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Dayton’s Grant & Toppin honored as AP Coach & Player of the Year

 

Anthony Grant and Obi Toppin discussing game situation (Dayton Media Relations)

This Is Just The Second Time In 40 Years The Same School Has Both The AP Coach & Player

 

ASSOCIATED PRESS – The University of Dayton men’s basketball program swept the major awards in college basketball that were presented by the Associated Press.  Flyer head coach Anthony Grant was named National Coach of the Year, and redshirt sophomore forward Obi Toppin was the pick for Player of the Year.

This is just the second time in the last 40 seasons the Coach and Player of the Year came from the same school, and just the 11th time since both awards were presented starting in 1967.  The previous coach/player combos are a more than impressive list.

•    1967 — UCLA’s John Wooden and Lew Alcindor
•    1968 — Houston’s Guy Lewis and Elvin Hayes
•    1969 – UCLA’s John Wooden and Lew Alcindor
•    1972 — UCLA’s John Wooden and Bill Walton
•    1973 — UCLA’s John Wooden and Bill Walton
•    1976 – Indiana’s Bob Knight and Scott May
•    1979 – Indiana State’s Bill Hodges and Larry Bird
•    1980 – DePaul’s Ray Meyer and Mark Aguirre
•    2004 – Saint Joseph’s Phil Martelli and Jameer Nelson

Grant had already been named Men’s College Coach of the Year by The Sporting News and CBSsports.com.

Dayton went 29-2 this year, setting UD’s record for wins in a season despite not having the benefit of post-season play.  Both of UD’s losses were in overtime on neutral courts to teams expected to be in the NCAA tournament field – No. 1-ranked Kansas and Colorado.

The Flyers earned a No. 3 ranking in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls.  After being picked to finish third in the Atlantic 10 Conference’s preseason poll, UD was the first team to go 18-0 in the conference in 35 years.

Dayton finished 2019-20 on a 20-game win streak, the longest active winning streak in Division I.  The 20-game streak matches the longest in the same season in Flyer basketball history, matching the 20-gamer in 1951-52.

In the modern era of UD basketball (Post-World War II), Grant is just the second Dayton grad to coach the Flyers. The first was his coach, College BB Hall of Famer Don Donoher (1964-89).

Toppin is Dayton’s first consensus All-American.

Toppin finished the year averaging 20.0 points and 7.5 rebounds a game, and shooting .633 (245-387) from the field, .390 (32-82) from 3-pt. range and .702 (99-141) from the line.  According to Synergy Basketball, Toppin led the nation with 1.20 points per possession while he was on the floor.

He was the only player in the country who averaged 20.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and shot over 60% from the field.  He also had the best field goal percentage in the last five years of any Division I player who averaged 20 points a game.

Toppin led the A-10 in FG% (.633, 245-387), and was second in scoring (20.0).  He was the only player in the conference to be listed in both the top ten in FG% and 3-pt. FG% (8th, .390, 32-82).  He was also fifth nationally in field goal percentage, even though he took more than double the number of three-pointers the rest of the top 10 combined.

The athletic high Flyer also led the nation in dunks (107).

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Doug Hauschild; COURTESY DAYTON MEDIA RELATIONS

 

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