The University of Dayton basketball team has lost three more players, including 6-foot-10 redshirt freshmen Kostas Antetokounmpo, who has already withdrawn from school.
Junior point guard John Crosby and 6-foot-11 freshman Jordan Pierce also requested and were granted their release from the program so they could transfer elsewhere. The trio — whose departure was revealed Thursday afternoon by Coach Anthony Grant — follows the exit of two other players, Xeyrius Williams and Matej Svoboda, since the Flyers ended their 14-17 season two weeks ago after losing to VCU 77-72 in the second round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament in Washington D.C.
Antetokounmpo and Svoboda will pursue professional careers, according to a Dayton press release.
Last weekend 6-foot-9 Xeyrius Williams announced he was leaving the program and earlier this week 6-foot-7 freshman Matej Svoboda informed Grant he was electing to pursue a pro career back home in the Czech Republic.
“I tell guys this all the time when we are recruiting, ‘What we do is not for everybody,’” said Grant who took over the job vacated by Archie Miller last spring. “I tell them, ‘Here’s what we’re going to be about and here’s the way we’re going to do it.’ It doesn’t make you a bad person (to disagree.) It’s just we have to understand the commitment it takes, the sacrifice it takes to be able to accomplish the things we’re trying to accomplish ... without any guarantees.”
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Antetokounmpo, whose brother Giannis is an NBA star with the Milwaukee Bucks and last fall signed a $100 million contract, played in 29 games this season and had six starts. He averaged 5.2 points and 2.9 rebounds a game, but showed real promise near the end of the season. He scored a season high 14 points in the regular season finale against George Washington.
Crosby, who played in 26 games this past season with nine starts, had seen his playing time evaporate by year’s end as freshman Jalen Crutcher established himself as the starting point guard. Crosby, who played in 90 games during his UD career, had gotten his release after last season, too, but then returned to the team. Pierce played in just two games and did not score. Dayton now has five scholarships open for the 2018-19 season.