Luka Garza Repeats as Big Ten Player of Year
Luka Garza has been able to do what no other player has done this century. He's the repeat winner of Big Ten Men's Basketball Player of the Year. Garza is one of five Hawkeyes honored with postseason recognition by the Big Ten.
Garza is the first Big Ten men's basketball player to repeat as Player of the Year since Mateen Cleaves of Michigan State did it in 1998 and 1999. The only other player to do it, since the award debuted in 1985, is Jim Jackson. The Ohio State Buckeye won it in 1991 and 1992. Earlier today, Garza was named Sporting News Player of the Year for the second straight season. He's that award's first repeat winner since Michael Jordan in 1983 and 1984.
A senior, Garza also was a unanimous All-Big Ten first-team selection by both the media and coaches. It's the second straight year he's made the first team and Garza is the only Hawkeye on the first team for the 2020-21 season. He was joined on the first team, chosen by coaches, by Kofi Cockburn and Ayo Dosunmu of Illinois, E.J. Liddell of Ohio State, and Trevion Williams of Purdue.
The Hawkeyes continue their recent tradition of putting a player on the first team under coach Fran McCaffery. Here are those honored with first-team recognition in the last seven years: Devyn Marble in 2014, Aaron White in 2015, Jared Uthoff in 2016, Peter Jok in 2017, Luka Garza in 2020 and 2021.
Garza is Iowa's all-time leading scorer with 2,201 points. He's the only player in Big Ten men's history to score 2,000 points, grab 850 rebounds, block 125 shots, and make 100 3-pointers, according to the Iowa Sports Information Department. He's averaging 23.8 points per game this season, after averaging 23.9 a season ago.
Iowa junior guard Joe Wieskamp was named to the All-Big Ten second team. Wieskamp, who averages 15 points per game and 6.6 rebounds, both second on the Hawkeyes, was a third-team selection last year. He's the first Hawkeye junior to ever compile more than 1200 points, 500 rebounds, at least 175 3-pointers, and more than 100 assists and 75 steals.
Senior Jordan Bohannon and sophomore CJ Fredrick each received honorable mention.
Bohannon, a 5th-year senior from Marion, is Iowa's all-time assist leader with 625 and has also made more 3-pointers than any Hawkeye in history, with 355. The 355 3-pointers are good for second place in Big Ten history, behind Jon Diebler of Ohio State (374 from 2008-2011). When Iowa plays in the Big Ten Tournament Friday night, it will be Bohannon's 140th game at Iowa, tying him with Aaron White for the all-time high in games played at Iowa. Bohannon has averaged double figures every season at Iowa except for 2019-20 when he played in only 10 games.
Sophomore CJ Fredrick, is fourth on the team in scoring this year, averaging 10.5 points per game. He's also shot 50 percent from 3-point range, connecting on 35 of 70 shots. His assist to turnover ratio is an unheard of 8.0. According to the University of Iowa Sports Information Department, he's made only two turnovers in his last 16 games. Fredrick was also Iowa's winner of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.
Freshman Keegan Murray was named to the All-Freshman Team. Murray, from Cedar Rapids, has been Iowa's leading scorer and rebounder off the bench in Big Ten play with 7.8 points and 5.5 rebounds. He's also second in the team in steals, with 24. His 53.8 shooting percentage is the seventh-best all-time for a first-year Hawkeye player.
Murray is the 10th Hawkeye to make the All-Freshman Team since its inception in 2003. Eight of the ten have been coached by McCaffery and the last five years it's been filled with Hawkeyes: Jordan Bohannon and Tyler Cook in 2017; Joe Wieskamp in 2019; CJ Fredrick in 2020.
The Hawks, ranked in the top 10 (5th by the AP & 6th in the Coaches Poll) start Big Ten Tournament play at approximately 8 p.m. Friday night. The game will be televised by the Big Ten Network.