Luka Garza makes Hawkeyes history with first-team AP all-American selection
There are countless ways to contextualize Luka Garza's dominance this season. His latest accolade does so with some staggering history.
The Iowa standout was named an Associated Press first-team all-American Friday, becoming just the third Hawkeyes men's basketball player to do so and the first in almost seven decades. Garza joins Murray Wier (1948) and Charles Darling (1952) on this distinguished list.
It's been a steady stream of recognition since Garza's junior year abruptly ended before the Big Ten Tournament. Six major news outlets have already named Garza national player of the year: Sporting News, Basketball Times, Stadium, The Athletic, Bleacher Report and ESPN. Garza is the first Iowa men’s basketball player to earn national player of the year distinction.
Garza 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 total 740-plus points and 300-plus rebounds in a single season.
He ranked second nationally in 20-point,10-rebound performances (12), 20-point games (25); third in total field goals (287) and points per 40 minutes (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).
Garza's 15 double-doubles are third most in a single-season by a Hawkeye in three decades. The Washington, D.C., native averaged 26.7 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks in 12 games against AP ranked opponents this season.
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 produced the two highest point totals in a game by a Big Ten player this season (44 at Michigan; 38 at Indiana).
Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, HawkCentral.com and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.