Gonzaga’s Petrusev named AP 3rd team All-American

Gonzaga's Filip Petrusev slams home two of high 15 points against Pacific.
Gonzaga's Filip Petrusev slams home two of high 15 points against Pacific.

SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga’s Filip Petrusev was named third team All-American by the Associated Press Friday. The sophomore is the first Zag underclassman to be named to one of the three AP All-American postseason teams in program history.

Petrusev was joined by Jordan Nwora (Louisville), Jared Butler (Baylor), Tre Jones (Duke) and Jalen Smith (Maryland) on the third team. Dayton’s Obi Toppin is the lone unanimous first-team choice. He was joined on the first team with Iowa’s Luka Garza, Marquette’s Markus Howard, Myles Powell of Seton Hall and Oregon’s Payton Pritchard.

Toppin received first-team votes from the entire 65-person media panel and is Dayton’s first first-team AP All-American after averaging 20 points. 7.0 rebounds and shooting 63% in a breakout season that was canceled by the coronavirus pandemic.

Petrusev was named the 2020 West Coast Conference Player of the Year. He became the first underclassman to receive the honor since 1981. He was named to the national ballot for the John R. Wooden Award, which is presented to the nation’s best player. He is also a finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award.

Petrusev averaged a team-high 17.5 points per game, which ranked third in the West Coast Conference. He topped the league shooting 56.2 percent from the field. The sophomore was second in the WCC grabbing 7.9 rebounds per game. He was ninth blocking 0.9 shots each game.

In conference play, Petrusev scored 18.5 points, while shooting 57.8 percent from the field. This season, he had nine double-doubles this season, which ranked second in the WCC. The Belgrade, Serbia, native reached double-digit scoring in all but two games this season. He reached at least 20 points a team-high nine times in 2019-20, including a career-high 31 points in a win at Santa Clara.

Petrusev drew 7.7 fouls per 40 minutes, which was the fourth-most in the nation. His 238 free-throw attempts rank as the fourth-most taken in the country. Petrusev was named the WCC Player of the Week three times during the Zags’ 31-2 season.