Wed, 03 Jun 2020

Dayton's Toppin, Oregon's Ionescu head Wooden finalists

Field Level Media
02 Apr 2020, 11:55 GMT+10

Breakout Dayton star Obi Toppin is among the five finalists for the men's John R. Wooden Award, while reigning winner Sabrina Ionescu of Oregon heads the field of five for the women's version of the award.

The finalists were unveiled Wednesday.

Joining Toppin, a sophomore forward, on the lists of men's finalists are Kansas center Udoka Azubuike, Iowa junior center Luka Garza, Marquette senior guard Markus Howard, and Seton Hall guard Myles Powell.

The five finalists are part of the 10-player Wooden All-American team. The others are Kansas sophomore guard Devon Dotson, San Diego State junior guard Malachi Flynn, Gonzaga sophomore forward Filip Petrusev, Oregon senior guard Payton Pritchard and Michigan State senior guard Cassius Winston.

Ionescu, a senior guard, became the first player in NCAA basketball history -- men's or women's -- to reach 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists during a career. Ionescu was recently named Pac-12 Player of the Year for the third straight time, joining Stanford's Candice Wiggins (2004-08) as the only three-time winners. Wiggins won her three over a four-season span.

Oregon senior forward Ruthy Hebard joins Ionescu as one of the five finalists, who also make up the Wooden Women's All-American Team. The others are Kentucky sophomore guard Rhyne Howard, South Carolina senior guard Tyasha Harris and Baylor senior forward Lauren Cox.

The women's winner will be announced Monday, and the men's winner will be revealed Tuesday. Both announcements will air live on ESPN.

Toppin recently was named Player of the Year by The Associated Press after averaging 20 points and 7.5 rebounds and leading Dayton to a 29-2 record.

Howard led the nation with a 27.8 scoring average while Garza was fifth at 23.9. Powell averaged 21 points, and Azubuike averaged 13.7 points and 10.5 rebounds while leading the nation in field-goal percentage at .748.

Ionsecu averaged 17.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and a national-best 9.1 assists. Hebard averaged 17.3 points and 9.6 rebounds, Cox contributed 12.5 points and 8.4 rebounds, Harris averaged 12 points and 5.7 assists while Howard finished second in the nation with a 23.4 scoring average.

Ionescu is looking to join LSU's Seimone Augustus (2005-06), Tennessee's Candace Parker (2007-08), Baylor's Brittney Griner (2012-13) and Connecticut's Breanna Stewart (2015-16) as back-to-back Wooden winners. UConn's Maya Moore (2009, 2011) also won the award twice.

Duke's Zion Williamson was the 2019 men's winner.

--Field Level Media

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