Dayton's Obi Toppin wins Wooden Award, sweeps NCAA basketball honors


One of the Warriors’ options for their first pick in the 2020 NBA Draft would bring a lot of hardware with him to the Bay Area. 

Dayton forward Obi Toppin won the John R. Wooden Award on Tuesday, completing a sweep of all the major individual awards. The 22-year-old already had won the Naismith Trophy, as well as the Associated Press and National Association of Basketball Coaches player of the year awards.

Toppin averaged 20 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists as a redshirt sophomore this past season. He shot an efficient 63.3 percent from the field and 39 percent from 3-point range, showcasing NBA-ready athleticism and leading Dayton to college basketball's upper eschelon. 

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He is expected to be a lottery pick, with projections varying on where he’ll land. NBC Sports California’s James Ham had Toppin being selected No. 9 overall in his latest mock draft, and Toppin conceivably could slide further in the lottery if teams attribute his college success to his age and size (6-foot-9, 220 pounds) playing against younger, smaller players. 

Toppin already has his eyes on Golden State, at least according to his parents. Obadiah and Roni Toppin told Dell and Sonya Curry on the “Raising Fame” podcast that the younger Toppin most wants to play for the Warriors. 

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The forward’s age and size could aid in his adjustment to the NBA, thus making Toppin a more dependable option for the Warriors. Golden State wants to ascend back into title contention whenever the next season begins in the aftermath of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and Toppin might be one of the readier prospects to help reach that level. 

Whether the Warriors select Toppin will depend upon where they pick, and that’s entirely unclear given the uncertainty surrounding the end of the 2019-20 NBA season due to the pandemic. Should Golden State call Toppin’s name on draft night, he’d probably need a few extra carry-on bags to fit all of his awards on an eventual flight to San Francisco.