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Sabrina Ionescu And Obi Toppin Are The 2020 Naismith Players Of The Year

Two players who considered leaving college hoops to go pro in 2019 were named the Naismith Players of the Year on Friday, as Dayton forward Obi Toppin and Oregon wing Sabrina Ionescu took home college basketball’s top individual prize for the 2019-20 campaign.

In his redshirt sophomore season, Toppin scored 20 points a night on tremendous efficiency, propelling Dayton to become one of the most dynamic offenses in the country. After initially testing the draft waters in 2019, Toppin was the key to making small ball work for head coach Anthony Grant, who won the Naismith Coach of the Year award this week.

In the women’s game, Ionescu somewhat surprisingly came back to Oregon for her senior season despite being the presumptive No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 WNBA Draft. Ionescu scored 19.6 points per game, shot 42.2 percent from deep, and was a nightly triple-double threat with 7.4 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game. Perhaps no team in all of college basketball was as much fun as Ionescu’s Ducks, yet she was ultimately unable to seize a championship after the cancelation of the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments.

Toppin declared for the NBA Draft last week, and is widely expected to be a top-10 pick. As for Ionescu, she once again is presumed to be the top overall selection in the upcoming WNBA Draft, which belongs to the New York Liberty. Should that come to fruition, she will head to Brooklyn to reignite one of the league’s original franchises as they move to the Barclays Center.