Everyone wondering why four walk-ons entered the game before freshman Frankie Policelli on Saturday in Dayton’s 76-46 victory against Coppin State at UD Arena now has an answer.
Dayton coach Anthony Grant said after the game Policelli, a 6-foot-7 forward from New Hartford, N.Y., and Long Island Lutheran High School, will redshirt this season. That leaves the Flyers with eight scholarship players for the season.
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“We talked a few days ago, and I think right now for Frankie, the decision has been made we’re going to redshirt him this year,” Grant said. “Just from a developmental standpoint, he needs that. I think that’ll be the best thing for him. The thing I talked to him about is the opportunity for him to use this year very similarly to what Obi (Toppin) did last year from a physical and mental standpoint to continue to grow and develop. He’s 18 years old. His upside is tremendous. The thing I talked to him about is myself and our staff believe he has the chance to be a really good player for us. We feel he needs the year.”
Policelli signed with Dayton in April. He was the first recruit to join the program after the departure of five players in March. He averaged 12.2 points and 6.0 rebounds per game as a senior.
Grant described the redshirt decision as a difficult one.
“At the end of the day, it’s the best thing for Frankie in terms of his long-term future and the opportunities he has,” Grant said. “I think he’s going to be a really good player. This year will benefit him. He’ll travel. He’ll practice. He’ll go through everything outside of playing in the games. That’s the decision we’ve reached together.”