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Garza named Big Ten Player of the Year | KTIC Radio

Garza named Big Ten Player of the Year

Garza named Big Ten Player of the Year

IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa senior center Luka Garza has been voted the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Player of the Year for the second consecutive season by the league head coaches and selected media panel, the Big Ten Conference announced Tuesday.

Garza was also a unanimous first team selection by both the media and coaches. Junior Joe Wieskamp was a second-team all-conference honoree, Keegan Murray was selected to the five-player All-Freshman Team, while senior Jordan Bohannon and redshirt sophomore CJ Fredrick earned honorable mention recognition.

Garza becomes the first Hawkeye to earn the prestigious honor twice, since the award was introduced by the Big Ten Conference in 1985, and the third player in the history of the league to win the award in consecutive seasons (Ohio State’s Jim Jackson, 1991-92; Michigan State’s Mateen Cleaves, 1998-99).

Head coach Fran McCaffery has coached a first-team All-Big Ten honoree in five of the last seven seasons, the most over a seven-year span since 1956-62. Garza joins Devyn Marble (2014), Aaron White (2015), Jarrod Uthoff (2016), and Peter Jok (2017) as first team selections.

Garza (6-foot-11, 265 pounds) has led the fifth-ranked Hawkeyes to 20 victories this season, including wins in seven of their last eight. He leads the nation in total points (642); player efficiency rating (36.17); 30-point games (7); field goals made (240); and 22-point games (17). Garza is eighth nationally in free throw makes (125) and 13th in double-doubles (12).

The Washington, D.C., native averaged 21.9 points per game during the 20-game conference schedule, becoming the third player since 1990 to lead the league in scoring in consecutive seasons (Michigan State’s Steve Smith and Evan Turner of Ohio State). He is the first Hawkeye to average 20+ points per game in consecutive seasons (23.9 in 2020 and 23.8) since Sam Williams in 1967 (22.6) and 1968 (25.3).

Garza broke the school’s 32-year old scoring record held by Roy Marble on Feb. 21, 2021. His 2,201 points rank 13th best in Big Ten history. In addition to ranking first in career scoring, Garza is tops at Iowa in conference scoring (1,399), total field goals made (829), field goal attempts (1,522), and 40-point games (2); second in 30-point games (12); fourth in double-doubles (33); fifth in rebounding (895); fifth in blocked shots (148); eighth in free throw makes (430); and 13th in 3-pointers made (113).

He is the only men’s basketball player in Big Ten history to accumulate 2,000 points, 850 rebounds, 125 blocked shots, and 100 3-pointers. Garza is the only Hawkeye in school history to amass four 400-point seasons and two 600-point seasons.

Wieskamp (6-foot-6, 212 pounds) ranks second on the team in points per game (15.0) and rebounds per contest (6.6). The Muscatine, Iowa, native ranks third in the Big Ten in 3-pointers made per game (2.44) and eighth in defensive rebounds per game (5.44). He leads all players in 3-point accuracy, making 49.5 percent of his attempts (51-of-103) in Big Ten play. Wieskamp, who was a third-team all-conference honoree a year ago, has scored in double figures 23 times this season, including netting 20 points or more five times. He has made a season-high five 3-pointers six times this season, the most by a major conference player in 2020-21.

A Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award Finalist, Wieskamp is averaging 16 points and 6.9 rebounds, making 55 percent (26-of-57) of his 3-point attempts over the last eight games. He became the 50th player in program history to score 1,000 career points on Jan. 20, 2021. Wieskamp is the first Hawkeye junior in school history to amass 1,200+ points, 500+ rebounds, 175+ 3-pointers, 100+ assists, and 75+ steals.

Bohannon (6-foot-1, 175 pounds) ranks first in the Big Ten in 3-point accuracy (.397), second in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.27) and 3-pointers made per game (2.63), and fourth in assists per game (4.5). He is Iowa’s all-time leader in assists (625) and 3-pointers made (355). His 355 triples are second most in Big Ten history. The native of Marion, Iowa, is one of only four Division I players since the 1992-93 season to amass more than 600 assists and 350 3-pointers. Bohannon has played in 139 career games, including 129 starts, which ranks second most in school history (Aaron White, 140). The redshirt senior has made three or more 3-pointers in 12 games this season, including equaling a career-high eight versus Nebraska on March 4.

Fredrick (6-foot-3, 195 pounds) ranks fourth on the team in scoring (10.5 ppg.) and 3-pointers made (35), shooting at a 50 percent clip (35-of-70) from 3-point range in 2020-21. He owns a staggering 8.0 assist-to-turnover ratio, totaling 48 assists and only six turnovers. The Cincinnati native has committed only two turnovers since Dec. 22, 2020 (16 games played). Fredrick’s numbers would have been higher if not for injuries sidelining the redshirt sophomore four full games and the second half of three other contests. Along with being voted honorable mention all-league, Fredrick is the recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for Iowa men’s basketball.

Murray (6-foot-8, 215 pounds) is the 10th Hawkeye to be voted to the five-player All-Freshman Team since the honor was first introduced in 2003. Murray, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native is the eighth rookie to be recognized on the All-Freshman Team under Fran McCaffery and the fifth in five years (Jordan Bohannon and Tyler Cook in 2017; Joe Wieskamp in 2019; CJ Fredrick in 2020).

Murray has played all 27 games, including starting four contests. He is team team’s leading scorer (7.8 ppg.) and rebounder (5.5) off the bench in conference play. Murray is second on the team in total steals (24) and ranks 11th overall in the Big Ten in blocked shots per game (1.1). He has netted double figures six times, including three of the last nine outings. Murray is shooting 53.8 percent (71-of-132) from the field, currently seventh best in a single season by a Hawkeye rookie. He was instrumental in Iowa’s victory over No. 25 Wisconsin in the regular season finale, accumulating 13 points, three blocks, and six rebounds, including two critical offensive rebounds down the stretch.

Joining Garza on the first team, by both coaches and media, were Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn of Illinois. Ohio State’s E.J. Liddell and Trevion Williams of Purdue were also first-team selections by the coaches, while Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson and Trayce Jackson-Davis of Indiana earned first-team accolades by the media. Illinois’ Andre Curbelo was named Sixth Man of the Year by the coaches. The All-Defensive Team consisted of Trent Frazier (Illinois), Darryl Morsell (Maryland), Aaron Henry (Michigan State), Jamari Wheeler (Penn State), and Myles Johnson (Rutgers).

Both the media and coaches named Juwan Howard of Michigan as league’s Coach of the Year. The coaches selected Morsell as Defensive Player of the Year and both groups named Hunter Dickinson of Michigan as Freshman of the Year.

No. 5 Iowa (20-7, 14-6) will open Big Ten Tournament play Friday in the quarterfinals. Tipoff is scheduled for approximately 8 p.m. (CT) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

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