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Josh Cunningham, Mr. Reliable, Mr. Dependable every game, named UD Flyers MVP

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Doug Hauschild; COURTESY DAYTON MEDIA RELATIONS

DAYTON – University of Dayton team captain Josh Cunningham has been named the Flyers’ 2017-18 White-Allen Most Valuable Player.

Cunningham is ranked in the top 100 nationally in seven statistical categories. He led the Flyers in scoring (15.6), rebounding (8.4) and field goal percentage (.646). The two-time Dayton captain started all 31 games this season after coming back from an injury that limited him to just 11 games in 2016-17. Earlier in the year, he set the Dayton record for consecutive field goals made (22) over three games in December.

Cunningham was named Second Team NABC All-District and Third Team All-Atlantic 10.

The Chicago native and Morgan Park graduate finished the season fifth nationally in field goal percentage.

The White-Allen Most Valuable Player Trophy is sponsored by Tim White and White-Allen Auto Group, Inc.  The award is selected by members of the team. The White-Allen Trophy has been awarded annually since 1953.  White-Allen now sponsors the MVP award for UD’s men’s and women’s basketball, football and volleyball teams.

Josh Cunningham (megasportsnews.com photo)

As the team’s top rebounder, Cunningham also won the “Shorty” Sharpenter Memorial Rebounding Trophy.  The Sharpenter award is named for Hall of Famer Ned “Shorty” Sharpenter, and has been sponsored by his family since its inception in 1979.

Darrell Davis was the winner of the Alex Schoen Memorial Free Throw Trophy as UD’s top free throw shooter.  The Flyer senior guard made 105 of 125 free throws (87.5%).  The Detroit native was second on the team in scoring (15.4 points a game), and assists (2.7), and was third in rebounding (4.1).  Davis’ performance was the eighth-best single-season free throw percentage in UD history.  It also moved him up to sixth on Dayton’s career free throw list with final numbers of 175 for 219 (.799). The Schoen Trophy is named in honor of Alex Schoen, Sr., the captain of UD’s first varsity basketball team in 1903-04. Awarded since 1950, it is sponsored by Alex Schoen, Jr.  It goes to the UD player with the highest FT% with a minimum of 50 free throws attempted.

Trey Landers was named the Chris Daniels Memorial Most Improved Player.  After playing in just 53 minutes over nine games and averaging 3.0 points and 1.7 rebounds as a freshman, Landers started all 29 games he played in 2017-18. He was third on the team in scoring (11.3 points per game) and second in rebounding (5.6).  He scored 27 points all of last season, and scored 26 in one game (Fordham) this season.  Over the final 10 games of the year, the Dayton native was the Flyers’ top player, averaging 15.8 points and 7.1 rebounds, while shooting .634 (64 of 101) from the field, .391 (9 of 23) from beyond the arc and .724 (21 of 29) from the line.  The Daniels Award is presented in memory of Flyer center Chris Daniels.  Originated in 1994-95 as the most improved player award, this award was renamed for Daniels following his death in 1996.

Jordan Davis was named the winner of the Thomas M. Luppe Award, which is awarded to the first-year player (or players) on the team who best demonstrates the courage, desire and integrity of former Flyer freshman Tom Luppe.  Davis, who hails from Irmo, S.C., was Dayton’s fifth-leading scorer (8.0).  His .394 (56 of 142) three-point shooting percentage led UD, was ninth overall in the A-10 and was the top mark in the conference among freshmen.  The Luppe Award honors Thomas M. Luppe, who died in 1963 while playing in a UD freshman game.

Junior guard Jack Westerfield was presented with the John L. Macbeth Memorial Scholar-Athlete Award.   The Macbeth Scholar-Athlete Award is presented in memory of Dayton businessman John L. Macbeth, and is sponsored by Mrs. John L. Macbeth and family.  It has been awarded since 1959.  A walk-on, Westerfield saw action in 10 games last season (nine in conference play) and scored eight points.

Junior forward Ryan Mikesell was named the 2018-19 winner of the James G. and Purcell S. Palmer Endowed Scholarship. Mikesell missed the 2017-18 season rehabbing surgically repaired hips after playing in all 32 games (24 starts) in 2016-17.

Freshman point guard Jalen Crutcher was awarded the 2018-19 Uhl Family Endowed Scholarship.  Crutcher and classmate Jordan Davis each played in all 31 games and started 22.  The 44 starts by a pair of freshman guards are by far the most in Flyer basketball history.  Memphis native Crutcher was UD’s fourth-leading scorer at 9.2 points per game, and led the Flyers in assists (4.4).  He was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie team.

Redshirt freshman Obadiah Toppin was named the winner of the Dr. George Rau Spirit Award, which is given annually to the player (or players) who display true team spirit, on and off the court.  While Toppin was unable to play this season, he took it upon himself to bring a positive attitude to the team every time the Flyers were on the court.  This was evident in games when fans could see him, but also on the practice court.  Not only did Toppin improve his own game in preparation for next season during practice, he made his teammates better by pushing them every day.  This is the first time the award has been presented to a non-active player. The Harry O’Rourke Insurance Agency sponsors the Rau Award, which was first presented after the long-time Flyer team physician’s death in 1972.

Dayton finished the 2017-18 season 14-17 and returns five of its top six scorers and three of its top four rebounders.

2017-18 UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON MEN’S BASKETBALL AWARDS

WHITE-ALLEN MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

JOSH CUNNINGHAM

ALEX SCHOEN FREE THROW PERCENTAGE

DARRELL DAVIS

JOHN L. MACBETH SCHOLAR-ATHLETE

JACK WESTERFIELD

DR. GEORGE RAU SPIRIT AWARD

OBADIAH TOPPIN

“SHORTY” SHARPENTER TOP REBOUNDER

JOSH CUNNINGHAM

CHRIS DANIELS MEMORIAL AWARD

TREY LANDERS

THOMAS M. LUPPE MEMORIAL AWARD

JORDAN DAVIS

UHL FAMILY ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP

JALEN CRUTCHER

JAMES G & PURCELL S. PALMER SCHOLARSHIP

RYAN MIKESELL