Holmes will return to Dayton after withdrawing from NBA Draft

Forward announces decision three hours before deadline

Close to 1,600 people voted in a Twitter poll on Wednesday about the decision facing Dayton Flyers forward DaRon Holmes II.

Would he return to the Dayton Flyers for the 2023-24 season, or go pro? Sixty five percent predicted he would stay at UD.

On Wednesday night, about three hours before the deadline for underclassmen to make their decision, Holmes announced his choice: he withdrew his name from consideration for the NBA Draft and will return to UD for his junior season.

“Let’s get it Flyer Nation!!!” he wrote on Instagram.

Speaking to the Dayton Daily News on the phone from Arizona, DaRon’s dad, DaRon Holmes Sr. said, “We were getting mostly second-round grades, and DaRon thought he could do better. We got a lot of teams that really liked him, but at this point, this far ahead of the draft, he just didn’t get enough first-round buzz to really move him to say, ‘Let’s stay in the draft.’ Just talking about the plan for next year with the coaching staff, he felt he could accomplish some of the things the feedback said he needed to demonstrate. That’s what it came down to. It was what was the best place for the type of development and atmosphere DaRon wanted? Did he want to go ahead and take a contract and go through the G League process? Or did he feel let’s give it one more try at Dayton and have the results prove positive for him?”

Holmes, a 6-foot-10 sophomore forward from Goodyear, Ariz., went down to the wire with his decision because he still had workouts with NBA teams on Tuesday and Wednesday, though the Wednesday workout in Sacramento didn’t happen because his flight was cancelled, his dad said. He had another one scheduled for Thursday if he kept his name in the draft. He worked out for six or seven teams in all, his dad said, and would have had many more if he had stayed in the draft.

The draft takes place June 22. Underclassmen had until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday to withdraw their names from consideration from the draft and maintain their college eligibility. Dayton had two other players declare for the draft: Toumani Camara and Mike Sharavjamts, who also entered his name into the transfer portal in order to keep his options open at the college level.

Sharavjamts withdrew his name from the draft on Wednesday while releasing a list of five new schools he will consider: Indiana; Memphis; Nebraska; Pittsburgh; and San Francisco.

Holmes entered his name in the draft April 23 while maintaining his college eligibility. He was invited to the NBA Draft Combine and scored nine points in two games.

Holmes lived up to the hype in his freshman season. He was Dayton’s highest-ranked recruit this century and became the first true freshman in school history to lead the Flyers in scoring (12.8 points per game). He set the school record for blocks by a freshman in January and finished with 81.

Holmes joined Obi Toppin on the short list — two players long — of Flyers who have won the Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Year award and made the All-A-10 second team.

As a sophomore, Holmes averaged 18.4 points per game and 8.1 rebounds per game and made the A-10 first team and all-defensive team. He ranked second in the country with 89 dunks. He scored 32 points twice in a three-game stretch.

Through two seasons, Holmes ranks 42nd in school history with 1,073 points.

The decision by Holmes means Dayton has two open scholarships on the 2023-24 roster.

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