Dayton double: Flyers’ Toppin, Grant claim AP top honors

By | March 24, 2020

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Obi Toppin and Anthony Grant spent the season reworking Dayton from an unranked group that wasn’t even picked to steal its convention into one amongst the nation’s excellent, total with the most wins in program historic previous.

The pair gradual the Flyers’ noteworthy upward push claimed The Associated Press’ top particular person honors: Toppin is the males’s college basketball participant of the three hundred and sixty five days and Grant is the coach of the three hundred and sixty five days.

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“Our group is terribly appreciative of what we achieved,” Toppin told the AP, “appropriate because we made historic previous at our school.”

Certainly. Dayton (29-2) went from being picked to cease third within the Atlantic 10 to No. 3 within the closing Prime 25 ballot, matching the program’s excellent ballotcease, first set of dwelling in 1956. The Flyers went unbeaten in league play and in road video games, leaving them positioned to claim a No. 1 seed within the NCAA Match that used to be canceled amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

Now Dayton has its first winners of the AP’s top awards, becoming a member of St. Joseph’s in 2004 (with Jameer Nelson and coach Phil Martelli) as the suitable capabilities within the previous 40 seasons to claim every within the identical three hundred and sixty five days.

“Within the 31 video games that we performed, our guys did a heck of a job of playing consistent and taking attend of the opportunities that had been in entrance of us,” Grant said. “What we did place within the shortened season is something I beget that confidently will be remembered.”

The 6-foot-9, 220-pound Toppin followed his unanimous selection to the AP All-The US first group by showing on 34 of 65 ballots from Prime 25 voters, who submitted ballots after the cancellation of the NCAA Match.

Iowa junior Luka Garza used to be 2nd within the balloting, earning 24 votes after averaging 23.9 capabilities and 9.8 rebounds for the Hawkeyes. Fellow All-Americans Markus Howard of Marquette, Payton Pritchard of Oregon and Udoka Azubuike of Kansas split the closing votes.

It wasn’t that approach encourage that Toppin used to be a 6-foot-2 excessive school junior who had by no plot dunked in a sport and then a senior lacking any Division I scholarship provides, sending him to prep school sooner than ending up at Dayton. However he has blossomed as a redshirt sophomore into an ambiance pleasant scorer who made traditional appearances on TV spotlight-reels with excessive-flying dunks.

He averaged 20 capabilities and 7.5 rebounds while shooting 63% from the discipline and 39% from 3-level differ, main a season-prolonged surge by the Flyers that rallied a group shaken by devastating tornadoes and a deadly mass shooting within the previous three hundred and sixty five days.

Dayton grabbed national consideration early, taking Kansas to previous traditional time in a loss within the Maui Invitational championship sport. Their excellent other loss got right here in December on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in previous traditional time in opposition to Colorado. The Flyers had won 20 straight video games when the season ended.

“Of route, at the same time as you had requested me, I hiss shall we’ve won a national championship and our group used to be so prepared to play within the tournament,” Toppin said. “We had been so locked in. However due to the this virus, things took glean 22 situation. It’s appropriate going to be a what-if for the the relaxation of our lives, but it and not using a doubt’s something we’re going to want to are living with.”

Grant earned 30 of 65 votes to claim the AP teaching award in his third season at his alma mater. Baylor’s Scott Drew, who guided the Bears to a 23-sport winning poke and five weeks at No. 1, used to be 2nd with 13 votes.

San Diego Insist’s Brian Dutcher used to be third with 12 votes after main the Aztecs to a 26-0 commence up, followed by Florida Insist’s Leonard Hamilton – who earned six votes after main the Seminoles to their first-ever Atlantic Soar Conference traditional-season title.

Grant, a aged Dayton participant, said he has one of the significant crucial identical what-if tips as his superstar participant. Aloof, he said he prefers to be overjoyed about “a favorable group” that deftly handled the added consideration and strain that got right here instant amid the Flyers’ regular climb up the rankings.

“I believed our guys’ capacity to total eager on the things they would possibly maybe well perhaps retain watch over the truth is told the legend of our three hundred and sixty five days,” Grant said. “I beget from the origin of the three hundred and sixty five days to the highest, there used to be a consistency that our guys performed with, which as a coach makes me the truth is proud.”