Dayton’s frontcourt depth took a hit on Monday, as freshman Kostas Antetokounmpo was ruled ineligible for the 2016-17 season.
Dayton freshman Kostas Antetokounmpo has been ruled a partial qualifier by the NCAA, per release. Will redshirt this season.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) October 2, 2016
Archie Miller must replace forward Dyshawn Pierre, who scored 12.6 points per game and led the team in rebounding (8.5 per game) during his senior year. Promising center Steve McElvene tragically passed away from an undiagnosed cardiac issue in May.
Antetokounmpo’s absence may be especially felt early, as senior forward and returning starter Kendall Pollard has yet to do full contact work after offseason wrist and knee surgeries. This puts pressure on Bradley transfer Josh Cunningham, as well as sophomores Ryan Mikesell, Sam Miller and Xeyrius Williams. It wouldn’t have been a surprise if Antetokounmpo had found himself among that front court mix.
The 6’10 forward is the younger brother of Milwaukee Bucks length monster Giannis Antetokounmpo, and will still have four years of eligibility to cash in on his talent and pedigree. The four-star 247sports recruit also had interest from St. John’s, Florida, Louisville, and Iowa State.
Antetokounmpo can begin practicing with the team during the second semester, and the redshirt year could have a silver lining. He talked to SNY.tv in April about lessons he’s learned from his older brother:
"The only thing he taught me is that you need to wait until your body is all the way developed before you start lifting weights," he said. "I'm still lifting, but I don't even know if I've stopped growing yet."
A stronger Antetokounmpo would be one of the more anticipated 2017-18 A-10 newcomers. But in the present, he’s one less option for Miller as tries to piece together his frontcourt.