Flyers’ Toppin will enter NBA Draft

Sports

DAYTON – University of Dayton redshirt sophomore forward Obi Toppin announced today that he is signing with an agent and entering the NBA draft. He made the announcement via Twitter (otoppin1), adding “Thank you Flyer Nation. Love you always.”

Toppin is Dayton’s first consensus All-American and has already been named the Men’s College Player of the Year by the Associated Press, USBWA, The Athletic, USA Today, CBSsports.com, NBC Sports and Rivals. Sports Illustrated announced its Top 50 College Basketball Players for the 2019-20 season last week, and Toppin’s uniform number matched his ranking – “1.”

The Brooklyn native is a finalist for the Atlanta Tip-Off Club’s Citizen Naismith Trophy, is on the national ballot for the Los Angeles Athletic Club’s John R. Wooden Award, and is on the watch list the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Karl Malone Award.

Toppin is looking to become the fourth Flyer to be an NBA first round draft pick, following in the footsteps of John Horan in 1955 to the Ft. Wayne Pistons, and the Paxsons – Jim the father in 1956 to the Minneapolis Lakers and Jim the son in 1979 to the Portland Trailblazers. The elder Jim Paxson was the third overall pick in the 1956 draft.

Toppin finished the year averaging 20.0 points and 7.5 rebounds a game, and shooting .633 (245-387) from the field, .390 (32-82) from 3-pt. range and .702 (99-141) from the line. According to Synergy Basketball, Toppin led the nation with 1.20 points per possession while he was on the floor.

He was the only player in the country who averaged 20.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and shot over 60% from the field. He also had the best field goal percentage in the last five years of any Division I player who averaged 20 points a game.

One of the most efficient players in the nation, Toppin averaged 20.0 points a game, while taking just 12.5 field goal attempts per game. Despite not strictly playing in the post, his 167 “close-in” 2-pt. FG’s were 30 more than anyone else in the nation.

Toppin led the A-10 in FG% (.633, 245-387), and was second in scoring (20.0). He was the only player in the conference to be listed in both the top ten in FG% and 3-pt. FG% (8th, .390, 32-82). He was also fifth nationally in field goal percentage, even though he took more than double the number of three-pointers the rest of the top 10 combined.

The athletic high Flyer also led the nation in dunks (107).

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