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Dayton's Obi Toppin, Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu named finalists for Wooden Award

Dayton's Obi Toppin is leaving school after his sophomore season to enter the 2020 NBA Draft. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Dayton's Obi Toppin is leaving school after his sophomore season to enter the 2020 NBA Draft. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

April 2 (UPI) -- Dayton men's basketball star Obi Toppin and Oregon women's basketball star Sabrina Ionescu have been named finalists for the John R. Wooden Award.

Iowa's Luka Garza, Marquette's Markus Howard and Seton Hall's Myles Powell were also named finalists on Wednesday for the award given annually to the most outstanding player in the country in men's basketball. Ionescu's teammate Ruthy Hebard, Baylor's Lauren Cox, South Carolina's Tyasha Harris and Kentucky's Rhyne Howard are the other women's finalists.

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Toppin is a front-runner for the men's honor. He averaged 20 points and 7.5 rebounds while leading the Flyers to the No. 3 ranking in the country. Ionescu -- the reigning women's Wooden Award winner -- averaged 17.5 points, 9 assists and 8.6 rebounds per game for the No. 2 Ducks.

Azubuike shot a Division I-best 74.8 percent from the floor and averaged 13.7 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game for the No. 1 Jayhawks.

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Howard was the best scorer in the nation this season in men's basketball, averaging 27. 8 points per game. Garza posted 23.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. Powell averaged 21 points per game for Seton Hall.

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Toppin -- a sophomore -- announced last week that he planned to sign with an agent and enter the 2020 NBA Draft. Azubuike, Howard and Powell are seniors.

Howard, Powell, Azubuike, Garza and Toppin were also named All-Americans. Kansas' Devon Dotson, San Diego State's Malachi Flynn, Gonzaga's Filip Petrusev, Oregon's Payton Pritchard and Michigan State's Cassius Winston also made the top-10 All-Americans list.

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Hebard averaged 17.3 points and 9.6 rebounds per game for the Ducks. Cox averaged 12.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.7 blocks per game for No. 3 Baylor. Harris posted 12.1 points per game while shooting 38 percent from 3-point range for No. 1 South Carolina. Howard averaged 23.4 points per game for the Wildcats.

The 44th annual Wooden Award presentation for the most outstanding women's player will be given at 5 p.m. EST Monday on ESPN. The men's award will be presented at 5 p.m. EDT Tuesday on ESPN.

Former Duke star Zion Williamson won the 2019 men's Wooden Award before becoming the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Ionescu this season became the first player in NCAA history -- men's or women's -- to accumulate 2,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds and 1,000 career assists. The three-time Pac-12 Player of the Year could become the fourth player in history to win two consecutive Wooden Awards.

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Both the men's and women's basketball seasons was shortened due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the NCAA canceling their respective 2020 Division 1 basketball tournaments on March 12.

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