We knew it was likely inevitable. But as Iowa fans, we often feel the obvious is only obvious to us. There’s no denying it this time, though. Everyone who’s anyone knows that Luka Garza was among the five best players in college basketball in this abbreviated season.
Luka Garza Named AP First-Team All-America.— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) March 20, 2020
Garza joins Murray Wier (1948) and Charles Darling (1952) as the only #Hawkeyes named AP First-Team All-Americans: https://t.co/wTCkL6ZZng#VoteGarza: https://t.co/MfTNIRaFiz pic.twitter.com/6W53W4GXtx
Garza was on 63 of the 65 ballots cast. He joins Dayton’s Obi Toppin (the only consensus player) Seton Hall’s Myles Powell, Oregon’s Payton Pritchard, and Marquette’s Markus Howard. The AP National player of the year award is announced Tuesday.
BREAKING: Dayton's Obi Toppin tops Associated Press All-America team, joined by Garza, Howard, Powell and Pritchard on first team.— AP Top 25 (@AP_Top25) March 20, 2020
Read more and see the teams >> https://t.co/M9CQzo8KqK pic.twitter.com/lwcSaJaGdl
While I’m biased, I think Garza undoubtedly has the most impressive resume of any of his AP teammates.
Exacerbating Garza’s special season is the fact he’s the first Iowa Hawkeye to earn AP first-team designation since... Charles Darling. That was 70 years ago. So yeah, this is kind of a big deal.
With at least two games left on Iowa’s schedule, and the likelihood the Hawkeyes would’ve played more, there was the very real chance Garza could have reached 900 points this season. As it stands, he ends 2019-20 with 740 points and 305 rebounds. He’s just one of three Big Ten players to ever record more than 740 points and 300 rebounds in a single-season (Purdue’s Glenn Robinson in 1994 and Purdue’s Joe Barry Carroll in 1979).
It’s been a decorative season for Garza, so let’s just get you up to speed on what he’s won so far:
• Sporting News, Basketball Times, Stadium, The Athletic, Bleacher Report, and ESPN National Player of the Year
• Dick Vitale and Andy Katz’s National Player of the Year
• Sporting News, AP, CBS, NBC, ESPN, Stadium, USA Today First-Team All-America
• Big Ten Men’s Basketball Player of the Year
• USBWA District VI Player of the Year
The Naismith awaits.