The National Association of Basketball Coaches on Monday announced the preseason watch list for the 2021 NABC Player of the Year, which includes senior All-American Luka Garza.
Over the last couple weeks, Garza has been named the only unanimous Associated Press Preseason All-American, Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year, and named to the Naismith Trophy Player of the Year and Kareem Abdul Jabbar Center of the Year Award watch lists.
Garza was a dominant force in 2019-20, earning National Player of the Year (six national media outlets) and Big Ten Player of the Year distinction, along with earning consensus first-team All-America laurels. Garza (740 points and 305 rebounds) was one of three Big Ten players to ever to total 740+ points and 300+ 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), 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. 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 native of Washington, D.C., 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 in 2019-20, 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.
The 2021 NABC Division I Player of the Year award will be announced during the 2021 NABC Guardians of the Game Awards Show, which takes place alongside the NABC Convention and Final Four.
Garza and the No. 5/6 Iowa Hawkeyes tipoff their 2020-21 season on Wednesday, against North Carolina Central. The contest is scheduled to start at 3:03 p.m. (CT) and will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Luka Garza 2020-21
- Associated Press Unanimous Preseason All-American
- Blue Ribbon First Team Preseason All-American
- CBS Sports First Team Preseason All-American
- Dick Vitale Preseason Player of the Year
- Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year
- Naismith Trophy Player of the Year Watch List
- NABC Division I Player of the Year Preseason Watch List
- Unanimous All-Big Ten Preseason Team
- Kareem Abdul Jabbar Center of the Year Watch List
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