The all-Big Ten teams and associated awards were announced earlier today and the Iowa Hawkeyes did well for themselves.
Taking home top honors was Luka Garza as conference player of the year by all three entities after averaging 23.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks while shooting an eFG% of 59.3%. Unlike last year, he did not win it unanimously, which is fine. We don’t want Big Ten award voting to become Iowa state media.
Of note, the AP had the vote at 11-4 Garza. But I would like some names to provide justification for why inflated triple doubles & late game performances against the dregs of the conference were enough for, presumably, Ayo Dosunmu to tilt the scales a bit.
Although maybe we should have some sympathy as the last player to average 20 points & 5 assists and not get Big Ten Player of the Year was Andre Woolridge.
Garza was also named Sporting News National Player of the Year for the second year in a row. He’s in the company of a billionaire, a Bill-on-air, and another Bill as athletes who have received the honor twice in a row:
Senior @LukaG_55 named the 2021 Sporting News National Player of the Year.— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) March 9, 2021
Garza becomes the first player to win the award in consecutive seasons since Michael Jordan: https://t.co/xCm2Z57fec pic.twitter.com/wMTTlozdpo
Joe Wieskamp was also named to the three second teams after a season where he averaged 15 points and 6.6 rebounds (both up from last year despite playing almost 4 less minutes/game). He’s shooting a blistering 48.9% from deep.
In a coaches only vote, Keegan Murray was named to the all-freshman team. Of those selected, he plays the less than all but Zach Edey, which speaks to the impact his 7.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks & steals provide during his time on the court.
In a funny bit of trivia, the Hawkeyes have four former all-freshman including Keegan. Not included in that count is Luka Garza.
Honorable mentions were given to Jordan Bohannon & CJ Fredrick.
All told, not much to argue against unless I’m going to turn this into a Michigan blog which had 0 guys on the AP first team or a general manager which had 3 centers (Garza, Kofi Cockburn, & Trevion Williams) and 4th post player (EJ Liddell) on the coaches team and 4 centers (Garza, Cockburn, Hunter Dickenson, & Trayce Jackson-Davis) on the media team. Not sure how that would look.
For Fran McCaffery, it’s his sixth Hawkeye in eight seasons on the first team and seventh freshman in eleven years on the all-freshman team.
Big Ten release is below: