DAYTON — UPDATE @ 7:18 p.m.: The Los Angeles Athletic Club this afternoon named Obi Toppin winner of the 2020 John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s Men’s Player of the Year.
Toppin is the first player from Dayton to receive the honor and the first from the Atlantic 10 Conference since Jameer Nelson (St. Joseph’s) won in 2004.
Toppin was the only player in the nation who averaged 20 points, 7 rebounds and shot 60% from the field while being in the top-five nationally in field goal percentage. He also led the nation in dunks with a school-record 107. His 190 career dunks are also a Dayton record.
Dayton’s Obi Toppin moved closer to a sweep of the major prestigious college basketball awards after being named the nation’s best power forward by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Toppin was named the recipient of the Karl Malone Award Tuesday, one of five honors bestowed by the hall of fame to the best college basketball players at their respective positions. Also honored Tuesday as a part of the 2020 Naismith “Starting Five” were:
- Payton Pritchard, Oregon, Bob Cousey Point Guard of the Year Award
- Myles Powell, Seton Hall, Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award
- Saddiq Bey, Villanova, Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year
- Luka Garza, Iowa, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year
Tonight the final prestigious national award, the John R. Wooden Award, will be presented by the Los Angeles Athletic Club to their national player of the year.
Toppin is a finalist for the award; and a win tonight would mean a sweep of the major national awards for the Flyer forward.
Toppin has already been named the winner of the Naismith Trophy for national player of the year, Associated Press Player of the Year and First Team All-American, and player of the year by the US Basketball Writers Association. Numerous other outlets including CBS Sports, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and others also named him their national player of the year.
Toppin finished the season averaging 20 points and 7.5 rebounds per game while shooting over 63 percent from the field, leading the Flyers to a 29-2 record overall and 18-0 in Atlantic 10 Conference play. The Flyers finished ranked third in the final Associated Press Top 25 Poll.
Toppin declared for the 2020 NBA Draft March 25, and would not maintain his eligibility, ending his collegiate career. His Dayton career concluded with 1,096 points, good for 39th in program history and the program-record for dunks with 190.
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