Toppin named A10 player of the year, Grant coach of the year

Sports

Dayton’s Obi Toppin (1) passes the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against George Mason, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, in Fairfax, Va. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

Newport News, Virginia — University of Dayton sophomore forward Obi Toppin was named the Atlantic 10 Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Year in addition to being named to First Team All A-10. This makes Toppin the first men’s basketball player in school history to be named Player of the Year.

Toppin was not the only player to be recognized by the Atlantic 10 Conference as Jalen Crutcher was also named First Team All-Atlantic 10, the All-Conference First Team, Trey Landers was named to the Third Team and Ryan Mikesell was named All-Academic Team. 

Head coach Anthony Grant was voted A-10 Coach of the Year. The league announced its awards Tuesday in advance of the 2020 Men’s Basketball Championship, which begins Wednesday at Barclays Center.

The major awards, the three six-member All-Conference teams, All-Defensive and All-Rookie teams were all nominated and voted on by the conference’s 14 head coaches. The basketball communications directors select the five-member All-Academic team. The three All-Conference teams were increased this year to include six players on each team, reflecting the talent depth of a 14-team league.

Toppin, who is a finalist or semifinalist for several national player of the year honors, led Dayton to a perfect A-10 record and the Atlantic 10 regular season title. He averaged 20.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game in league play, while shooting 64.4 percent from the field in conference and 63.3 percent overall, which ranks fifth nationally. Toppin, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native, returns home to lead the top-seeded Flyers into the A-10 Championship.  Earlier in the day Toppin was also named USBWA All-District V.  Dayton’s district includes Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.

Junior guard Jalen Crutcher from Memphis, Tenn. averaged 16.5 points per game in A-10 action this season and averaged 4.8 assists. Crutcher was also awarded earlier this week as a co-winner of the UD White Allen MVP Award alongside roommate, Obi Toppin.

Senior guard Trey Landers from Dayton averaged 10.9 in total points and 7.9 in rebounds—the most on the team—in A-10 play this season.   Fifth-year grad student forward Ryan Mikesell from St. Henry, Ohio was named All-Academic for the second consecutive year.  

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