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Archive for April 7th, 2020

Honors keep coming in for UD Flyers’ Obi Toppin as he is named recipient of 2020 Wooden Award

Obi Toppin discusses strategy with head coach Anthony Grant (courtesy Dayton Media Relations)

Toppin Has Been Named In Five Of The Six Major Player Of The Year Awards

 

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Athletic Club has announced that University of Dayton forward Obi Toppin is the winner of its 2020 John R. Wooden Award® presented by Wendy’s®.   Selected by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board, Toppin will receive John R. Wooden Award Trophy as the most outstanding college basketball player in the United States.

 

Toppin is the 2020 recipient of the two most-sought-after national player of the year awards – Naismith and Wooden – and has been named the national player of the year by five of the six most major awards.

 

Combine that with the seep of the five major Coach of the Year awards that Anthony Grant has earned, and this could definitely be called the Flyers’ Spring.

 

Toppin’s journey has been nothing short of incredible.  As a high school senior in 2016, Toppin had no Division I scholarship offers.  Now, after two years as a college player and as he heads to the NBA, he is the most decorated player in Dayton basketball history.

 

A 6-foot-9 redshirt sophomore from Brooklyn, Toppin is the University of Dayton’s first consensus All-American, having been picked a First Team All-American by The Sporting News, Associated Press, USBWA and NABC.

 

He has already been selected the College Basketball Player of the Year by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club (Naismith Trophy), the USBWA  (Oscar Robertson Award), the Associated Press, , the NABC, The Athletic, USA Today, CBSsports.com, NBC Sports, Fox Sports and Rivals.  Sports Illustrated announced its Top 50 College Basketball Players for the 2019-20 season in March, and Toppin’s uniform number matched his ranking – “1.”

 

He finished the year averaging 20.0 points and 7.5 rebounds a game, and shooting .633 (245-387) from the field, .390 (32-82) from 3-pt. range and .702 (99-141) from the line.  According to Synergy Basketball, Toppin led the nation with 1.20 points per possession while he was on the floor.

 

He was the only player in the country who averaged 20.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and shot over 60% from the field.  He also had the best field goal percentage in the last five years of any Division I player who averaged 20 points a game.

 

Toppin led the A-10 in FG% (.633, 245-387), and was second in scoring (20.0).  He was the only player in the conference to be listed in both the top ten in FG% and 3-pt. FG% (8th, .390, 32-82).  He was also fifth nationally in field goal percentage, even though he took more than double the number of three-pointers the rest of the top 10 combined.

 

The athletic high Flyer also led the nation in dunks (107).  His last five college field goals were dunks (his first two college field goals as a freshman were also slams).  Toppin ended his college career as UD’s career field goal percentage record holder by the slimmest of margins.  Toppin’s .6473 (446-689) edged Sean Finn’s previous record of .6469 (414-640).

 

Toppin lifted the Flyers to a 29-2 record, setting the most wins in school history even though UD did not get a chance to play any post-season games.  Dayton ended the year ranked third in the nation and will carry a 20-game win streak into 2020-21, the longest active streak in Division I.  UD won its third A-10 regular season championship in the last five years, but this season went undefeated (18-0) for the first time.

Past Wooden Award winners (courtesy wikipedia commons)

Men
Season Player School Position Class
1976–77 Marques Johnson UCLA F Senior
1977–78 Phil Ford North Carolina PG Senior
1978–79 Larry Bird Indiana State SF Senior
1979–80 Darrell Griffith Louisville SG Senior
1980–81 Danny Ainge BYU SG Senior
1981–82 Ralph Sampson Virginia C Junior
1982–83 Ralph Sampson Virginia C Senior
1983–84 Michael Jordan North Carolina SG Junior
1984–85 Chris Mullin St. John’s SFSG Senior
1985–86 Walter Berry St. John’s PF Senior
1986–87 David Robinson Navy C Senior
1987–88 Danny Manning Kansas PF Senior
1988–89 Sean Elliott Arizona SF Senior
1989–90 Lionel Simmons La Salle SF Senior
1990–91 Larry Johnson UNLV PF Senior
1991–92 Christian Laettner Duke F Senior
1992–93 Calbert Cheaney Indiana SF Senior
1993–94 Glenn Robinson Purdue SFPF Sophomore
1994–95 Ed O’Bannon UCLA SF Senior
1995–96 Marcus Camby UMass C Junior
1996–97 Tim Duncan Wake Forest C Senior
1997–98 Antawn Jamison North Carolina PF Junior
1998–99 Elton Brand Duke C Sophomore
1999–00 Kenyon Martin Cincinnati PF Senior
2000–01 Shane Battier Duke SFPF Senior
2001–02 Jason Williams Duke PG Junior
2002–03 T. J. Ford Texas PG Sophomore
2003–04 Jameer Nelson Saint Joseph’s PG Senior
2004–05 Andrew Bogut Utah C Sophomore
2005–06 J. J. Redick Duke SG Senior
2006–07 Kevin Durant Texas SF Freshman
2007–08 Tyler Hansbrough North Carolina PF Junior
2008–09 Blake Griffin Oklahoma PF Sophomore
2009–10 Evan Turner Ohio State SF Junior
2010–11 Jimmer Fredette BYU PG Senior
2011–12 Anthony Davis Kentucky C Freshman
2012–13 Trey Burke Michigan PG Sophomore
2013–14 Doug McDermott Creighton SFPF Senior
2014–15 Frank Kaminsky Wisconsin PF Senior
2015–16 Buddy Hield Oklahoma SG Senior
2016–17 Frank Mason III Kansas PG Senior
2017–18 Jalen Brunson Villanova PG Junior
2018–19 Zion Williamson Duke SFPF Freshman
2019–20 Obi Toppin Dayton PF Sophomore

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Doug Hauschild; COURTESY DAYTON MEDIA RELATIONS

 

Dayton’s Obi Toppin named 2020 Karl Malone Award winner

Obi Toppin on a breakaway slam vs Charleston Southern (courtesy Dayton Media Relations)

Naismith Basketball Hall Of Fame Award Tabs Toppin As The Top Collegiate Power Forward

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – University of Dayton forward Obi Toppin has been named the 2020 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year.  The award is presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and named after 11-time All-NBA First Team selection Karl Malone.

 

“I genuinely respect Obi Toppin and the work he has put in to achieve the results we all saw this season,” Malone said.  “I enjoy watching college basketball because the athletes give their all and take no possessions off – Obi is a perfect example of that. With his work ethic and athleticism, I’m excited to see him continue to further his game.”

 

The Malone Award is part of the Hall of Fame’s “Starting Five” awards program.  The other awards on the men’s side are the Bob Cousy Point Guard Award, the Jerry West Shooting Guard Award, the Julius Erving Small Forward Award and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center Award.  All five greats are members of the Naismith Hall of Fame.

 

2020 Men’s Naismith Starting Five Consists Of:

Payton Pritchard (Oregon) – Bob Cousy 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 Award

Obi Toppin (Dayton) – Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award

Luka Garza (Iowa) – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year

 

 

“The Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to celebrate the best in the game, men and women at every level,” said John Doleva, President of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “While we share in the sentiment that we would have loved to see these student-athletes playout the 2019-20 season, we are proud to honor them for their accomplishments and present them with awards that will eternally tie them to the greats of the game.”

 

A 6-foot-9 forward from Brooklyn, Toppin is the University of Dayton’s first consensus All-American, having been picked a First Team All-American by The Sporting News, Associated Press, USBWA and NABC.

 

He has already been selected the College Basketball Player of the Year by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club (Naismith Trophy), the USBWA  (Oscar Robertson Award), the Associated Press, , the NABC, The Athletic, USA Today, CBSsports.com, NBC Sports, Fox Sports and Rivals.  Sports Illustrated announced its Top 50 College Basketball Players for the 2019-20 season in March, and Toppin’s uniform number matched his ranking – “1.”

 

Toppin is also a finalist for the Los Angeles Athletic Club’s John R. Wooden Award.

 

He finished the year averaging 20.0 points and 7.5 rebounds a game, and shooting .633 (245-387) from the field, .390 (32-82) from 3-pt. range and .702 (99-141) from the line.  According to Synergy Basketball, Toppin led the nation with 1.20 points per possession while he was on the floor.

 

He was the only player in the country who averaged 20.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and shot over 60% from the field.  He also had the best field goal percentage in the last five years of any Division I player who averaged 20 points a game.

 

Toppin led the A-10 in FG% (.633, 245-387), and was second in scoring (20.0).  He was the only player in the conference to be listed in both the top ten in FG% and 3-pt. FG% (8th, .390, 32-82).  He was also fifth nationally in field goal percentage, even though he took more than double the number of three-pointers the rest of the top 10 combined.

 

The athletic high Flyer also led the nation in dunks (107).  His last five college field goals were dunks (his first two college field goals as a freshman were also slams).  Toppin ended his college career as UD’s career field goal percentage record holder by the slimmest of margins.  Toppin’s .6473 (446-689) edged Sean Finn’s previous record of .6469 (414-640).

 

Toppin lifted the Flyers to a 29-2 record, setting the most wins in school history even though UD did not get a chance to play any post-season games.  Dayton ended the year ranked third in the nation and will carry a 20-game win streak into 2020-21, the longest active streak in Division I.  UD won its third A-10 regular season championship in the last five years, but this season went undefeated (18-0) for the first time.

Past Winners (courtesy wikipedia commons)

Season Player School Class
2014–15 Montrezl Harrell Louisville Junior
2015–16 Georges Niang Iowa State Senior
2016–17 Johnathan Motley Baylor Junior
2017–18 Deandre Ayton Arizona Freshman
2018–19 Zion Williamson* Duke Freshman
2019–20 Obi Toppin* Dayton Sophomore

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Doug Hauschild; COURTESY DAYTON MEDIA RELATIONS

 

Ohio State’s Smith, Day, Holtmann Families join together to contribute $175,000 to Mid-Ohio Foodbank’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund

Food Bank Seeing Surging Need for Help as a Result of COVID-19

Buckeye Nation Encouraged to Make Donations to Food Bank

 

Gene Smith

Ryan Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Holtmann Ohio State Men's Basketball Coach 2019 photo By SneakinDeacon - Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – In response to the increasing number of central Ohioans who are facing food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, three Ohio State athletics families are teaming up to provide much-needed funds to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

 

Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith and his wife, Sheila, head football coach Ryan Day and his wife, Nina, and head basketball coach Chris Holtmann and his wife, Lori, are joining to donate $35,000 a month between April and August – a total of $175,000 – to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund. The fund will help the food bank acquire and distribute food and supplies to existing families in need while also addressing the increased demand from families recently impacted by the health crisis.

 

For every dollar donated, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank is able to secure $9 worth of groceries. That means the $175,000 donation from the Smiths, Days and Holtmanns will result in more than $1.5 million worth of groceries for Ohioans in need. The three families are hoping their donation inspires other members of Buckeye Nation to contribute, as well.

 

“So many people in our community are struggling to feed their families right now,” Smith said. “Our families wanted to do something to support those who need help. By contributing to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, we know we can make a significant impact.”

 

Matt Habash, president and CEO of the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, says the donation will go a long way in helping the food bank meet the surging need for assistance.

 

“We understand that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and that it will take months for many of our struggling neighbors to recover,” Habash said. “We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of these amazing families to be on this journey with us.”

 

The amount of food the Mid-Ohio Foodbank has distributed since March 23 is 14% more than the same period last year, a difference that will climb even higher in the coming weeks, Habash said. The food bank provides enough food for 150,000 meals a day across its 20-county service area, but that number has increased significantly in just the past three weeks.

 

“We keep reading about the thousands of central Ohioans who are losing their jobs, and it’s just devastating,” Nina Day said. “Ryan and I hope that our family can help ease the burden a bit for other families in our community. We hope, too, that by our example other members of Buckeye Nation might join us in making donations to feed others.”

 

All three families actively support numerous philanthropic organizations and causes throughout the year, but they wanted to do something additional that specifically helps people affected by COVID-19.

 

“Our families want to support the thousands of Ohio families who are struggling to make ends meet because of the coronavirus,” Chris Holtmann said. “The last thing they need to worry about is how they’ll put food on the table.”

 

Anyone interested in joining the Smiths, Days and Holtmanns in their families affected by COVID-19 can make a donation to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank at www.midohiofoodbank.org/buckeyenation.

THE PEOPLE. THE TRADITION. THE EXCELLENCE.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Jerry Emig; COURTESY OHIO STATE ATHLETICS COMMUNICATIONS


 

Iowa’s Garza named recipient of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center Award

Iowa Men’s Basketball

IOWA CITY, Iowa – University of Iowa junior Luka Garza has been named the recipient of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award. The announcement was made by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

 

Named after Hall of Famer and three-time NCAA Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the annual honor in its sixth year recognizes the top center in Division I men’s college basketball. He is the first Hawkeye to win the award and the third Big Ten player to earn the honor.

Luka Garza

 

“I have looked up to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar my entire life,” Garza said. “To win an award in his name is a tremendous honor and one that I share with my family. I am incredibly grateful to have the coaching staff, group of teammates, and my family, which put me in position to win this award. Lastly, I’d like to thank the loyal support of Hawkeye Nation!”

 

No player was more dominant in the paint in 2019-20 than Garza. Last week, the 6-foot-11 center was the recipient of the NABC Pete Newell Big Man of the Year Award.

 

“Luka Garza is a very intelligent player and it shows in his efficiency with the ball,” said Abdul-Jabbar. “To have 25 games with 20 points or more is no easy task and it proves the level of effort and focus he sustained throughout the season. Congratulations to Luka on this award and a remarkable junior year.”

 

Last month, six major news outlets named Garza as its national player of the year: Sporting NewsBasketball TimesStadiumBleacher Report, FOX, and ESPN. He is the first Iowa men’s basketball player to earn national player of the year distinction. Garza was also a unanimous consensus first-team All-America selection. He joins former Hawkeyes Murray Wier (1948) and Charles Darling (1952) as the program’s only consensus first team All-Americans.

 

“I am extremely proud of Luka and our program,” said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. “Knowing the amount of respect that Luka has for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, this award is incredibly special for Luka. No player in the country was as productive and consistent — against the quality of teams and players in the Big Ten — than Luka Garza in 2020,” added McCaffery. “It’s rewarding to watch a young man work and grow the way Luka has and to see the commitment he has to his teammates, to the program, and to his family.”

Garza (740 points and 305 rebounds) is one of three Big Ten players to ever to total 740+ points and 300+ rebounds in a single-season (Purdue’s Glenn Robinson in 1994 and Purdue’s Joe Barry Carroll in 1979). He ranked second nationally with 12 20-point/10-rebound performances, 20-point games (25); third in total field goals made (287) and points per 40 minutes played (29.8), fifth in scoring (23.9), 10th in 30-point games (5), 19th in double-doubles (15) and offensive rebounds per game (3.58), and 34th in rebounding (9.8). His 15 double-doubles are third most in a single-season by a Hawkeye in three decades and the most since 2002 (Reggie Evans, 18). Garza averaged 26.7 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks in 12 games against AP ranked opponents in 2019-20, including recording 11 straight 20-point performances, the longest streak by any player since UConn’s Kemba Walker in 2011.
The Big Ten and USBWA District VI Player of the Year, finished the 20-game conference schedule averaging 26.2 points per game, becoming the first player to average at least 26 points in Big Ten play since Purdue’s Glenn Robinson in 1994 (31.1 ppg). Garza scored a school-record 740 points this season, breaking the program’s 50-year old record previously set by John Johnson in 1970. He scored 20 points or more in a school-record 16 straight Big Ten games, the longest streak by any player in the Big Ten since Ohio State’s Dennis Hopson 16 in 1987.
Garza is the only Big Ten player to register seven 25-point/10-rebound performances in the same season in more than 17 years. He has produced the two highest point totals in a game by a Big Ten player this season (44 at Michigan; 38 at Indiana).

LUKA GARZA HONORS (2019-20)

•  Sporting NewsBasketball TimesStadiumBleacher Report, FOX, and ESPN National Player of the Year

•  Dick Vitale, Seth Davis, Andy Katz’s National Player of the Year

•  Unanimous Consensus First-Team All-America

•  NABC Pete Newell Big Man of the Year

•  Naismith Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year
•  Big Ten Men’s Basketball Player of the Year
•  USBWA District VI Player of the Year

•  Naismith Trophy, Wooden Award, Oscar Robertson Trophy, and Lute Olson Award finalist

Past Winners (courtesy wikipedia commons)

* Awarded a National Player of the Year award:
the Naismith College Player of the Year or the John R. Wooden Award
Player (X) Denotes the number of times the player has been awarded the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award

 

Season Player School Class
2014–15 Frank Kaminsky Wisconsin Senior
2015–16 Jakob Pöltl Utah Sophomore
2016–17 Przemek Karnowski Gonzaga Senior
2017–18 Ángel Delgado Seton Hall Senior
2018–19 Ethan Happ Wisconsin Senior
2019–20 Luka Garza Iowa Junior

 

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Matthew Weitzel; COURTESY IOWA ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

 

NASCAR announces 15 Nominees for 2021 Class, Landmark Award; Three will be inducted

Burton, Earnhardt Jr., Edwards, Elder, Matthews nominated for first time

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 7, 2020) — NASCAR today announced the 15 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021, introducing the Modern Era and Pioneer Ballots for the first time.

 

The list includes five first-time NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees – three on the Modern Era Ballot and two on the Pioneer Ballot.

 

Jeff Burton (21-time Cup Series winner), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (15-time most popular driver) and Carl Edwards (28-time Cup winner) join seven previous nominees on the Modern Era Ballot. Three-time Cup champion crew chief Jake Elder and renowned car builder Banjo Matthews join three previous nominees on the Pioneer Ballot, designed to honor those whose careers began more than 60 years ago (prior to 1961 for the Class of 2021).

 

The NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2021 will consist of two inductees from the list of Modern Era nominees, and one from the list of Pioneer nominees – for a total of three new inductees in 2021.

 

Janet Guthrie returns as a Landmark Award nominee, rejoining Alvin Hawkins, Mike Helton, Dr. Joseph Mattioli and Ralph Seagraves. Potential Landmark Award recipients include competitors or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role. Award winners remain eligible for NHOF enshrinement.

 

The Modern Era Ballot and Landmark Award nominees were selected by the Nomination Committee, which consists of representatives from NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from major facilities and historic short tracks. The new Honors Committee, largely comprised of all living Hall of Famers, Landmark Award winners and Squier-Hall Award winners, selected the Pioneer Ballot. Both committees’ votes were tabulated by accounting firm EY.

 

Following are the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2021 nominees and Landmark Award nominees:

Modern Era Ballot

Neil Bonnett, won 18 times in the NASCAR Cup Series including consecutive Coca-Cola 600 victories

Jeff Burton, won 21 times in the NASCAR Cup Series including the Southern 500 and two Coca-Cola 600s

Dale Earnhardt Jr., 15-time NASCAR Cup Series Most Popular Driver and two-time Xfinity Series champion

Carl Edwards, winner of 28 NASCAR Cup Series races and 2007 Xfinity Series champion

Harry Gant, winner of 18 NASCAR Cup Series races, including two Southern 500 victories

Harry Hyde, 1970 NASCAR Cup Series championship crew chief

 

Larry Phillips, first five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion

Ricky Rudd, won 23 times in NASCAR Cup Series, including the 1997 Brickyard 400

Kirk Shelmerdine, four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief

Mike Stefanik, winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships

Pioneer Ballot

Jake Elder, three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief

Red Farmer, three-time NASCAR Late Model Sportsman champion; 1956 Modified champion

Banjo Matthews, built cars that won more than 250 NASCAR Cup Series races and three championships

Hershel McGriff, 1986 NASCAR West Series champion

Ralph Moody, two-time NASCAR Cup Series owner champion as mechanical genius of Holman-Moody

Landmark Award

Janet Guthrie, the first female to compete in a NASCAR Cup Series superspeedway race

Alvin Hawkins, NASCAR’s first flagman; established NASCAR racing at Bowman Gray Stadium with Bill France Sr.

 

Mike Helton, named third president of NASCAR in 2000; career included track operator roles at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway

Dr. Joseph Mattioli, founder of Pocono Raceway

Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Josh Hamilton; COURTESY NASCAR COMMUNICATIONS

 

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