Dayton, Ohio – Dayton appeared destined for a deep March Madness run before college basketball stopped.
Obi Toppin still collected numerous national awards for his play, and is now headed to the NBA after two years in Dayton. Toppin declared in late March for this year’s NBA Draft, forfeiting his remaining two years of NCAA eligibility.
Here is a look at Toppin with stats, biographical information and video. The draft is rescheduled from June 25 to Friday, Oct. 16, following the conclusion of the restarted season. The lottery is Tuesday, Aug. 25. The Cavaliers share the best odds (14 percent) with the Golden State Warriors of landing the No. 1 pick as a result of their record through March 11.
THE OBI TOPPIN FILE
Weight: 220 pounds
Age: 22 (March 4 birthday)
2019-20 stats: 20.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.2 blocks, 1.0 steals, 63.3 field-goal percentage, 39.0 3-point percentage, 70.2 free throw percentage in 31.6 minutes per game.
What you should know: Obi is short for Obadiah. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Toppin played high school basketball at two high schools in Florida before returning to New York for his junior year. He played his senior year at Ossining High School, didn’t receive a Division I scholarship offer and enrolled at Mount Zion Prep in Baltimore.
- Toppin used that year of prep school to land a scholarship with Dayton, which redshirted him as a freshman. He became Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year the following season in 2019 and declared for the draft, but did not hire an agent.
- Creative Artists Agency, also known as CAA, signed Toppin in April. It represents Chris Paul, Joel Embiid, Paul George, Devin Booker, Donovan Mitchell, D’Angelo Russell, Karl-Anthony Towns, Zion Williamson, Andrew Wiggins and Kyle Kuzma.
- Toppin won numerous national player of the year awards, including the Associated Press Player of the Year, the Wooden Award, Naismith Award and finished as a consensus All-American.
- Dayton was 29-2, including an 18-0 Atlantic 10 record, before play halted because of the coronavirus pandemic.
What they’re saying: “Scoring forward who is an elite vertical threat with his two-foot pop and hands, a soft touch in the paint and a nice shooting projection,” wrote The Stepien’s Spencer Pearlman. “Needs to work on defense all around — awareness, poor/late rotations and relying too much on athleticism to recover.”
“A late bloomer, Toppin emerged as one of the most productive and exciting players in all of college basketball, crashing the lottery with his high-flying dunks and deep 3s during the Maui Invitational,” wrote ESPN’s Mike Schmitz. “It’s easy to envision him having a role in the NBA immediately.”
“Figures to be drafted somewhere in the top half of the lottery,” wrote Jorrye Nixon of NBADraft.net. “Has All Star potential if his offensive game continues to develop and he lands in a good situation.”
How he can fit the Cavs: Toppin and Israel’s Deni Avdija could be the easiest plug-and-play options for the Cavaliers when considering their depth at guard and the probability center Andre Drummond takes his $28.7 player option for next season. Toppin fits more at the power forward, but the Cavs could have more available minutes with Tristan Thompson hitting free agency.