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Luka Garza Recipient of 3 National Player of the Year Awards

Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 4:45 PM CDT
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INDIANAPOLIS (KCRG) - University of Iowa senior Luka Garza was announced as the winner of three national player of the year awards on Thursday: Oscar Robertson Trophy, Associated Press College Player of the Year, and Lute Olson National Player of the Year

OSCAR ROBERTSON TROPHY

  • Garza is Iowa’s first Oscar Robertson Trophy winner and the first from the Big Ten since Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky in the 2014-15 season. He is the eighth player and the ninth overall honoree from the Big Ten. Following a 15-year hiatus between 1995-2009, the Big Ten has now claimed four of the last 12 awards.
  • The Oscar Robertson Trophy is voted on by the entire USBWA membership, which consists of more than 900 journalists. The Oscar Robertson Trophy is the nation’s oldest award. The legendary Oscar Robertson was the USBWA’s first player of the year in 1959 and was the consensus national player of the year as a sophomore in 1958, the year before the USBWA started giving its player of the year award. The USBWA renamed the award the Oscar Robertson Trophy in 1998.

ASSOCIATED PRESS COLLEGE BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR

  • Garza is the first Hawkeye and 12th player from a Big Ten school to win the Associated Press College Basketball Player of the Year Award.
  • Garza was the runner-up for last year’s AP College Basketball Player of the Year (Obi Toppin).
  • The Associated Press College Basketball Player of the Year award was established in 1961, recognizing the top men’s college basketball player, as voted upon by the Associated Press.

LUTE OLSON NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD

  • Garza is the first Hawkeye and the third player from a Big Ten school to win the Lute Olson National Player of the Year Award, joining Denzel Valentine of Michigan State in 2016 and Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan in 2017.
  • The award, which has been presented annually to the top Division I college basketball player since 2010, is named in honor of Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson. He won 776 games in 34 seasons, nine of which were spent at the University of Iowa. Olson, who passed away last August, is one of 25 head coaches in NCAA history to win 700 or more games (all divisions) and ranks ninth on the Division I career victories list. Olson is the all-time winningest coach at Arizona (587-190, .755) and the third-winningest coach in Iowa history (167-91, .647).
Iowa Hawkeyes center Luka Garza (55) holds the 2021 AP Player of the Year trophy during a photo...
Iowa Hawkeyes center Luka Garza (55) holds the 2021 AP Player of the Year trophy during a photo shoot Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. (Brian Ray/hawkeyesports.com)(Brian Ray | Brian Ray)

Garza has previously been named the national player of the year by Sporting News, Basketball Times, and The Athletic. Garza, who is Iowa’s first two-time unanimous consensus first-team All-American, is a finalist for the Naismith Trophy, Wooden Award, and Senior CLASS Award.

Garza led the nationally-ranked Hawkeyes to 22 victories and a third-place Big Ten finish in 2021. The Washington, D.C., native led the nation in total points (747), player efficiency rating (35.84), 30-point games (8), field goals made (281), and 20-point games (22). Garza ranked second nationally in points per game (24.1), fifth in free throw attempts (199), 10th in free throw makes (141), and 11th in double-doubles (13). His 747 points extended the single-season school record he set last season (740).

In his final game as a Hawkeye, Garza poured in 36 points and cleared nine rebounds. The 36 points are the most points scored by any Division I player in the 2021 NCAA Tournament and ties Bill Logan’s school record set against Temple 65 years ago on March 22, 1956.

The two-time Big Ten Player of the Year averaged 21.9 points per game during the 20-game conference schedule, becoming the third player since 1990 to lead the Big Ten in scoring in consecutive seasons (Michigan State’s Steve Smith and Evan Turner of Ohio State).

Garza broke Iowa’s 32-year old scoring record held by Roy Marble on February 21th. He finished his Hawkeye career with 2,306 points, which ranks seventh-best in Big Ten history. In addition to ranking first in career scoring, Garza is tops at Iowa in 30-point games (13), conference scoring (1,399), field goals made (870), field goal attempts (1,594), and 40-point games (2); second in rebounds (931); fourth in double-doubles (34); fifth in blocked shots (154); sixth in free throw makes (446) and attempts (636); and 16th in 3-pointers made (120). He is the only men’s basketball player in Big Ten history to accumulate 2,250 points and 900 rebounds.

2021 LUKA GARZA HONORS

  • Lute Olson National Player of the Year Award
  • Associated Press College Basketball Player of the Year
  • Oscar Robertson Trophy Recipient
  • Sporting News, Basketball Times, The Athletic National Player of the Year
  • Wooden Award Finalist & All-American
  • Senior CLASS Award Finalist
  • Naismith Trophy Finalist
  • Big Ten Men’s Basketball Player of the Year
  • USBWA District VI Player of the Year
  • First Team All-America (NABC, Associated Press, Sporting News, USBWA)
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award Finalist

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