Iowa basketball: Luka Garza named ESPN player of the year
The college basketball season may have ended, but the accolades keep coming for Luka Garza.
Tuesday, the Iowa standout was named ESPN's national player of the year and also was selected to the outlet's five-member all-American first team.
So far, Garza has been tabbed as Sporting News' national player of the year, while also cracking the all-American first teams from USA Today, CBS Sports, Sporting News and NBC Sports. He was was also voted as the USBWA District VI and Big Ten player of the year last week.
Garza added Naismith finalist to his list as well, one of five awards the Hawkeyes star is up for. The others include the 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 to 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.