Gophers sophomore center Daniel Oturu is putting up some of the best statistics of any college basketball player in the country, and the nation is starting to take notice. On Monday, Oturu was selected to the John R. Wooden Award Late Season Top 20.
Oturu is among the top performers in NCAA Division I, putting him in the running for the award for the best college basketball player in the country, which will be presented in the spring. Duke sophomore point guard Tre Jones, the Apple Valley High School product, also is on the list.
Oturu, who attended Cretin-Derham Hall, leads the Gophers with averages of 19.7 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. Those figures rank second and first in the Big Ten while placing him 33rd and seventh nationally, respectively.
Oturu is also leading the Big Ten shooting 58.5% from the field, and is the conference’s second-leading shot-blocker, at 2.6 per game.
Oturu, who has started every game, has scored in double figures in all but one and has 11 games of 20 or more points. He is also third in the Big Ten in minutes per game, averaging a little more than 34 per contest.
Oturu is one of two players, along with Baylor’s Jared Butler, who made the top 20 without being among the Wooden preseason top 50 or midseason top 25.
Fifteen Wooden finalists will be announced during the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament, and the winner will be announced April 10 during ESPN’s college basketball awards show.
• Minnesota Duluth rose four spots to No. 6 in the United States College Hockey Online men’s hockey poll, after its weekend sweep at Denver. No. 1 North Dakota and Cornell swapped places atop the poll, while Minnesota State Mankato held at No. 3.
• In the women’s poll, the Gophers dropped from second to fourth after its weekend split with No. 9 UMD. Wisconsin remained No. 1, while Cornell replaced the Gophers at No. 2, followed by Northeastern. Ohio State is fifth.