Obi Toppin, Luka Garza, Myles Powell Headline 2020 Naismith Starting 5

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 7, 2020

DAYTON, OH - MARCH 07: Obi Toppin #1 of the Dayton Flyers reacts after a dunk in the second half of a game against the George Washington Colonials at UD Arena on March 7, 2020 in Dayton, Ohio. Dayton defeated George Washington 76-51. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Dayton star Obi Toppin followed up his Naismith award win last week by headlining the 2019-20 Naismith Starting Five. 

Toppin was named the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year. He was joined by Seton Hall's Myles Powell (Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year), Iowa's Luka Garza (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year), Oregon's Payton Pritchard (Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year) and Villanova's Saddiq Bey (Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year)

The Naismith Starting Five is given to the best players at each position in the country. Toppin was a virtual lock to lead the group after he was named the best men's player for the 2019-20 season by the Atlanta Tipoff Club last week. 

Toppin averaged 20.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, shot 63.3 percent from the field and 39.0 percent from three-point range in 31 games. The Flyers won a program-record 29 games with the New York native leading the way. 

Garza led the Hawkeyes in scoring average (23.9 points per game), rebounds (9.8), blocks (1.8) and ranked second in three-point percentage (35.8). He is the first Iowa player named to the Naismith Starting Five. 

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Oregon swept the Naismith Starting Five awards at point guard after Sabrina Ionescu received the honor on the women's side Monday. Pritchard beat out Duke's Tre Jones, Kansas' Devon Dotson, Marquette's Markus Howard and San Diego State's Malachi Flynn. 

Pritchard finished the 2019-20 season averaging 20.5 points and 5.5 assists per game. The Oregon native shot 41.5 percent from three-point range on 6.8 attempts per contest. 

Bey took his game to another level after a solid freshman campaign last season. The Wildcats star led the team with 16.1 points per game and ranked 17th in the nation with a 45.1 three-point percentage on 5.6 attempts per contest. 

Powell put a bow on his four-year Seton Hall career by winning the Jerry West Award after being named a consensus All-American and the 2019-20 Big East Player of the Year. He averaged 21.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, leading the Pirates to a 21-9 record and their first regular-season Big East title since 1992-93. 

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