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Iowa’s Luka Garza named AP First-Team All-America


This news story was published on March 21, 2020.
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Luka Garza
hawkeyesports.com

IOWA CITY – Junior Luka Garza became just the third University of Iowa men’s basketball player, and first in nearly seven decades, to be voted first-team All-America by the Associated Press. Garza earned 63 first-team votes from the 65-person media voting panel. 

The Associated Press is one of four outlets used by the NCAA to determine its consensus All-America teams (AP, National Association of Basketball Coaches, United States Basketball Writers Association, and Sporting News). Garza was named to the first-team All-America squad by Sporting News last week with USBWA and the NABC expected to make their announcements next week.

Garza joins Murray Wier (1948) and Charles Darling (1952) as the only Hawkeye players named to the AP All-American First Team.

Six major news outlets have already named Garza as its national player of the year: Sporting News, Basketball Times, Stadium, The Athletic, Bleacher Report, and ESPN. Garza is the first Iowa men’s basketball player to earn national player of the year distinction.

The Washington, D.C., native is also a finalist for five national awards: Naismith Trophy, Oscar Robertson Trophy, Wooden Award, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, and the Lute Olson Award.

Garza (740 points and 305 rebounds) is one of three Big Ten players to ever to total 740+ points and 300+ rebounds in a single-season (Purdue’s Glenn Robinson in 1994 and Purdue’s Joe Barry Carroll in 1979). He ranked second nationally with 12 20-point/10-rebound performances, 20-point games (25); third in total field goals made (287) and points per 40 minutes played (29.8), fifth in scoring (23.9), 10th in 30-point games (5), 19th in double-doubles (15) and offensive rebounds per game (3.58), and 34th in rebounding (9.8). His 15 double-doubles are third most in a single-season by a Hawkeye in three decades and the most since 2002 (Reggie Evans, 18). Garza averaged 26.7 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks in 12 games against AP ranked opponents in 2019-20, including recording 11 straight 20-point performances, the longest streak by any player since UConn’s Kemba Walker in 2011.

The Big Ten and USBWA District VI Player of the Year, finished the 20-game conference schedule averaging 26.2 points per game, becoming the first player to average at least 26 points in Big Ten play since Purdue’s Glenn Robinson in 1994 (31.1 ppg). Garza scored a school-record 740 points this season, breaking the program’s 50-year old record previously set by John Johnson in 1970. He scored 20 points or more in a school-record 16 straight Big Ten games, the longest streak by any player in the Big Ten since Ohio State’s Dennis Hopson 16 in 1987.

Garza is the only Big Ten player to register seven 25-point/10-rebound performances in the same season in more than 17 years. He has produced the two highest point totals in a game by a Big Ten player this season (44 at Michigan; 38 at Indiana).

LUKA GARZA HONORS (2019-20)

•  Sporting News, Basketball Times, Stadium, The Athletic, Bleacher Report, and ESPN National Player of the Year

•  Dick Vitale and Andy Katz’s National Player of the Year

•  Sporting News, AP, CBS, NBC, ESPN, Stadium, USA Today First-Team All-America
•  Big Ten Men’s Basketball Player of the Year
•  USBWA District VI Player of the Year

•  Naismith Trophy Finalist
•  Wooden Award National Ballot
•  Oscar Robertson Player of the Year Trophy Semifinalist
•  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award Finalist
•  Lute Olson Award Top 30

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