University of Iowa men’s basketball junior Luka Garza has been named the National Player of the Year in college basketball by the publication Basketball Times on Thursday. Basketball Times has been a vice for collegiate basketball for over 20 years.
Basketball Times becomes the sixth outlet to name Garza national player of the year: Sporting News, Basketball Times, Stadium, The Athletic, Bleacher Report, and ESPN. Garza is the first player in Iowa history to earn national player of the year distinction.
In addition to being named a first-team All-American by every major news outlet so far, Garza was voted the USBWA District VI Player of the Year and Big Ten Men’s Basketball Player of the Year.
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.
Garza 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, ESPN National Player of the Year
• Dick Vitale and Andy Katz’s National Player of the Year
• Sporting News, 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