Dayton Flyers highlights: Toppin scores 28 vs. Duquesne
Photo: David Jablonski - Staff Writer
Photo: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

Obi Toppin, Anthony Grant sweep top national honors from Associated Press

It’s the biggest award yet for Dayton’s star player

» RELATED: A guide to Toppin’s many awards

Toppin was named the national player of the year by the Associated Press on Tuesday, and Dayton coach Anthony Grant was named the national coach of the year. This is the first time since 2004 — when Saint Joseph’s star Jameer Nelson and coach Phil Martelli won — and the second time in the last 40 years that a player and coach from the same school have won these awards.

“Our team is very appreciative of what we accomplished,” Toppin told the AP, “just because we made history at our school.”

Toppin, a 6-9 redshirt sophomore, averaged 20.0 points and 7.5 rebounds. He shot 63.3 percent from the field.

Dayton finished 29-2, won the Atlantic 10 Conference championship, rose to No. 3 in the AP poll and was in position to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament when the coronavirus pandemic cancelled the season.

“In the 31 games that we played, our guys did a heck of a job of playing consistent and taking advantage of the opportunities that were in front of us,” Grant told the AP. “What we did accomplish in the shortened season is something I think that hopefully will be remembered.”

» STAY AT HOME: Grant delivers message for Gov. DeWine

Dayton set a school record for victories and matched a school record with 20 straight wins. It was denied a chance to break that record when the A-10 tournament was cancelled May 12.

“Honestly, if you had asked me, I swear we could’ve won a national championship and our team was so ready to play in the tournament,” Toppin told the AP. “We were so locked in. But because of this virus, things happened. It’s just going to be a what-if for the rest of our lives, but it’s something we’re going to have to live with.”

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