It’s currently the busiest time of the college basketball season, and before March Madness gets into full swing, let’s take a final look at how Dayton men’s basketball fared during the regular season.
Atlantic 10 individual awards were announced earlier this week, and several Flyers were amongst those recognized.
Forward Obi Toppin was the name most prominently featured in the awards. The high-flying redshirt freshman spent a lot of the year off the bench, impressing as Dayton’s sixth man, and he continued to thrive later in the year when inserted into the starting lineup. Toppin finished the season as UD’s top scorer (14.4 points-per-game). Toppin was not only named A-10 Rookie of the Year but was the first rookie to be named First Team All A-10 in 20 years (the last was Rhode Island’s Lamar Odom in 1998-99).
Senior forward Josh Cunningham and sophomore guard Jalen Crutcher were both named to the Third Team All A-10 for their strong play this season. Cunningham is the team’s second-top scorer (13.8 points-per-game) and rebounder (6.4 rebounds-per-game). Crutcher is UD’s third-top scorer (13.0 points-per-game) and is second in the A-10 for assists (5.7 assists-per-game).
Finally, junior forward Ryan Mikesell was named Academic All A-10. In order to qualify for Academic A-10 a player must be a starter or important role-player with a minimum grade point average of 3.0.
With awards given out, and the regular season over, it’s time to turn our attention to the A-10 tournament and beyond.
Dayton is the three seed in the A-10 tournament, behind only Davidson and VCU. Dayton proved throughout the regular season that they could compete with any team in the division and even the country. Unfortunately, they also proved to have trouble closing games against weaker competition.
Dayton’s first game will take place Friday night against the winner of Richmond and Saint Louis. SLU is the higher seed, and assuming they win, it’s not a guaranteed win for Dayton. UD split their two games with the Billikens during the regular season.
Currently, Dayton has a chance of making the NCAA tournament, but it’s not very high unless they win the A-10 tournament. It just depends which side of the inconsistent Flyers we see this weekend.
All tournament games can be watched on NBCSN or or CBSSN. If Dayton makes it to the championship game, it will be aired on CBS Sports at 1 P.M. on Sunday.