New Dayton recruit trained with Toppin last summer

Toppin told Lynn Greer III he ‘wouldn’t have chosen any other school’ during workouts in New Jersey

The recent past of the Dayton Flyers ran into the near future last summer when Obi Toppin and Lynn Greer III worked out together in New Jersey.

Former Temple star Rick Brunson trained Toppin, Seton Hall’s Myles Powell and others in the months when much of the basketball world was shut down by the pandemic. Greer III couldn’t play AAU basketball during the summer, so also he participated in the workouts, said his dad Lynn Greer II, who like Brunson ranks among Temple’s all-time greats.

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Toppin and Greer III developed a friendship that went beyond the workouts, visiting the beach and playing paintball. While Toppin knew Dayton was recruiting Greer III, he didn’t make a big presentation about why Greer III should pick the Flyers. He did speak about his UD experiences, however.

“He just stressed how he felt the best while he was at Dayton,” Greer III said Tuesday, “and he wouldn’t have chosen any other school.”

On Monday, the 6-foot-3 guard Greer III made the same decision Toppin did in the May of 2017, announcing his verbal commitment to Dayton. He became the fourth member of Dayton’s 2021 recruiting class. He joins Malachi Smith, DaRon Holmes and Kaleb Washington.

The success Toppin, the consensus national player of the year in 2020, and the Flyers had a year ago during a 29-2 season has played a part in one of the best recruiting stretches in Dayton basketball history. The 2021 class ranks 12th in the nation, according to

“I’m very excited,” Greer III said. “I feel like we can do such big things with the group we have coming in here and with the team that is there now. I feel like we can contribute a lot, and I feel like we’re all humble guys. We’ve all been overlooked at some point in our careers, and I feel like that’s just going to carry on to the court.”

Toppin now plays with the New York Knicks. He has averaged 5.0 points in 19 games. His former workout partner, Greer III, graduated from Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia in 2020 and then took his game to Bradenton, Fla., for a post-graduate year at IMG Academy.

IMG Academy has six players ranked in the top 100 in the class of 2021, including 7-foot-1 center Efton Reid, the nation’s 24th-ranked player and one of the top unsigned recruits in the class.

Greer III and Holmes have done some light recruiting of Reid, trying to convince him to come to Dayton. Greer III tagged Reid in a tweet after his commitment on Monday, and Holmes told college basketball reporter Zach Schumaker in November, “I’m definitely going after Efton.”

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Playing with Reid and some of the other top players in the 2021 class has helped Greer III improve his game.

“My athleticism is way better than what it was when I came here,” Greer III said. “I got stronger, and my decision making is definitely getting way better and my shooting. I think I’ve definitely improved as a player.”

Greer III first met Dayton coaches Anthony Grant and Ricardo Greer in September 2019 at Roman Catholic. His dad and high school coach, Matt Griffin, both said Dayton had the best presentation of any school, and that was before the historic 29-2 season.

“They just talked about how the atmosphere is crazy, how the fans go crazy and that it’s a college town,” Greer III said, “and they could just see me fitting well in their system with the way I can play-make land score.”

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The pandemic prevented Greer III from visiting Dayton, but he has seen video of what a packed UD Arena looks like.

“That thing is crazy,” Greer III said. “It’s insane. I can’t wait to get there.”

The facilities and basketball history played a part in Greer III’s decision, but like many recruits, he made his choice on more personal factors.

“I just loved the family atmosphere that the coaches and staff have,” Greer III said, “and I love Flyer Nation and the fans. It kind of reminded me of Roman Catholic.”

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