BASKETBALL

Garza Makes History…Again

Another day and more history for Luka Garza.  he is the first two-time Consensus All-American in Iowa basketball history.

No one in the history of the Iowa program is more deserving of having their number retired than Garza.  We can debate the worthiness of past players, but the case for Garza is open and shut.

Below are some notes from an Iowa Sports Info press release…as I was scanning them, some numbers jumped out to me:

Garza broke the Iowa’s 32-year old scoring record held by Roy Marble on Feb. 21, 2021. His 2,246 points rank eighth-best in Big Ten history. In addition to ranking first in career scoring, Garza is tops at Iowa in conference scoring (1,399), total field goals made (847), field goal attempts (1,558), and 40-point games (2); second in rebounds (916) and 30-point games (12); fourth in double-doubles (34); fifth in blocked shots (153); sixth in free throw makes (439) and attempts (625); and 13th in 3-pointers made (113). He is the only men’s basketball player in Big Ten history to accumulate 2,200 points and 900 rebounds.

Wait, what?  Garza is 13th in program history in three-pointers made?  I did not expect to see that.

However, the last sentence of the sampled text above is even more amazing, and is first paragraph obituary stuff; Luka Garza is the only men’s basketball player in Big Ten history with 2,200 points and 900 rebounds.  That is incredible.

Garza is a throwback player to an era where giants often roamed the Midwest and Great Lakes hardwoods…and it has been a joy to behold.  Now, here is the release from Iowa:

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

Garza has earned unanimous consensus first-team All-America status for a second straight year 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 becomes the program’s only repeat consensus All-America honoree. 

This year marks the fourth time an Iowa player has earned national recognition by the NABC; Garza (first team) in 2020 and 2021, Ronnie Lester (third team) in 1979, and Jarrod Uthoff (third team) in 2016. 

Joining Garza on the first team are Ayo Dosunmu of Illinois, Gonzaga’s Corey Kispert, Jared Butler of Baylor, and Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham. 

Iowa has had an All-American in three of the last six seasons. Garza is a two-time first-team honoree (2020, 2021), while Jarrod Uthoff was a second-team selection in 2016. 

Garza is also a finalist for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, Naismith Trophy, Wooden Award, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, Senior CLASS Award, and the Lute Olson Award. 

Garza (6-foot-11, 265 pounds) has led the eighth-ranked Hawkeyes to 21 victories this season, including wins in eight of their last 10 contests. The Washington, D.C., native leads the nation in total points (687); player efficiency rating (35.84); 30-point games (7); field goals made (258); and 20-point games (19). Garza is seventh nationally in free throw makes (134) and attempts (188), and 10th in double-doubles (13). 

The two-time Big Ten Player of the Year averaged 21.9 points per game during the 20-game conference schedule, becoming the third player since 1990 to lead the Big Ten in scoring in consecutive seasons (Michigan State’s Steve Smith and Evan Turner of Ohio State). 

Garza broke the Iowa’s 32-year old scoring record held by Roy Marble on Feb. 21, 2021. His 2,246 points rank eighth-best in Big Ten history. In addition to ranking first in career scoring, Garza is tops at Iowa in conference scoring (1,399), total field goals made (847), field goal attempts (1,558), and 40-point games (2); second in rebounds (916) and 30-point games (12); fourth in double-doubles (34); fifth in blocked shots (153); sixth in free throw makes (439) and attempts (625); and 13th in 3-pointers made (113). He is the only men’s basketball player in Big Ten history to accumulate 2,200 points and 900 rebounds. 

The NABC will announce its 2021 National Player of the Year during its Guardians of the Game Awards Show on watchstadium.com on Friday, April 2 at 5:30 p.m. (CT).

No. 2 seed Iowa (21-8) will open NCAA Tournament play on Saturday against 15th-seeded Grand Canyon (17-6). Tipoff is scheduled for approximately 5:25 p.m. (CT) at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis.

 

2021 LUKA GARZA HONORS

•  Big Ten Men’s Basketball Player of the Year

•  Sporting News National Player of the Year

•  USBWA District VI Player of the Year

•  First Team All-America (NABC, Associated Press, Sporting News, USBWA)

•  Wooden Award National Ballot

•  Senior CLASS Award Finalist

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

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