In incredibly unsurprising news, the national frontrunner for player of the year, Luka Garza, has been named the Big Ten’s player of the week again this week. This just two weeks after earning the award following Iowa’s opening week of the season. Perhaps the most surprising piece of news is that Garza shared the award this week with Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu.
Garza is the only player to have earned the honor twice thus far in the 2020-2021 season while Dosunmu has earned it once and Indiana forward Trayce Jackson-Davis earned the honors a week ago.
The #B1GMBBall #PlayeroftheWeek honorees are @AyoDos_11 and @LukaG_55— Big Ten Men's Hoops (@B1GMBBall) December 14, 2020
Ayo averaged 27 pts & 8.5 rebs per game & shot 61.3% vs. #10/11 Duke & Missouri
Luka averaged 24.3 pts & 8.3 rebs during a 3-0 week vs. #16/14 UNC, Iowa State & NIU#B1G : https://t.co/NkI9BfKMUj pic.twitter.com/Jo59AisJog
Garza continues his march toward a national player of the year award after falling just short a season ago. The senior from Washington, DC is averaging 29.2 points per game through 6 contests - tops in the nation (as well as points per possession). He’s third in the Big Ten with 9 rebounds per game.
In a hat trick of wins over #16 North Carolina, Iowa State and Northern Illinois, Garza scored 16, 34 and 23 points respectively while playing more than 20 minutes just once, against UNC. The performances have moved Garza into 5th place all-time at Iowa in scoring with 1,734 career points. Garza needs just 34 more points to surpass Greg Stokes for 4th all-time. The big man needs 383 more points to top Roy Marble for Iowa’s top spot. That would be an average of 18.2 points per game the rest of the regular season. He’s a virtual lock to hit that mark.
Garza has also amassed 714 career rebounds. That’s still outside the top-10 all-time, but at a 9 rebound per game average, Garza is on pace to finish his career with 903 total rebounds (before any postseason play). That would would place him third all-time, just ahead of Aaron White (901) and just behind Kevin Kunnert (914) and Greg Brunner (990).
Look for more weekly awards the rest of the way from Iowa’s superstar center. The Hawkeyes will take on #1 Gonzaga at 11am CT on Saturday. The matchup will be broadcast on CBS.