Flyers men’s basketball team loses 4 to transfer portal, NBA draft

Photo of Mustapha Amzil. Photo by Keegan Gupta, director of digital media & photography.

Max Cross | Sports Editor

Four of the 10 scholarship players on the Dayton Flyers men’s basketball team have now either entered the transfer portal or have chosen to enter the 2023 NBA Draft.

Richard Amaefule, a 6-foot-9 forward from London, England, entered his name into the transfer portal back on March 23. Amaefule committed to Dayton in April 2021 after one season at East Tennessee State and never found a solid amount of playing time. He sat out the 2021-2022 season as a medical redshirt but was healthy most of the season and throughout the spring until breaking his right foot in May.

Just days prior, Mustapha Amzil and R.J. Blakney both announced their decision to enter into the transfer portal. Blakney, a 6-foot-6 guard from Baltimore, and Amzil, a 6-10 forward from Finland, joined the roster in the 2020-21 season. Blakney was a member of the freshman recruiting class, which included Koby Brea and Luke Frazier, who arrived on campus that summer. Amzil joined the program later that year in December.

Blakney appeared in 82 games and started 58 in three seasons. He started 20 games in the 2022-23 season, averaging 6.5 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. During Dayton’s seven-game winning streak, Blakney averaged more than 30 minutes per game before missing four out of the next seven games.

Amzil’s decision to transfer came just one day before Blakney announced he was leaving. He is the 11th player recruited and signed by Grant and his staff to enter the transfer portal. This past season, Amzil ranked third on the team in scoring (9.3) and rebounds (4.8)

“The NBA is the ultimate goal,” Amzil said. “Everything I am doing is to help me in accomplishing that goal. I always like to bet on myself and do what I think is best for me personally.”

Amzil earned a permanent spot in the eyes of the Flyer Faithful by making a last-second shot to beat No.4 Kansas in the 2021 ESPN Events Invitational.

He debated entering the professional ranks this season, but ultimately decided to give college basketball another chance.

“I feel like college basketball still has something to give me still, and I think getting an education on top of that is really important,” Amzil said.

Days after Amaefule, Blakney and Amzil announced they are transferring, Dayton freshman Mike Sharvjamts announced he would be declaring for the NBA draft. The first Mongolian citizen to play Division I men’s basketball, Sharavjamts was the only freshman on Dayton’s roster last season.

He made the Atlantic 10 Conference All-Rookie team, averaging 5.6 points and 2.6 assists in 30 games. He started 20 games in the 2022-23 season.

Sharavjamts is the fourth player to leave Dayton since the season ended March 12 and the sixth player to leave since December.

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