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.
“This is a dream come true. Being the first Hawkeye to win this award in 52 years means the world to me. You dream of moments like this.— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) March 9, 2020
I want to thank my teammates and coaches. To be honest, if I wasn’t in this program, I don’t think any of this would be possible." - @LukaG_55 pic.twitter.com/mWxtUy3pm4
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.
CJ Fredrick is the fourth rookie to be recognized on the All-Freshman Team in the last four years (Jordan Bohannon and Tyler Cook in 2017; Joe Wieskamp in 2019).— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) March 9, 2020
Fredrick is third on the team in scoring and assists, and first among all Big Ten players in 3-point accuracy. pic.twitter.com/ympUyXpuuQ
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.