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June 2020
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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,, 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)

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






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