Iowa All-American Luka Garza has been named the 2020-21 Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year. The announcement was made on Monday by the Big Ten Conference.
Garza was a dominant force in 2019-20, earning National Player of the Year (six national media outlets) and Big Ten Player of the Year distinction, along with earning consensus first-team All-America laurels and earning the Kareem Abdul Jabbar Award for the nation’s top center. Garza (740 points and 305 rebounds) was one of three Big Ten players to ever to total 740+ points and 300+ rebounds in a single season. He ranked second nationally with 12 20-point/10-rebound performances and 20-point games (25); 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. 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 native of Washington, D.C., finished the 20-game league schedule averaging 26.2 points per game, becoming the first player to average at least 26 points in Big Ten play since Purdue’s Glenn Robinson in 1994 (31.1 ppg).