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Iowa Basketball’s Luka Garza Earns Big Ten Player of the Year

Because of course he is

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa’s junior center and do-it-all man Luka Garza is the best player in the conference.

Garza is the first Iowa player to earn the award since... ever. The conference started handing out the honor in 1984-85. The big man averaged 24 points a game (and 26 points in conference games) this year, good for first in the conference and fifth nationally. He’s scored at least 20 points the last 16 games. Iowa’s Sam Williams earned league MVP back in 1968, though.

Obviously, this means Garza is on the conference’s first team. Joining him is Maryland forward Jalen Smith, Michigan State guard Cassius Winston, Penn State guard Lamar Stephens, Maryland guard Anthony Cowan and Illinois forward Ayo Dosunmu.

Garza, Smith, Winston and Stephens were consensus picks between the media and coaches. Cowan was picked by the coaches, while Dosunmu was a media pick. Wisconsin’s Greg Gard was named Big Ten coach of the year, for some reason.

Joining Garza in postseason honors is Joe Wieskamp, who was named to the conference’s third team. Guard CJ Fredrick was also named to the all-freshman team.

Garza will take the floor once again Thursday afternoon when the Hawkeyes play the winner of Northwestern/Minnesota in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis.