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  #1  
Old 02-13-2020, 08:10 AM
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Lightbulb How Obi Toppin ended up at Dayton and other top-player origin stories

This season's group of Wooden Award favorites took different paths to the front pages of college basketball. From Dayton's Obi Toppin to Iowa's Luka Garza, we explain how they all got there.

Rest of the story...
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:42 AM
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Toppin was ready to take visits, with several schools on his list. Dayton was first, and it wouldn't get any further than that.

"He's a family-oriented type of person," Harrison said. "He didn't want to go on any more visits because it felt like home to him. That's how he operates. He wasn't after glamour. He didn't care if it was Division I, II or III. 'It's got a good fan base and everyone is welcoming me here. This is what I'm going to do.' And a few days later, he committed."

---

"Obi could have played at Kansas," Harrison said. "The only thing he was waiting for was his body to mature. He put on like 15 pounds, but he still looked like a little boy.

"Now, you see Obi as Superman."
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:47 AM
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Great story. Another Dayton article on the front page of ESPN. Folks we are becoming a National brand.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by TA111 View Post
Great story. Another Dayton article on the front page of ESPN. Folks we are becoming a National brand.
There's no doubt we're already a national topic, this year.

Becoming a national brand will require us to hold sustained success for multiple years.

In AG I trust, and one game a time!
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Old 02-13-2020, 12:27 PM
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Bottom line is there are dozens and dozens of players that can play anywhere that are also waiting to grow into their bodies and physically develop. Many of the 5 star kids and other highly recruited kids have already begun that at a much earlier age.

There's a reason why many many lower tier D1 players playing at small schools get looked at bby big-time schools once they decide to transfer 2-3 years after high school. There's quite a bit of parity today and in years past because the kid who is now 20-21 is a man.
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Old 02-13-2020, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by TA111 View Post
Great story. Another Dayton article on the front page of ESPN. Folks we are becoming a National brand.
It's interesting to think about the "value" of a player like Obi at a school like Dayton. What would be the monetary value related to the exposure he brings in. I have watched this team since 1988 and there can't be anything comparable in terms of consistent national exposure.
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Old 02-13-2020, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by curt View Post
It's interesting to think about the "value" of a player like Obi at a school like Dayton. What would be the monetary value related to the exposure he brings in. I have watched this team since 1988 and there can't be anything comparable in terms of consistent national exposure.
Reminds me of the 2014 elite 8 run. There was a professor, I believe, who calculated the “value” of the media exposure associated with the tourney run and I think it was in the many millions of dollars range.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by TA111 View Post
Reminds me of the 2014 elite 8 run. There was a professor, I believe, who calculated the “value” of the media exposure associated with the tourney run and I think it was in the many millions of dollars range.
Not really sure what the added value is from a monetary standpoint, unless it leads to a conference change with richer broadcast contracts. We were already selling, out or close to it, most of our games, so the added ticket sales are negligible, we get what money we get from whatever TV deals the A10 has. I don't doubt that there is an uptick in merch sales and stuff like that but I think the main added value is intangible.

Edit...I guess Obi could make a substantial gift when he gets his money from the NBA, that would be a tangible monetary benefit. I agree that one year with a superstar player does not a brand make. Just ask Murray State how their national brand is doing.

Last edited by Flyers98; 02-13-2020 at 01:10 PM..
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Old 02-13-2020, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Flyers98 View Post
Not really sure what the added value is from a monetary standpoint, unless it leads to a conference change with richer broadcast contracts. We were already selling, out or close to it, most of our games, so the added ticket sales are negligible, we get what money we get from whatever TV deals the A10 has. I don't doubt that there is an uptick in merch sales and stuff like that but I think the main added value is intangible.

Edit...I guess Obi could make a substantial gift when he gets his money from the NBA, that would be a tangible monetary benefit. I agree that one year with a superstar player does not a brand make. Just ask Murray State how their national brand is doing.
As important as MBB is to us, without students, there is no UD. The exposure may have some high schoolers that normally wouldn't, consider UD.
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  #10  
Old 02-13-2020, 02:34 PM
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Donations could spike significantly this year......
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Old 02-13-2020, 03:05 PM
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John C, I would hope donations would increase, but, there's always a but I know. In the late 70s, early 80s my wife and I were on the alumni board. UD hired the top development (or one of the development folks) from Marquette. The school was expecting big $$$$ when they won the National Championship in '77. Didn't happen. In fact, I think I recall him saying, donations did not spike. But that's Marquette, not Dayton.
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Old 02-13-2020, 03:59 PM
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Our playing in the NCAA championship game in 1967 got the arena built.
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:58 PM
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The game for private universities is applications (allows them to hit enrollment goals while being selective and keeping rankings high), and the national attention drives applications up dramatically.

Wish I could recall the numbers, but when Butler went to consecutive national championship games, it sent applications through the roof and they improved their academic profile as an institution.

It's why relatively small universities are willing to shell out millions for coaches. They could hire more, better faculty or build educational infrastructure, but, as sad as it may be, nothing helps change an institution faster than big-time athletics success.
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Old 02-13-2020, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Go-UD-Go View Post
Our playing in the NCAA championship game in 1967 got the arena built.
Good point, but little bit different. UD won more games in the 50s and 60s than any other program in the country. 1967 was really more of a culmination of two decades of success. I am hoping 2020 is a return, after a brief hiatus, to a resurgence. Things are definitely going in the right direction but this has to be sustained (within reason, we obviously won’t have Obi next year). Otherwise it just becomes...”remember that year that Dayton had Obi Toppin?”

No reason we can’t remain a top 25 team year in and year out if Grant’s first three years of recruiting are representative of what he will do in the future. One of my favorite moments from the game Tuesday was when Crutcher made a hustle play on the sideline at half court and AG gave him a high five and then hugged him, in the middle of the game. I couldn’t help but think how linked those two guys are. Grant got Crutcher very late and he has been the cornerstone of Grant’s program from year 1. Crutcher has benefitted also in that he has gotten way more exposure here than he would have at Chattanooga and obviously playing with Obi often gives Jalen the opportunity to shine.

I think it matters to kids when a coach obviously cares a lot about his players. Not being naive, AG has pushed some guys out, but I think if you’re his guy and buy in, you’re basically considered one of his sons. I think (hope) that matters to kids.
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by TA111 View Post
Great story. Another Dayton article on the front page of ESPN. Folks we are becoming a National brand.
Nothing like a little fuel for the “we need to be in the big east” thread..
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:26 PM
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No deal...

Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
Nothing like a little fuel for the “we need to be in the big east” thread..
When the BE added UConn that pretty much ended an opportunity for UD. The only possibility would be if for some reason (hard to imagine) lucrative TV deals favored conferences having 12-14 schools. I can't imagine what would drive such a move.

Another thought: No doubt UD is the crown jewel of the A10....losing UD would be a severe blow to the conference. Yet UD appears to have little or no influence as regards pressuring conference week sisters to increase their investment in men's BB.

Last edited by UACFlyer; 02-13-2020 at 08:36 PM..
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by UACFlyer View Post
When the BE added UConn that pretty much ended an opportunity for UD. The only possibility would be if for some reason (hard to imagine) lucrative TV deals favored conferences having 12-14 schools. I can't imagine what would drive such a move.

Another thought: No doubt UD is the crown jewel of the A10....losing UD would be a severe blow to the conference. Yet UD appears to have little or no influence as regards pressuring conference week sisters to increase their investment in men's BB.
Actually Fox does have a clause in the BE contract that ups the anti if they ever go to 12 teams so there is still some hope. We still would be competing for that last spot with some other schools.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:38 PM
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Neil connection...

Originally Posted by CT Flyer View Post
Actually Fox does have a clause in the BE contract that ups the anti if they ever go to 12 teams so there is still some hope. We still would be competing for that last spot with some other schools.
I think this has come up before: The best and most probable outcome for UD is an improved A10. Indeed, the A10 used to rank just below the power conferences.

But as we all know, the A10 has slipped significantly. Why can't the half dozen or so A10 schools that are really serious about BB excellence join forces to apply pressure on the conference to improve? If I recall correctly that was a topic Chris was going to discuss with Neil. Perhaps he has and I've forgotten the outcome.

In any case, for the half dozen that are serious about BB excellence, a weakened A10 is harmful. The A10 can be a four-bid league....and has been in the past. We seldom talk about that anymore. What holds the other schools back...that is, why don't they have clout with the league so as to pressure the schools that hold the A10 back?
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:56 AM
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Although we intend to take this year and move onward and upward, others, like the BE decision makers, are taking a wait and see. Is this year an illusion because we lucked out with an Obi Toppin?
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:44 AM
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As important as this year has been for the program, next year is even bigger. We will have a lot to replace and the ability of the young guys to contribute right away is significant. Next year really needs to be a top 25 type of year to keep the momentum. After that, I think it will be easier. I have given some thought to starting a next year thread but was afraid I would be tarred and feathered for even discussing it while we are in this major run.
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:05 PM
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We are never getting in the BE. Stay in the top 4 in the A10 every year and life will be good.
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by John C. View Post
As important as this year has been for the program, next year is even bigger. We will have a lot to replace and the ability of the young guys to contribute right away is significant. Next year really needs to be a top 25 type of year to keep the momentum. After that, I think it will be easier. I have given some thought to starting a next year thread but was afraid I would be tarred and feathered for even discussing it while we are in this major run.
If we make a major run in the tournament this season, next year we're going to still have a huge target on our backs. Every team likes to have a shot at last season's (insert superlative here). Remember when we played UConn in 2014 the season after we went to the Elite Eight and they won it all. We were playing the reigning national champs and it was exciting even though they were just a shadow of their previous season.

I really expect a very tough season next year but I can live with it after this one.
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