Eleventh-ranked Dayton could be without national player of the year candidate Obi Toppin when it hosts VCU on Tuesday in an Atlantic 10 Conference game. Toppin, a sophomore forward and John Wooden Award midseason watch list candidate, sustained a left ankle injury during Saturday's 88-60 victory over Massachusetts and was wearing a protective walking boot when he returned to the bench in the second half.
"I talked to him on the bench, and he was joking around," the Flyers' Ryan Mikesell told reporters. "I don't know the specifics, but obviously, (they) are going to do (their) best to get him to play on Tuesday. If not, it's the next-man-up mentality. We'll go with what we have." Toppin paces the team with 19.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks while shooting 63.3 percent from the field. VCU, which was ranked earlier this season, saw its 21-game home winning streak come to an end in stunning fashion, 65-56 to Rhode Island on Saturday. "It's the A-10, it's college basketball. (Let's) find out what we're made of," Rams coach Mike Rhoades told the media about Tuesday's game. "It's going to be crazy, it's going to be tough. But sign us up, let's go."
TIME: 8 p.m. ET. TV: CBS Sports Network
ABOUT VCU (12-4, 2-1 Atlantic 10): Marcus Santos-Silva averages team bests of 13.1 points and nine rebounds after recording 11 points and 14 rebounds Saturday for his sixth double-double of the season, and his 61.4 percent field goal percentage is second in the conference to Toppin. De'Riante Jenkins (10.8 points, 4.2 rebounds) has averaged 13.5 points and six boards in his last two games but is 2-for-10 from 3-point range during that span. Marcus Evans averages 11.1 points after scoring 11 versus Rhode Island.
ABOUT DAYTON (14-2, 3-0): Every starter scored in double figures against Massachusetts with Mikesell (10.9 points, 4.8 rebounds) recording 15 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Trey Landers (10.8 points, 5.8 rebounds) has reached double figures in scoring in his last four games and is 23-for-38 from the field during that span. Jalen Crutcher averages 12.8 points and 5.2 assists after scoring in double figures in six straight games and nine of 10 but hasn't reached his assist average in six of the past seven contests, while Ibi Watson scores 11.4 per game.
1. The Flyers average a conference-best 83.4 points - well ahead of second-place Richmond (75.2) - and also pace the A-10 in assists (19.4) by a wide margin over the Spiders (15.8).
2. Rhoades is 299-155 in 16 seasons, including 55-27 in two-plus years with the Rams.
3. VCU has won four straight meetings by a combined 15 points.
Key Players to Watch
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- Illnessout for season | out
Johnson has medically withdrawn from the team as he recovers from post-concussion syndrome and mononucleosis.
- AnkleProb Tues | probable
Toppin exited the previous game due to a left ankle sprain, but it is likely that he will suit up against VCU on Tuesday.
- ConcussionQues Sat | questionable
Evans left the last game with concussion-like symptoms, and it is uncertain if he will be cleared in time for Saturday's contest against La Salle.
- HandMid Feb | out
Williams has a broken hand, and he is likely to be sidelined for four weeks.
- ConcussionQues Tues | questionable
Evans sat out the previous game due to concussion-like symptoms, and it is undetermined if he will face St. Joseph's on Tuesday.