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Iowa Center Luka Garza Named AP Men’s College Basketball Player of the Year

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Oregon at Iowa IndyStar-USA TODAY Sports

In 2020 Iowa standout Luka Garza was a consensus first-team All-American, the Big Ten Player of the Year and the Sporting News National Player of the Year. While the abrupt offseason lead to speculation over if Garza would declare for the draft, the center ultimately chose to return for his senior season.

With increased hype and pressure to have another big season in 2020-21 it looked like Garza ultimately delivered.

The 6’11” senior finished the season with 24.1 points and 8.7 rebounds per game while also shooting 55.3% from the field and 44% from three. Garza beat out fellow Big Ten star Ayo Dosunmu for player of the year, with five players receiving votes from a 63 member national media panel:

  1. Luka Garza (50 votes)
  2. Ayo Dosunmu (6 votes)
  3. Cade Cunningham (3 votes)
  4. Jared Butler (2 votes)
  5. Corey Kispert (2 votes)

While Garza won the AP Player of the Year award, one has to feel that his senior season fell a bit short of expectations from a team standpoint. Even though Garza had a highly impressive season from an individual perspective, the Hawkeyes finished third in the conference and were bounced in the second round of the NCAA Tournament by Oregon.