Hawkeyes’ Luka Garza named Big Ten Player of the Year

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Iowa’s Luka Garza fires a 3 in the closing seconds of the Hawkeyes’ 77-68 win over Penn State on February 29, 2020. (Ryan Jaster, HawkeyeHQ.com)

Iowa’s Luka Garza was named the Big Ten’s Player of the Year on Monday.

Both the media and coaches votes selected the Hawkeyes’ junior, who averaged 23.9 points and 9.8 rebounds in the regular season and scored 20 or more points in 16 consecutive conference contests.

“This is a dream come true,” Garza said. “Being the first Hawkeye to win this award in 52 years means the world to me. You dream of moments like this. I want to thank my teammates and coaches. To be honest, if I wasn’t in this program, I don’t think any of this would be possible.”

Garza finished the 20-game conference schedule averaging 26.2 points per game to become Iowa’s first scoring leader in Big Ten games only since Adam Haluska (21.3 ppg) in 2007. Garza is the first player to average at least 26 points in Big Ten play since Purdue’s Glenn Robinson in 1994 (31.1 ppg).

Garza is Iowa’s single-season scoring record holder with 740 points, breaking the program’s 50-year old record previously set by John Johnson in 1970.

Garza was also a unanimous first-team selection by both the media and coaches. Sophomore Joe Wieskamp was a third-team all-conference honoree, while CJ Fredrick was selected to the five-player All-Freshman Team. Redshirt sophomore Connor McCaffery is the recipient of Iowa’s Big Ten Men’s Basketball Sportsmanship Award.

Iowa becomes the only school in conference history to win Big Ten Player of the Year in men’s basketball (Garza), women’s basketball (Kathleen Doyle) and wrestling (Spencer Lee) in the same year. 

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