Gophers sophomore Daniel Oturu wasn’t listed on the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar watch list going into the season. But he made sure to prove he deserves to be mentioned among the top centers in the country.
Oturu was one of the top 10 finalists for the nation’s top center award released Friday. The 6-foot-10, 240-pound Woodbury product is playing at an All-American level with 19.6 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game this season.
The Gophers (12-10, 6-6) play at No. 22 Penn State on Saturday in State College, Pa. In the last meeting between the two teams, Oturu finished with 26 points and 14 rebounds in a 75-69 win on Jan. 15.
On Wednesday, Oturu helped to lead the Gophers to a 70-52 victory against rival Wisconsin with 17 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks.
This is the second national award Oturu was nominated for recently. He also was listed for the first time among the top 20 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award, given to the top player in college basketball.
Joining Oturu on the Kareem list was Duke's Vernon Carey, Iowa’s Luke Garza, Ohio State’s Kaleb Wesson, Georgetown's Omer Yurtseven, Gonzaga's Filip Petrusev, Kansas' Udoka Azubuike, USC's Onyeka Okongwu, Washington's Isaiah Stewart and William & Mary's Nathan Knight.