Dayton Flyers Basketball News: Toumani Camara, DaRon Holmes II & Malachi Smith Named Dayton Men’s Basketball White Allen MVP’s

Trio Led UD To A 24-11 Record, Including 14-4 Mark In The Atlantic 10

DAYTON –Toumani Camara, DaRon Holmes II and Malachi Smith were named the University of Dayton men’s basketball team’s 2021-21 White Allen Co-Most Valuable Players Thursday evening.   Camara, Holmes and Smith, along with their teammates, Crutcher and his teammates were recognized at a private awards banquet.

A transfer from Georgia, Camara was named Third Team All-Atlantic 10 after averaging 10.9 points and 6.9 rebounds a game.  He started 34 of the teams 35 games, with the game he missed the only Flyer loss in the last month of the regular season.   The sophomore forward from Brussels, Belgium shot 46% (16 for 35) from three-point range during Atlantic 10 play.

Holmes was the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year, Second Team All-Atlantic 10, and a member of the Atlantic 10 All-Defensive Team.  He was Dayton’s leading scorer (12.8 ppg) and second-leading rebounder (6.1 rpg).  He shattered the Flyer single-season blocked shot record with 81 (the old record was 55).  Holmes averaged 20.0 points per game over the last five games of the season (a win over A-10 regular season championship Davidson, two A-10 tournament games, and two NIT games.)

Smith was a member of the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team.  When he was named the MVP of the ESPN Events Invitational, he was the first Flyer freshman named an in-season tournament MVP since Roosevelt Chapman was MVP of the UD Invitational in 1980. In games the Dayton point guard was able to start and finish, the Flyers were 22-7.  Smith was third on the team in scoring (9.3 ppg), and led UD in assists (5.3), steals (1.8) and minutes played (31.0).

Holmes and Smith are the first freshmen in UD history to be named MVP.

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. 

Holmes was also named the recipient 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.  The Luppe Award honors Thomas M. Luppe, who died in 1963 while playing in a UD freshman game. 

Smith was the winner of the Alex Schoen Memorial Free Throw Trophy, which goes to UD’s top free throw shooter.  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.  Smith shot. 784 from the line in 2021-22 (76-97).

As the team’s top rebounder, Camara 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. 

Camara was also named the winner of the James G. and Purcell S. Palmer Scholarship.  The Palmer Scholarship is given on behalf of the late Jim Palmer and his wife Purcell.  Mr. Palmer was a former Flyer and NBA player. The award is presented to the Dayton player who best embodies his characteristics, on and off the court.

Koby Elvis was announced as the recipient of the Uhl Family Endowed Scholarship.  The Uhl scholarship is awarded to the UD player who best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship and character.  It is named after and endowed by former Flyers Bill Uhl and Bill Uhl II. 

Drew Swerlein was named the recipient of the John L. Macbeth Memorial Scholar-Athlete Award for the second straight year.  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. 

R.J. Blakney was winner of the Steve McElvene Award as the team’s top defender.  The Best Defender Award was first presented in 1995, but it was renamed in 2019 to honor the memory of Steve McElvene, who died suddenly at home in the spring of 2016 of an undetectable heart condition. 

A repeat winner came with 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.  Christian Wilson was named the Rau winner for the second time.  Last season he shared the honor with Camron Greer.

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.

Koby Brea earned the Chris Daniels Memorial Most Improved Player Award.  After averaging 2.1 points per game last season, he improved to 8.1 this year and was named Atlantic 10 Sixth Man of the Year. 

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. 

Dayton returns all five starters from a team that finished 24-11, and tied for second in the A-10 with a 14-4 record. Included in those 24 wins was a win over eventual national champion Kansas.  Dayton returns 163 of a possible 175 starts, 90% of possible minutes played, 91% of the scoring and 92% of the rebounding from 2021-22. 

2021-22 UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON MEN’S BASKETBALL AWARDS

WHITE-ALLEN MOST VALUABLE PLAYER –TOMANI CAMARA, DaRON HOLMES II, MALACHI SMITH

ALEX SCHOEN FREE THROW PERCENTAGE – MALACHI SMITH

JOHN L. MACBETH SCHOLAR-ATHLETE – DREW SWERLEIN

DR. GEORGE RAU SPIRIT AWARD – CHRISTIAN WILSON

“SHORTY” SHARPENTER TOP REBOUNDER – TOUMANI CAMARA

CHRIS DANIELS MEMORIAL AWARD – KOBY BREA

THOMAS M. LUPPE MEMORIAL AWARD – DaRON HOLMES II

STEVE McELVENE BEST DEFENDER AWARD – R.J. BLAKNEY

UHL FAMILY ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP – KOBE ELVIS

JAMES G. & PURCELL S. PALMER SCHOLARSHIP – TOUMANI CAMARA

COURTESY UD MEDIA RELATIONS

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