A Dayton Flyers roster short on height in the spring after the departures of Kostas Antetokounmpo and Jordan Pierce won’t lack size in the 2019-20 season.
Nebraska transfer Jordy Tshimanga, who’s 6-foot-11, will debut for Dayton a year from now after sitting out this season, and the newest UD recruit, the first player from the class of 2019 to pick the Flyers, is almost as big. His name is Moulaye Sissoko.
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Sissoko is a 6-10 center from Mali in West Africa. He moved to the United States in the 2016-17 school year to pursue his basketball dream, first playing as a sophomore at Central Park Christian in Birmingham, Ala., before finding a home for his final two years of high school at Lincoln Academy in Suwanee, Ga.
Sissoko, a three-star recruit who ranks 306th in the 2019 class, according to 247Sports.com, announced his verbal commitment to Dayton on Monday. He thanked all the teams and coaches that recruited him in a Twitter post announcing his commitment.
“I just want to let you guys know that I’m taking my talents to the University of Dayton,” he wrote. “I think it is a better fit for me.”
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Lincoln Academy coach Bryan Lippman described Sissoko as a solid low-post scorer who’s further developing his skill set.
“He can score on the blocks,” Lippman said. “He can rebound. He’s a phenomenal athlete. He runs the floor like a deer. He’s as strong as an ox. The ability to do a lot of those things translates well for a freshman. He’s developing his shot a little better. He’s developing his handle a little bit better. His best basketball is still way ahead of him, but he’s a darn-good player now.”
Sissoko took two official visits: to Dayton and Virginia Commonwealth. He was on Dayton’s campus the last weekend of September, Lippman said. Numerous other schools recruited him.
“It was Dayton, VCU, Auburn,” Lippman said. “Georgia was interested in him. Arkansas got in there a little bit late and was trying to recruit him, and Wake Forest was trying to recruit him.”
Ricardo Greer was the Dayton assistant coach most involved with recruiting Sissoko, Lippman said, but Donnie Jones also played a part. Lippman called it a team effort.
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Lippman’s familiarity with head coach Anthony Grant, who Lippman said he has known his whole life, as well as Jones and assistant coach Darren Hertz helped Sissoko feel comfortable.
“It was a great fit for him between Anthony’s ability and track record of developing bigs,” Lippman said. “It was a good fit when it came to the program. He felt really comfortable with Ricardo. He felt comfortable in their style, that it was going to help him the best. He liked the direction of the program. He liked the academics. They made him feel comfortable. I think my familiarity with them as well was something he was comfortable with and might have pushed it over the top a little bit.”
NOTES: Sissoko will be the fourth African-born player to wear a Dayton uniform, following: Makur Shayok, of Sudan (1990-92); Maurice Beyina, of Central African Republic (1993-97); and Stephen Bamigbola, of Nigeria (1997-2000). … Sissoko fills one of two scholarships open in 2019 for Dayton. The Flyers left one open for 2018 and have another one opening with the departure of redshirt senior forward Josh Cunningham, the only senior on scholarship this season, after the 2018-19 season.
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