May 29, 2020
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Dayton’s Obi Toppin wins Wooden Award as top hoops player

John Minchillo | AP
John Minchillo | AP
In this Jan. 14, 2020, file photo, Dayton's Obi Toppin (1) celebrates during the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Virginia Commonwealth in Dayton, Ohio. Toppin and Dayton head coach Anthony Grant have claimed top honors from The Associated Press after leading the Flyers to a No. 3 final ranking. Toppin has won the John Wooden Award given to the nation's outstanding college basketball player. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

BRISTOL, Conn. — Obi Toppin of Dayton won the John R. Wooden Award as the nation’s outstanding college basketball player.

Toppin, along with Saddiq Bey of Villanova, Luka Garza of Iowa, Myles Powell of Seton Hall and Peyton Pritchard of Oregon, also won positional awards from the Basketball Hall of Fame.

The winners were announced Tuesday on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” broadcast. They are usually honored at the College Basketball Awards in Los Angeles, which was scheduled for Friday, but got canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Toppin is the first player from Dayton to win the Wooden Award and the first Atlantic-10 Conference player to do so since Jameer Nelson of St. Joseph’s in 2004. Toppin averaged 20 points, 7.0 rebounds and shot 60% from the field. He led the nation in dunks with a school-record 107 and his 190 career slams also set a school mark.

Wooden Award voting took place from March 16-23.

Toppin also received the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year.

Bey received the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year award. He averaged 16.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and shot 45% from 3-point range.

Garza was named the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year. He averaged 23.9 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks.

Powell earned the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year. He averaged 21 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists.

The Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year went to Pritchard, who averaged 20.5 points, 5.5 assists and shot 82% from the free-throw line.

Each award’s namesake headed his own selection committee to evaluate candidates throughout the season. Fans also were able to vote.

 


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