Three Under-The-Radar A-10 Freshman in 2018

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1. Obadiah Toppin — Dayton

After redshirting last season, Obadiah Toppin is finally ready to get his basketball career started at Dayton. Growing another two inches since the start of the 2017 season, the now 6’10” redshirt freshman will be the Flyers’ tallest player this year. Toppin entered his junior year of high school as a 6’3″ guard. Thanks to a major growth spirt, however, he has blossomed into a highly athletic forward. While Toppin (who somehow did not recieve any scholarship offers) might not have garnered the same attention coming out of high school as fellow Flyer freshman Dwayne Cohill (an ESPN top 100 recruit), he certainly gained national exposure over the summer. A video of Dayton’s freshman big man playing pick-up hoops against Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, C.J. McCollum, and other NBA players went absolutely viral in mid-August.

For a freshman who received ZERO scholarship offers coming out of high school but found his way into a basketball scholarship at Dayton, Toppin is already making a name for himself. If balling out in a scrimmage against NBA players is any indication of what Obadiah Toppin will do as a Flyer, then the A-10 and rest of college basketball better watch out.

2. Samba Diallo — UMass

Arguably the most versatile freshman in the A-10 this season, Samba Diallo could bring a lot to the UMass Minutemen. Despite not being ranked in any national top 100 lists, Diallo could certainly turn into one of the best players in this class. A 6’7″ Small Forward from Sparta, New Jersey, Diallo played his high school ball at Pope John XXIII. He chose UMass over VCU, Hofstra, Saint. Bonaventure, and Saint Joseph’s. The ability to handle the ball and play in the paint gives Diallo and the Minutemen unique versatility. With highly talented guard Luwane Pipkins entering his junior season, UMass could have quite the one-two combo for a couple years to come. 

3. Gavin Bizeau — Duquesne

A 6’11” freshman out of Plainsfield, New Jersey, Gavin Bizeau has the chance to become a star big man at Duquesne. Despite being ranked as a four-star recruit by ESPN, Bizeau has not been getting a lot of buzz around the Atlantic 10. In fact, Duquesne has not been getting a lot of buzz in general. Nevertheless, that could all change quite soon. With Keith Dambrot beginning his second year as head coach, the Dukes future is finally looking bright. Last season Duquesne finished the season with a 16-16 record, which, for the Dukes, was a nice improvement from years past. The addition of a tall, skilled player like Bizeau could bring a lot to Duquesne. While the lanky freshman will need to gain some muscle, his future as a Duke is certainly bright.

 

Featured Image Via David Jablonski/DaytonDailyNews

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About Author

Grant Kelly is a high school senior from Springboro, Ohio. He's been going to Dayton games since birth and has covered A-10 basketball for the past two seasons. Grant also writes for FlyerFaithful.com and helps cover Ohio State football for BuckeyesNews.com. You can follow him on Twitter @GrantKelly07

2 Comments

  1. With all the new guys coming in at St. Bonaventure, including the all-time leading scorer in WNY HS history, not one of them made this list?? Good grief..

  2. Elite taylor, maybe the Bonnies guys aren’t considered “under the radar”? I’ll put in the good word for Fordham’s Nick Honor, who has a higher 247 composite rank than Toppin (who appears to be a late bloomer) or Bizeau, and a higher ESPN rank than Diallo.

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