Although the date for the 2020 NBA Draft has been altered more than once, Obi Toppin’s stock has remained anchored at the top of the order. Photo courtesy of Griffin Quinn, Flyer News.
Sports Staff Writer
All eyes are on the upcoming NBA Draft now that the 2020 NBA season has come to an end. With the draft closing in, this year’s potential lottery picks have been under a microscope and will continue to be until Nov. 18, when their names are called and their lives are changed.
Dayton’s gem, Obi Toppin, already set the basketball world ablaze when he went off for a historic 2019-20 season. The All-American and National Player of the Year surpassed UD records and starred as the nation’s most electric players, but now has his sights set on making a splash in the league.
During his redshirt-sophomore year as a Flyer, he led the team in both points and rebounds. More impressively, he was one of the NCAA’s most efficient players. Toppin ended the year in the top-10 of both field goal percentage and total field goals made. His 64.7 percent shooting from the field puts him in rare company, as he now holds a place in the top-10 field goal percentage leaders that have played in the NCAA since 1992.
Toppin’s incredible productivity isn’t the only thing that makes him so sought after. The way in which he does it – uber-athletic plays and absurd dunks – causes him to be so eye-catching. He could even participate in this year’s NBA dunk contest, seeing that it is a popular choice for rookies to make their presence known. Current and former stars have also participated in the contest as rookies, and a few notable players who won it in their debut season are Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin and Donovan Mitchell.
Since the abrupt conclusion of the 2019-20 college basketball season, Toppin has sat in a comfortable position on draft boards. This year’s field is less concrete than its predecessors, but the notion that Toppin is a lottery pick has remained constant.
Whoever drafts Obi will be involuntarily drafting the entire Dayton Flyer fan base. This could be made more convenient for all parties if the Cleveland Cavaliers take Toppin with the fifth pick in the draft. Along with the Cavs, other teams like Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta are likely destinations. (Check out our thoughts here on where he will land here.)
Whether Toppin lands in a spot where he is given the chance to make an immediate impact or not is still up in the air, though. Teams in the midst of a rebuild could throw him right into a mix of young players getting valuable minutes, whereas a team like the Warriors (who have the No. 2 pick) could have him behind players cemented in the rotation.
Wherever Obi is taken, Dayton students, alumni and fans will be tuned in. Two things about Flyers are that they’re passionate about their alums and their basketball. There is sure to be an outpouring of support from the fanbase when the NBA Draft rolls around on Nov. 18.