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Dayton’s Obi Toppin withdraws from NBA Draft, returns for sophomore year

The Atlantic 10 just got that much tougher next year.

NCAA Basketball: Battle 4 Atlantis-Dayton vs Virginia Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

What was projected to be an already tough Atlantic 10 season just got tougher on Tuesday following Obi Toppin’s decision to withdraw from the NBA Draft and return to Dayton for his sophomore season.

Toppin went through the NBA Draft process after a strong freshman campaign in which he averaged 14.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game as the Flyers won 21 games. He’ll enter the 2019-20 season as one of the A-10’s best big men and solidifies a starting lineup that will be among the best in the conference next year. His return adds another team to the growing list of potential contenders.

The Atlantic 10 race next year is going to be one of the best in the country to follow. VCU returns a deep roster that earned an at-large bid the NCAA Tournament last year, and could very well be tabbed as a top 25 team in the country in preseason polls. Davidson is bringing back the league’s best duo in Kellan Grady and Jon Axel Gudmundsson, and Rhode Island is bringing back much of their core in year two of the David Cox era. Even St. Bonaventure, Duquesne and Saint Louis have pieces returning that are good enough to compete. It could end up being the deepest the league has been since 2014 when there were six teams in the NCAA Tournament.

As NBA decisions trickle in and rosters inch closer to being finalized, it’s becoming clearer by the day that the 2019-20 Atlantic 10 is going to be one of the better leagues in the country.