The Dayton Flyers men’s basketball team, which finished 14-17 last season in the first year for coach Anthony Grant, held its annual awards banquet Wednesday.
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Here’s a recap of the honors the players received:
White-Allen Most Valuable Player: Josh Cunningham
The redshirt junior from Chicago led the team in scoring (15.6 points per game) and ranked fifth in the nation in field-goal percentage (64.6). He made the All-Atlantic 10 third team. This award is sponsored by Tim White and the White-Allen Auto Group, Inc., and has been awarded since 1953.
“His consistency is a great example to all the guys on our team, especially the younger guys,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said of Cunningham in December. “I think any young man that has a chance to come out and watch him play, the way he competes, his maturity on the floor, the way he carries himself, his competitive character is really what it’s all about. He’s as good a competitor as I’ve been around.”
Alex Schoen Memorial Free Throw Trophy: Darrell Davis
The senior guard from Detroit made 105 of 125 free throws (87.5 percent). It was the eighth-best single-season percentage in Dayton history. He finished his career ranked sixth in school history (175 of 219, 79.9). This trophy is named for Alex Schoen Sr., the captain of UD's first varsity basketball team in 1903-04.
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Chris Daniels Memorial Most Improved Player: Trey Landers
The sophomore guard from Wayne High School improved his scoring average from 3.0 to 11.3 and his rebounding average from 1.7 to 5.6. He appeared in nine games as a freshman and started all 29 games he appeared in as a sophomore. This award honors Chris Daniels, a Dayton center who died in 1996 during his senior year with the team.
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Thomas M. Luppe Award: Jordan Davis
This award honors a “first-year player (or players) on the team who best demonstrates the courage, desire and integrity of former Flyer freshman Tom Luppe,” who died in 1963 while playing in a freshman game. Davis, a freshman guard from Irmo, S.C., averaged 8.0 points per game and shot 39.4 percent (56 of 142) from 3-point range.
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John L. Macbeth Memorial Scholar-Athlete Award: Jack Westerfield
The junior walk-on guard from Cincinnati appeared in 10 games. This award honors the memory of Dayton businessman John L. Macbeth and has has been awarded since 1959.
Uhl Family Endowed Scholarship: Jalen Crutcher
The freshman point guard from Memphis, Tenn., averaged 9.2 points per game and led the team in assists (4.4 per game). He made the A-10 all-rookie team.
James G. and Purcell S. Palmer Endowed Scholarship: Ryan Mikesell
The junior forward from St. Henry sat out the season after undergoing hip surgeries last summer and will return to the court in the 2018-19 season.
Dr. George Rau Spirit Award: Obadiah Toppin
The freshman forward from Ossining, N.Y., sat out the season as an academic redshirt but won this award, which honors Dayton’s longtime team physician, who died in 1972. This is the first time a non-active player has won the award. According to a Dayton press release, Toppin “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.”
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