Mountain West NCAA SDSU
Malachi Flynn, in a March 2020 game against Nevada. Photo credit: goaztecs.com

San Diego State’s Malachi Flynn enjoyed a great cap to his junior season with his inclusion on the John R. Wooden Award All-American Team.

ESPN broadcast the announcement, by the Los Angeles Athletic Club, earlier this week.

The Wooden Award All-American Team consists of the nation’s top-10 players. The honor, widely considered the most prestigious in college basketball, began being handed out 44 years ago.

Flynn became second San Diego State player to be named a Wooden Award All-American, joining Michael Cage. Cage earned the honor in 1984.

He also became just the second player from a California college or university to be included on a Wooden All-American Team since 2008.

Past Mountain West honorees include Utah’s Andrew Bogut in 2005 and BYU’s Jimmer Fredette in 2011.

Joining Flynn as a 2020 Wooden All-American: Udoka Azubuike and Devon Dotson, of Kansas;
Luka Garza, Iowa; Markus Howard, Marquette; Filip Petrusev, Gonzaga; Myles Powell, Seton Hall; Payton Pritchard, Oregon; Obi Toppin, Dayton, and Cassius Winston, Michigan State.

Flynn stood out as the star on a San Diego State team that went 30-2 on the season and captured the regular-season Mountain West flag. They were expected to claim a high seed at the NCAA Tournament, but lost their chance due to the mass coronavirus cancellations of sporting events.

A 6-1 guard, Flynn finished the regular season ranked No. 14 in the nation in assist-to-turnover (2.86:1) ratio and No. 43 in assists (163) and free throw percentage (85.7).

Flynn, now the most decorated men’s basketball player in a single-season at San Diego State, also has received:

  • A consensus All-American label, based on his inclusion on the All-American teams of the Associated Press, United States Basketball Writers of American (USBWA), the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and The Sporting News.
  • First-team All-American honors from Sports Illustrated and STADIUM, and second-team recognition from CBS Sports, NBC Sports, and The Athletic.

Wooden, the much-heralded late UCLA coach, insisted that all players be certified by their universities as meeting or exceeding the criteria for the award.

Qualifications include maintaining a cumulative 2.0 grade point average. Players also must exhibit strength of character both on and off the court, excel on offense and defense, and should be considered on their performance over the course of the entire season.

Voters consist of nearly 1,000 members of the national college basketball media.

– Staff reports