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  #1  
Old 03-24-2020, 04:38 PM
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Greatest Dayton Mens Basketball Player Ever?

Who is the greatest Dayton Mens BB Player ever? I think it is an interesting discussion.

For me, statistics are an important part of the discussion, but the way I like to look at it is in this way: If you line up all of the possible players and give me first pick for my team to play in today's college BB landscape, who would I choose first?

I was born in 1969, so I might underappreciate some of the earlier era players, but having seen what I have seen in my lifetime, I choose Obi. He is obviously a great individual talent, but he has the rarer ability to make everybody on the team better with his court-vision, good decision making and great passing. He is so multi-skilled that if teams game-plan against him, he kills them by sharing the ball at just the right moment.

Last edited by Fudd; 03-24-2020 at 04:49 PM..
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Old 03-24-2020, 05:01 PM
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We need nominations and then a poll.
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Old 03-24-2020, 05:34 PM
Glen Clark Glen Clark is offline
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The game has changed so much over the years that comparisons become meaningless.

The shot clock.
The three point line.
The set shot.
The five second call.
The jump shot.
The dunk shot.
The freshman team.

Any comparisons would have to involve players from the same era.
The greats from the 50's and 60's played a different game.

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  #4  
Old 03-24-2020, 05:49 PM
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Jim Paxson needs to be in the discussion, first he gave us 4 years. I agree Obi should go to the NBA but 4 years is better than two. Jim was an all American and a first round draft pick. Secondly Jim had a very good NBA career, over 11k career points. two all star selections, number 6 all time scorer in Blazer history.

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Old 03-24-2020, 05:59 PM
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I argued this same or similar question early in the season when people crowned Obi because I thought there was just not enough to say that. But now, there is no question in my mind. No player in Flyers history had the capability of raising us to national prominence like Obi has. Having a superstar big man is the pinnacle of College basketball. You can have Don Mays, Roosevelt Chapmans, Jim Paxsons, Johnny Davises, and Brian Roberts, but never are they enough by themselves to put you in the national championship spotlight without a surprising, cinderella type of hot streak at the right time. Yes, you need a supporting cast, but those other guys had pretty good supporting casts themselves and couldn't do it. Obi did it for 31 games. With two years of eligibility left mind you.

There is no doubt whatsover in my mind that Obi Toppin is the greatest basketball player to ever put on a Dayton Flyers uniform.
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Old 03-24-2020, 06:04 PM
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Best: Obi Toppin

Greatest: Don May
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Old 03-24-2020, 06:29 PM
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Obi has earned his place among the pantheon of Flyer greats. Like Fudd, I don't have memories of greats before the late 70s, so I'd appreciate some insight from those who saw the early years firsthand.

The program has been on an undeniable uptrend since Obi stepped on the floor last year, but it will be impossible to measure whether it would have continued that arc because of his presence due to his likely departure for the NBA. Many of the Flyer greats were awesome players, but the program didn't advance significantly while they were here. That's not a knock on any of these players, maybe they lacked the supporting cast or maybe the team chemistry wasn't there, but the fact remains we didn't advance. That's why I probably wouldn't include Paxson & BRob in the same list (no NCAAs) or Knight (middling team performance through 3.5 years, then turned it on).

With that in mind, here are the greats who I think had both the talent and intangibles to advance the program:

- John Horan
- Don May
- Velvet
- Ryan Perryman
- Keith Waleskowski
- Scoochie Smith

Last edited by Viperstick; 03-24-2020 at 06:34 PM..
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Old 03-24-2020, 06:38 PM
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It will be interesting to see where we put Jalen Crutcher at on this list, one year from now!
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Old 03-24-2020, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by UDEE79 View Post
Jim Paxson needs to be in the discussion, first he gave us 4 years. I agree Obi should go to the NBA but 4 years is better than two. Jim was an all American and a first round draft pick. Secondly Jim had a very good NBA career, over 11k career points. two all star selections, number 6 all time scorer in Blazer history.
I agree wholeheartedly.

JP was amazing on the floor. Never stopped moving. Could do it all. Followed it up with a solid NBA career AND executive. For those too young, think Mikesell basketball IQ with NBA talent.

AND I truly hope Obi has a better NBA career.
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Old 03-24-2020, 08:23 PM
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Iím surprised nobody has mentioned Hank Finkel. Statistically he had two years better than Obiís two years, and he had a solid NBA career with the Celtics. He married my UD freshman speech TA, Kathy Clark. I remember Kathy confided in me that the Celtics were interested in Hank, and she asked my advice on where to live in the Boston area, where I grew up. I recommended the northern suburbs near Lynnfield, and in fact thatís where they moved when Hank was traded to Boston.
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  #11  
Old 03-24-2020, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Bud Meadows View Post
Iím surprised nobody has mentioned Hank Finkel. Statistically he had two years better than Obiís two years, and he had a solid NBA career with the Celtics. He married my UD freshman speech TA, Kathy Clark. I remember Kathy confided in me that the Celtics were interested in Hank, and she asked my advice on where to live in the Boston area, where I grew up. I recommended the northern suburbs near Lynnfield, and in fact thatís where they moved when Hank was traded to Boston.
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Does Hank still live in the Boston area?
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Old 03-24-2020, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Viperstick View Post
...With that in mind, here are the greats who I think had both the talent and intangibles to advance the program:

- John Horan
- Don May
- Velvet
- Ryan Perryman
- Keith Waleskowski
- Scoochie Smith
Dude! No way a list of Flyer all-timers can be that long without my fellow class of '79 alum Jim Paxson! Ok here is the definitive Flyer Mt. Rushmore:

Toppin
May
Chapman
Paxson

When Rushmore gets a fifth president (Trump) we can add Finkel as the fifth Flyer.
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Old 03-24-2020, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Bud Meadows View Post
Iím surprised nobody has mentioned Hank Finkel. Statistically he had two years better than Obiís two years, and he had a solid NBA career with the Celtics. He married my UD freshman speech TA, Kathy Clark. I remember Kathy confided in me that the Celtics were interested in Hank, and she asked my advice on where to live in the Boston area, where I grew up. I recommended the northern suburbs near Lynnfield, and in fact thatís where they moved when Hank was traded to Boston.
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:21 PM
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I think of Obi in the same way I think of Johnny Bench. At his best (1969-1972), Bench was far and away the best catcher in MLB history. Then illness and injury started to nag at him, and his career statistics can be challenged by Piazza, Berra, Rodriguez, etc. At his best (2019-2020), Obi was better than Chapman, May, Finkel, Paxson, etc.
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:09 AM
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The Best Flyer Ever?

Obi Toppin
Don May
Henry Finkel
Roosevelt Chapman
Jim Paxson, Jr.
Negele Knight
Donald Smith
Ryan Perryman
Johnny Davis
Roger Brown
Don "Monk" Meineke
Chris Wright
Bill Uhl, Sr.
Arlen "Bucky" Bockhorn
Scoochie Smith

Theses are my candidates and my UD GOAT is Obi Toppin.

Last edited by Alberto Strasse; 03-25-2020 at 11:29 AM.. Reason: An Omission of the great Ryan Perryman
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:19 AM
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I would just add Bill Chimelewski played 1 year, 61/62 NIT champs & 62 NIT MVP.

Last edited by BOF02; 03-25-2020 at 09:42 AM..
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Glen Clark View Post
The game has changed so much over the years that comparisons become meaningless.

The shot clock.
The three point line.
The set shot.
The five second call.
The jump shot.
The dunk shot.
The freshman team.

Any comparisons would have to involve players from the same era.
The greats from the 50's and 60's played a different game.

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The Freshman team. Roger Brown. I watched 'Basketball: A Love Story', the other day on ESPN. Roger Brown was an absolute stud. I had no idea just how good he was but the footage doesn't lie, and all that during the Dr. J era in the ABA. He was the MVP of the ABA, and the only reason he was not in the NBA was because he was blackballed. There is a reason he's in the Hall of Fame. He would've dominated the college game had he had the opportunity. Couldn't guard that due in a phone booth!
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:32 AM
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I have been following UD basketball since Finkel was a soph. There were some great ones for sure, but none who made POY or first team all-american, and almost none took us to #3 in the nation, or potentially higher. Obi is great in every aspect, including great leadership and team play. Obi is the all-time best, period.
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:34 AM
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Old 03-25-2020, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Alberto Strasse View Post
Obi Toppin
Don May
Henry Finkel
Roosevelt Chapman
Jim Paxson, Jr.
Negele Knight
Donald Smith
Ryan Perryman
Johnny Davis
Roger Brown
Don "Monk" Meineke
Chris Wright
Bill Uhl, Sr.
Arlen "Bucky" Bockhorn
Scoochie Smith

Theses are my candidates and my UD GOAT is Obi Toppin.
Ahhh, Brian Roberts?
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Old 03-25-2020, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Buster Goode View Post
Ahhh, Brian Roberts?
That's exactly what I was thinking. Perryman, Wright, Scoochie are all great, but before Toppin, Roberts is at the top of the list for the current century.
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Old 03-25-2020, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by FlyingArrow View Post
That's exactly what I was thinking. Perryman, Wright, Scoochie are all great, but before Toppin, Roberts is at the top of the list for the current century.
Not only that, and I love Scoochie, but if you asked me to pick to who was the best player in the AM era, I would have a very difficult time picking Scooch over Sibert and Pierre. That was a true team and Scoochie didn't carry those teams, nobody did.
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Old 03-25-2020, 03:57 PM
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Donald Smith- If he could have played his freshman year and had 3-point shot. He would be far and away the all-time leading scorer.

Roosevelt Chapman
Donny May
Obi Toppin
Jim Paxson
Johnny Davis
Brian Roberts
Henry Finkel
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Old 03-25-2020, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jpk4ud View Post
Donald Smith- If he could have played his freshman year and had 3-point shot. He would be far and away the all-time leading scorer.

Roosevelt Chapman
Donny May
Obi Toppin
Jim Paxson
Johnny Davis
Brian Roberts
Henry Finkel
Smitty is my all time favorite. However, "if"s bring a lot of intangibles with it. Finkel and May also only played 3 seasons due to the Freshman rule. And, if there was a 3 point line back in Smitty's days, Smitty would have been deemed much more valuable at recruiting time and possibly not have wound up at UD. It's not a coincidence that UD used to be able to find a lot of great outside shooters back before the 3 point rule, but not as many since.
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:28 PM
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Hard to rationally compare players from different eras and different teams. Itís particularly unfair to critique a player for not leading his team to the top ten if he wasnít surrounded by a good supporting cast. So many of the players that have been mentioned here were on teams that compiled average to just decent records because of sub-par recruiting by the coaching staff they played for. Obi was very fortunate to have the supporting cast we enjoyed this season. Take Jalen and Trey away and the Flyers probably lose around 10-12 instead of 2. I donít think Obi, without those two guys would have a chance to contend for PoY, nor Anthony for CoY. Obi has been dead on all season in giving so much credit to his teammates. All that said.....and my memory goes back to the mid-50s, Obi is far and away the GOAT in the Flyer pantheon! No one else, and I mean NO ONE brought the array of tools and talents to the game that he did. I canít even think of more than a handful of all-time college players who did.
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  #26  
Old 03-25-2020, 05:33 PM
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I have seen significant Flyer basketball since 1966 and in my opinion Johnny Davis was the most electric!!!
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:58 PM
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Lynn, Lynn, the city of sin.
Hank and Kathy live in LYNNFIELD, NOT Lynn
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:00 PM
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Does Hank still live in the Boston area?
Yes, Hank and Kathy live in Lynnfield (NOT Lynn)
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  #29  
Old 03-25-2020, 06:06 PM
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Just for sake of argument (and recency bias be darned), this is the starting lineup I would put against any team:

Jalen Crutcher
Kyle Davis
Chris Johnson
Obi
Big Steve
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  #30  
Old 03-25-2020, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Widget View Post
Just for sake of argument (and recency bias be darned), this is the starting lineup I would put against any team:

Jalen Crutcher
Kyle Davis
Chris Johnson
Obi
Big Steve
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how about a three guard offense with BRob instead of Chris Johnson
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by UDEE79 View Post
how about a three guard offense with BRob instead of Chris Johnson
I always loved Chris Johnsonís game. Good shooter, but also good slasher and a nose for rebounds.
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  #32  
Old 03-25-2020, 07:18 PM
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Perriman over Johnson. Perryman led the country in rebounds as a senior. I am an old timer so May would be on this team but if you are staying modern you have to love Perryman.
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:34 PM
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My all-time starting lineup has always been:

Point Guard: Johnny Davis
Shooting Guard: Donald Smith
Small Forward: Roosevelt Chapman
Power Forward: Don May
Center: Henry Finkel
Sixth Man: Jim Paxson

Now I have to decide who the heck I'm going to put on the bench so Obi can start!
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  #34  
Old 03-25-2020, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by udflyerfan View Post
I have seen significant Flyer basketball since 1966 and in my opinion Johnny Davis was the most electric!!!
Johnny played when dunking was outlawed. (what a stupid rule!).

Johny would have had some awesome dunks if it was allowed. And he is only 6í1Ē

Obi and Johnny are the two best in terms of athleticism and basketball skills.
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Widget View Post
I always loved Chris Johnsonís game. Good shooter, but also good slasher and a nose for rebounds.
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I always thought that Roberts would have been even more amazing if he had been allowed to be more of a shooting guard rather than being burdened with absolutely all the ball handling. Imagine him paired up with a Scoochie or Crutcher.
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  #36  
Old 03-25-2020, 09:51 PM
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PR for UD

I don't know where to post this....I suppose this thread is OK.

I doubt if UD BB would have gotten any more PR if we had won the national championship. This was truly an extraordinary once in a lifetime year for Flyer BB.

Player of the year! Coach of the year! Those things don't often happen together.

And the national PR. Sunday's Hartford Courant devoted an entire page to the Flyers....top to bottom, border to border. There was a large headline, a photo of the team with the A10 trophy and a photo of Obi. The article was lifted from the DDN. It was great!

This evening's local paper..again large headlines re our player and coach of the year.

Guys, this is Connecticut. Not the Mid-west. When the Dayton women played Quinnipiac two years ago I went to the game wearing my finest UD sweatshirt. A guy near me asked "Where is Dayton?" Think about that, Where is Dayton!

Well, today people in CT that read the sports pages of their papers know about Dayton. There isn't enough money in the world to buy the publicity we enjoyed this memorable season.

Go Flyers! Go forever Flyers!
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  #37  
Old 03-26-2020, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by UACFlyer View Post
...When the Dayton women played Quinnipiac two years ago I went to the game wearing my finest UD sweatshirt. A guy near me asked "Where is Dayton?" Think about that, Where is Dayton!...
I can't be mad at the guy, I have no idea where Quinnipiac is.

Last edited by UDEE79; 03-26-2020 at 12:28 AM..
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  #38  
Old 03-26-2020, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by UACFlyer View Post


Guys, this is Connecticut. Not the Mid-west. When the Dayton women played Quinnipiac two years ago I went to the game wearing my finest UD sweatshirt. A guy near me asked "Where is Dayton?" Think about that, Where is Dayton!
I've lived in Dayton all my life and traveled quite a bit for business and pleasure. I am often asked where is Dayton. When I tell them in Ohio, they ask if we are near Cleveland. Europeans would ask if we are near Orlando.

Many people never paid attention to geography classes in school.
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Old 03-26-2020, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by SeasonTicketFan View Post
I've lived in Dayton all my life and traveled quite a bit for business and pleasure. I am often asked where is Dayton. When I tell them in Ohio, they ask if we are near Cleveland. Europeans would ask if we are near Orlando.

Many people never paid attention to geography classes in school.
Unfortunately, a huge portion of the country is geography illiterate.
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  #40  
Old 03-26-2020, 12:28 PM
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Try asking a 20 something what year WWII ended. There is no history learned in school anymore.
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Old 03-26-2020, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by John C. View Post
Try asking a 20 something what year WWII ended. There is no history learned in school anymore.
Ask them a civics question. I don't think that is taught anymore either.

Anyhoo, gone off subject. That Obi Toppin sure was good.
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  #42  
Old 03-26-2020, 11:04 PM
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