Welcome to A10 Talk’s postseason Top 25 player countdown where we’ll be breaking down the best players in the Atlantic 10 this past year, as voted on by our staff. Each day, we’ll release a new article as we unveil our list. Today, we start with #3 Obi Toppin of Dayton.
What he did
It’s hard to overstate how important Obi Toppin was for the Dayton Flyers in 2018-19. The freshman had some preseason recognition for his athletic ability, but he was not a highly-touted recruit by any means. Fast forward 9 months, and Flyer fans are breathing a sigh of relief as Obi announces he won’t be staying in the 2019 NBA Draft. When you think of Obi, a lot of things come to mind. His elusiveness is one. For a big man, he’s incredibly versatile and maneuvers in the post with ease. While he hasn’t fully developed an outside shot, he can certainly operate from anywhere on the floor (and watch out, because Obi hit 11/21 (52.4%) of his threes as a freshman). Obi’s efficiency is another thing that comes to mind. Toppin led the conference in effective field goal percentage and was 6th in the entire nation. Of course, it’s easy to be efficient when you’re mostly playing above the rim. That brings me to my last point: Obi’s dunking. He is seriously one of the most exciting college basketball players to watch. Exhibit A is below.
— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) December 29, 2018
What he’ll do
Obi Toppin’s ceiling is sky-high (literally and figuratively). He’ll go into the 2019-20 season as Dayton’s best player, and it’s easy to forget that the Flyers are getting an influx of transfers who are ready to make an impact. I think Dayton has the means to be an NCAA Tournament team, and preseason predictions should have them on the “right side of the bubble,” though none of that matters until you start building a resume. The Flyers have more than enough talent to make a run in the Big Dance this year, and Obi Toppin will be the floor general as a sophomore. Seeing that Toppin got some NBA looks his freshman year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him drafted next season. If he explodes right out of the gates in November, Dayton fans better enjoy this next season with Toppin, because it might be his last one at Dayton.
Previously: #4 Cyril Langevine