Dayton forward Obi Toppin (Cover Photo) has turned into a star for the Flyers this season. Cover photo courtesy of Atticus Hughes.
Tuesday night, Dayton men’s basketball (21-2, 10-0) will face what could be its biggest test of the conference season when Rhode Island (18-5,10-1) comes to town.
The game has huge implications on the regular season – with a win, Rhode Island could jump Dayton for the top spot in the conference standings. For Dayton redshirt sophomore forward Obi Toppin, this game is exciting for more than one reason.
Obi’s brother, freshman forward Jacob Toppin will be suiting up for the Rams.
“Obviously, me playing against my brother is going to be amazing,” Toppin told the Dayton Daily News’ David Jablonski.
Obi wasn’t so cordial when asked what would happen if he saw Jacob in the paint.
“It’s going to be on SportsCenter.”
The trash talk has come from both ends. Jacob texted Obi after the Flyers most recent game against St. Louis.
“I’m gonna read exactly what he said,” Obi said, before realizing he couldn’t repeat some of the language in the text. “I didn’t know that word was in there, he just said ‘We up next.’”
Jacob also got a dig off when Nick Coit of ABC6 in Providence, Rhode Island asked him which of the brothers was a better dunker.
“I think we both know it’s me.”
The talk has started for @RhodyMBB vs. @DaytonMBB Tuesday & brother vs. brother, Obi Toppin vs. @Jtoppin21!— Nick Coit (@NCoitABC6) February 9, 2020
Obi to @DavidPJablonski if he sees Jacob in the paint: "It's gunna be Sportscenter."
But Jacob, to @ABC6, says he's the better dunker… ⬇️ #URI @A10MBB @roni_toppin pic.twitter.com/gqlfX0A6Hu
Even some of Obi’s Flyer teammates have gotten involved in the sibling rivalry.
“I went to New York with Obi over the summer, and (the game against Rhode Island) has been what we’ve been talking about since the summer,” junior guard Jalen Crutcher said. “We have got to get this win for Obi.”
On the court, the numbers are skewed in Obi’s favor. Obi, who was recently named on the watchlist for the John R. Wooden Award and a finalist for the Karl Malone Award, is averaging 19.6 points-per-game and 7.8 rebounds per game. Jacob is averaging 4.8 points-per-game and 4.1 rebounds per game.
Even with the disparity in the numbers, Jacob has been a key contributor off of Rhode Island’s bench. This is especially impressive given his status as a true freshman.
Tip-off between URI and UD will be at 7:30 at UD Arena. You can catch the game on CBS Sports Network.