995. “How many can say they used basketball to get a degree? And thanks to basketball, I’ve seen the world.”

10. Thiago Cordeiro, Pernambuco, Brazil (2007-08)

The 6-9 center played one season with Dayton. He scored 64 points, averaging 2.4 points in 27 games. He arrived at UD after two seasons at

Barton Community College in Kansas. He decided to transfer after one season with the Flyers. His minutes dwindled during the stretch run of the season.

“I wasn’t mad (at the coaches),” Cordeiro told the Dayton Daily News in 2008. “I was mad at myself only. I know how the coaches work and work with us. They want to get us ready to play. And I knew if I wasn’t playing, it was only my fault, it wasn’t their fault. I have nothing against anybody here. I really love all my teammates. And the support we get from the fans is incredible. My decision was completely based on my career. I really enjoyed my year here. I have a lot of good things to remember. The only reason I’m leaving is to get more playing time.”

Cordeiro played his final season at Division II Arkansas Tech in 2008-09 and ranked second on the team with 11.9 points per game.


DAYTON SEASON PREVIEW

Part 1: Fans dreaming big as always

Part 2: A-10 changes tournament format for first time in years

Part 3: A familiar face returns to A-10

Part 4: KenPom.com’s math likes the Flyers

Part 5: Three new walk-ons join roster

Part 6: Grant, Martin don’t look forward to coaching against each other

Part 7: Ranking difficult of non-conference opponents

Part 8: Free-throw percentage a stat to watch for Flyers

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