Dayton’s Obi Toppin tops Luka Garza for Naismith Award

This award comes after Toppin previously won AP Player of the Year.


Nichole Harris

Iowa center Luka Garza attempt to push past Illinois forward Giorgi Bezhanishvili during a men’s basketball game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Illinois Fighting Illini on Sunday, February 2, 2020. The Hawkeyes defeated the Fighting Illini 72-65.

Robert Read, Sports Editor

Dayton’s Obi Toppin has been named the 2019-20 Naismith Men’s Player of the Year, earning the award over Iowa’s Luka Garza.

Toppin had already been named AP Player of the Year on March 24, taking 34 of the 64 votes. Garza finished in second for that award with 24 votes.

With Toppin leading the way, Dayton went 29-2 last season out of the Atlantic 10 and was likely going to be a top seed in the NCAA Tournament. Toppin averaged 20 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, while shooting 63 percent from the field and 39 percent from the 3-point line.

“I wanna give thanks to my coaches and teammates,” Toppin said to CBS Sports HQ following his win. “Without those guys, I don’t think I’d be the player or the person that I am today.”

Garza, the Big Ten Player of the Year, averaged 23.9 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocked shots per game this season. He shot 58.9 percent from the field and 35.8 percent from beyond the arc.

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