Toumani Camara, DaRon Holmes and Malachi Smith named Dayton men’s basketball MVPs

Trio helped the Flyers to a 24-11 overall record, including 14-4 in the Atlantic 10

Photo of Dayton Flyers Team (from St. Bonaventure). Photo courtesy of Rick Roshto

DAYTON — The University of Dayton announced that Toumani Camara, DaRon Holmes and Malachi Smith were each named men’s basketball Most Valuable Players Thursday evening at a private awards banquet. Holmes and Smith are the first freshmen in school history to be named team MVP.

Camara, a transfer from Georgia, was named Third Team All-Atlantic 10 after averaging 10.9 points and 6.9 rebounds a game. He started in 34 of the team’s 35 games, the only game he missed was UD’s only loss in the last month of the regular season, at LaSalle. Camara, a sophomore forward from Belguim, shot 46 percent (16 of 35) from three-point range during the Atlantic 10 season.

Holmes was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year, Second Team All-Atlantic 10 and member of the Atlantic 10 All-Defensive Team. He led the Flyers in scoring at 12.8 PPG and was the team’s second leading rebounder (6.1 RPG). Holmes broke Dayton’s single season blocked shot mark with 81, the old was 55 by the late Steve McElvene in 2015-16. In the last five games of the season, Holmes averaged 20.0 points per game.

Smith was a member of the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team and was named the MVP of the ESPN Events Invitational. He was the first Flyer freshman named an in-season tournament MVP since Roosevelt Chapman did it in the 1980 UD Invitational. In games Smith was started and finish, UD went 22-7. He was third on the team in scoring (9.3 PPG) and led the team in assists (5.3), steals (1.8) and minutes played (31.0).

Other award winners for Dayton, Holmes won the Thomas M. Luppe Award while Smith won the Alex Schoen Memorial Free Throw Trophy, going to the team’s top free throw shooter. Camara won the Shorty Sharpenter Memorial Rebounding Trophy and the James G and Purcell S Palmer Scholarship.

Koby Brea won the Chris Daniels Memorial Most Improved Player Award while R.J. Blakney took the Steve McElvene Award as the team’s top defender. Christian Wilson won the Dr. George Rau Spirit Award while Drew Swerlein was named the recipient of the John L Macbeth Memorial Scholar Athlete Award for the second straight year.

The Dayton Flyers went 24-11 this past season, finished tied for the second place in the Atlantic 10 and lost in the Second Round of the 2022 NIT.