Obadiah Toppin hasn’t played a minute for the Dayton Flyers this season, and he won’t. He’s sitting out the season as an academic redshirt.
Anyone who has watched Dayton play at UD Arena, however, and paid any attention to the players at the end of the bench has gotten a glimpse into the type of player Toppin could be next season. He stands out in any photo taken of the bench because of his smile.
» MEET THE FRESHMEN: Preseason interview with Toppin
In an interview Thursday, his first with the local media since the preseason, Toppin said his goal is to bring energy to the bench to help his teammates on the court.
“The more energy I have, the more will be given to them so they play harder on the court,” Toppin said.
Toppin doesn’t travel with the team, so he has seen most of the good moments this season and few of the bad ones. The Flyers are 9-4 at home and 2-10 away from the arena.
Toppin, a 6-foot-9 forward from Ossining, N.Y., who played last season at Mount Zion Prep in Baltimore, Md., said he sees a young team that’s learning and improving. He hopes he can help the Flyers next season. He has been able to practice all season and, along with Ryan Mikesell, who’s sitting out the season with a medical redshirt, plays a big role on the scout team.
Missing the season hasn’t been rough, Toppin said. It has been a learning experience on and off the court. He has used the time away from games to focus on academics.
“I’m just learning as the time goes and getting better, working out every day,” Toppin said. “I feel like having the chance to watch the team play and to see the competition I’m going to be going against next year, it’s better for me, and I feel I’m getting better because of it.”
Toppin signed with Dayton in May. He was the second player, following Jalen Crutcher, recruited by Anthony Grant and his staff to pick the Flyers. He was ruled ineligible in September. He’ll be one of at least two players to debut for Dayton next season. Dwayne Cohill is the only 2018 recruit who has signed with the Flyers, who have one more scholarship open.
“I feel like time’s going by really quick,” Toppin said. “The first semester went by in a blink of an eye. The second semester is going to be even quicker.”
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