Dayton season preview: New York City history deep with program and current team

Malachi Smith and Koby Brea will climb scoring list when they get healthy

EDITOR’S NOTE: David Jablonski is counting down to the Dayton men’s basketball season opener on Nov. 7 with 25 pieces (one every day until Nov. 7) previewing the 2022-23 season. This is the 17th story.

The Dayton Flyers have always had a deep connection to New York City. That seems more evident than ever this season.

Dayton has players from the Bronx (Malachi Smith) and Washington Heights (Koby Brea), and another native New Yorker on the bench: associate head coach Ricardo Greer, who’s also from the Washington Heights neighborhood.

Dayton has a former player from New York City playing his pro career in his hometown with the New York Knicks: Obi Toppin. A Dayton great from New York City, Chris Harris, died earlier this fall at 89.

Dayton coach Anthony Grant traveled to Brooklyn on Oct. 13 for Atlantic 10 Conference Media Day, and his team will travel to New York twice this season: for a game at Fordham on Jan. 10 and then for the A-10 tournament in March.

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This is as good a time as any to take a look at Dayton’s all-time scoring leaders from New York City. Smith and Brea, both sidelined with injuries with the start of the 2022-23 season looming, should climb this list fast when they get back on the court. While I’ve limited this to players on the New York side, it could also include Hank Finkel, who grew up across the Hudson River in Union City and ranks third in UD history with 1,968 points.

1. Roosevelt Chapman (Brooklyn): Chapman played for the Flyers from 1980-84 and scored 2,233 points. No other player in school history has reached the 2,000-point milestone. UD reached the Elite Eight in his senior season.

2. Scoochie Smith (Bronx): Malachi Smith’s older brother played from 2013-17 and ranks 28th in school history with 1,289 points. He helped lead the program to four straight NCAA tournament appearances and to Atlantic 10 Conference championships in his final two seasons.

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3. Frank Case (Flushing): Case scored 1,175 points in three seasons (1957-60). Freshman couldn’t play in those days. He ranks 36th in career scoring. He attended Jamaica High School in Queens. Case now lives in Miamisburg.

4. Obi Toppin (Brooklyn/Ossining): Born in Brooklyn, Toppin went to high school north of the city in Ossining. He sat out one season as an academic redshirt and scored 1,096 points (40th in school history) in two seasons (2018-20). He was the consensus national player of the year in 2020. He won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest last season and is now in his third season with the Knicks.

5. Don Lane (Bronx): The 6-foot point guard scored 754 points in three seasons (1955-58) and ranks 82nd in school history. He attended St. Ann’s Academy and played for Lou Carnesecca, who later gained fame as the coach at St. John’s. Lane died in January at 85. He was inducted into the Dayton Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984.

6. Chris Harris (Floral Park): Harris played for the Flyers from 1951-55. He ranks 101st with 605 points.

7. Pete Boyle (Floral Park): Boyle, who inspired Harris to go to UD, played for Dayton from 1949-52 and ranks 130th with 456 points. He was a three-year starter who led Dayton to runner-up finishes in the NIT in 1951 and 1952. He died in 2010. He attended Chaminade High School in Mineola, N.Y., east of Queens.

8. Malachi Smith (Bronx): He scored 308 points as a freshman in the 2021-22 season and ranks 170th in school history. He attended St. Raymond High School for Boys.

9. Koby Brea (Washington Heights): A graduate of Monsignor Scanlan in the Bronx, Brea has 285 points in two seasons. He ranks 178th. Counting this season, he has three seasons of eligibility remaining because his first season didn’t count against his eligibility.

10. Jim Powers (Manhattan): Powers scored 137 points from 1961-64. He attended Manhattan Prep in Riverdale, a section of the Bronx.


Part 1: Fans dreaming big as always

Part 2: A-10 changes tournament format for first time in years

Part 3: A familiar face returns to A-10

Part 4:’s math likes the Flyers

Part 5: Three new walk-ons join roster

Part 6: Grant, Martin don’t look forward to coaching against each other

Part 7: Ranking difficult of non-conference opponents

Part 8: Free-throw percentage a stat to watch for Flyers

Part 9: UD roster again full of international talent

Part 10: Ranking quality of exempt tournaments

Part 11: How Grant’s first six teams compare

Part 12: The rising star of DaRon Holmes II

Part 13: How rare is returning five starters?

Part 14: Is NCAA tournament expansion coming?

Part 15: A short history of UD injuries

Part 16: A closer look at recruiting

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