Iowa Men's Basketball

Luka Garza is Iowa's 1st AP 1st-team All-America men's basketball player since 1952

Garza was on 63 of 65 first-team ballots

Iowa center Luka Garza (55) towered over the Big Ten this season. Here, Garza jumps to block out Purdue's Eric Hunter (2
Iowa center Luka Garza (55) towered over the Big Ten this season. Here, Garza jumps to block out Purdue’s Eric Hunter (2) during the two teams’ game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on March 3. Garza was named first-team All-America by Associated Press on Friday. Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

For the first time since 1952, Iowa has a first-team Associated Press men’s basketball All-America player.

Hawkeye junior center Luka Garza earned 63 first-team votes from the 65-person media voting panel. He became the first Hawkeye so honored since Chuck Darling in 1952. Murray Wier (1948) is Iowa’s only other first-teamer.

Garza averaged 23.9 points and 9.8 rebounds for the 20-11 Hawkeyes. He averaged 26.2 points in Big Ten games, and scored at least 20 in his last 16 conference contests.

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.

Dayton forward Obi Toppin was on all 65 AP ballots. He and Garza are joined on the first team by guards Payton Pritchard of Oregon, Myles Powell of Seton Hall and Markus Howard of Marquette. Michigan State guard Cassius Winston is on the second team.

Garza (740 points and 305 rebounds) is one of three Big Ten players to ever to total 740-plus points and 300-plus rebounds in a single-season (Purdue’s Glenn Robinson in 1994 and Purdue’s Joe Barry Carroll in 1979).

Garza has already been named the Big Ten’s Player of the Year, and is the National Player of the Year choice of The Sporting News, Basketball Times, Stadium, The Athletic, Bleacher Report, and ESPN. He is a first-team All-American according to The Sporting News, CBS, NBC, ESPN, Stadium, and USA TODAY.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Garza ranked second nationally with a dozen 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.

Comments: (319) 368-8840; mike.hlas@thegazette.com

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.