Iowa’s Garza, Wieskamp Named to Wooden Award Watch List

University of Iowa All-American Luka Garza headlines the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 Watch List, which was announced on Tuesday. Junior Joe Wieskamp was also named to the Watch List.

Yesterday, Garza earned the first Big Ten Player of the Week honor for 2020-21 after averaging 33.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks in wins over North Carolina Central and Southern University. The native of Washington, D.C., scorched the nets making 86.2 percent (25-of-29) of his field goal attempts, 75 percent from 3-point range (3-of-4), and 87.5 percent from the foul line (14-of-16). His 33.5 scoring average is tops among Division I players.

The All-American center has netted 20 points or more in 18 straight contests, dating back to last season. That ties Oklahoma’s Trae Young (2017-18) for the second-longest streak by a major conference player over the last 20 seasons, trailing only North Carolina State’s T.J. Warren (19).

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 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.

Garza finished the 2019-20 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. Garza (44 at Michigan; 41 vs. Southern) is one of two players in Iowa history to score 40 points or more in two games in a career (John Johnson, 49 and 46).

Last month, Wieskamp was one of 20 shooting guards named to the 2021 Jerry West Award Watch List. Wieskamp was a third-team All-Big Ten and USBWA All-District honoree as a sophomore in 2019-20. He ranked second on the team in points per game (14.0) and rebounds (6.1), and tied for 13th in the Big Ten in 3-pointers made per contest (1.7). The native of Muscatine, Iowa, ranked first in the Big Ten in free throw accuracy (.856) and made his last 22 straight free throw attempts dating back to Feb. 13, 2020. Wieskamp posted three double-doubles, led the team in steals 10 times, and scored 15 points or more 13 times this past season.

The National Ballot consists of 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the Wooden Award. Nearly 1,000 voters will rank in order 10 of those 15 players when voting opens prior to the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performance during early round games. The Wooden Award All American Team will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the 2021 John R. Wooden Award will be presented following the NCAA Tournament in April.

No. 3 Iowa (2-0) hosts Western Illinois (0-0) on Thursday. The contest is scheduled to start at 7:03 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
  • Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 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
  • Big Ten Player of the Week (Nov. 30, 2020)

 Joe Wieskamp 2020-21

  • Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 Watch List
  • Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Watch List

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