May 17, 2022

Iowa’s Garza claims consensus All-American status

IOWA CITY The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) announced its first-team All-America team on Tuesday, which included University of Iowa junior center Luka Garza.

Garza has earned consensus first-team All-America status as a result of being voted to All-America first teams by the NBAC, Sporting News, Associated Press and United States Basketball Writers Association).

Garza joins former Hawkeyes Murray Wier (1948) and Charles Darling (1952) as consensus first team All-Americans.

Garza becomes the first Hawkeye in program history to be voted to the first team and third Iowa player to earn national recognition by the NABC; Ronnie Lester and Jarrod Uthoff were third team honorees in 1979 and 2016, respectively.

Five major news outlets have already named Garza as its national player of the year: Sporting News, Basketball Times, Stadium, Bleacher Report and ESPN. He was not the AP Player of the Year, which was announced on Tuesday.

Garza is the first Iowa men’s basketball player to earn national player of the year distinction. Additionally, Garza has been named first team All-America by every major news outlet.

The Washington, D.C., native also is 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 or more points and 300 or more rebounds in a single season. 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. 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.