Luka Garza Named Co-Big Ten Player of the Week
Credit Source; University of Iowa Athletics
IOWA CITY, Iowa — For the second time in three weeks, University of Iowa men’s basketball All-American Luka Garza has been recognized by the Big Ten Conference Office for his weekly performance. Garza and Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu shared Big Ten Player of the Week honors on Monday.
Garza (6-foot-11, 265 pounds) averaged 24.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks in leading the Hawkeyes to victories over No. 16 North Carolina (93-80), instate rival Iowa State (105-77), and Northern Illinois (106-53). The native of Washington, D.C., made 61 percent (27-of-4) of his field goal attempts, including a blistering 72.7 percent from 3-point range (8-of-11). His 29.2 scoring average through six games is tops among Division I players.
Garza recorded his 23rd career double-double, totaling 16 points, 14 rebounds, and four blocks, in Iowa’s 13-point win over the Tar Heels. The 13-point victory matches the largest margin of victory in the series and was Iowa’s fourth straight ACC/Big Ten Challenge home victory, dating back to 2013.
In only 17 minutes of action, Garza netted 34 points on an efficient 13-of-14 shooting from the field, including a career-high 6-of-7 from 3-point range in Iowa’s triumph over the Cyclones. That is the most points scored by a Division I player who has played less than 20 minutes in a game over the last 25 seasons. Garza reached the 30-point plateau for the eighth time in his career, tying Hall of Famer Don Nelson for third most in program history.
Twenty-one of Garza’s 34 points against Iowa State were scored consecutively for the Hawkeyes spanning 5:15 in the second half. Additionally, Garza made five 3-pointers during the scoring blitz, including four on consecutive possessions. Iowa’s 105 points and 28-point victory are the most points scored and the largest margin of victory, respectively, in the 74-game series history.
Garza posted 23 points and eight rebounds in Iowa’s largest margin of victory ever over Northern Illinois (53 points). Garza made 80 percent (8-of-10) of his field goals against the Huskies, including 2-of-3 (.667) from 3-point range. The win was Fran McCaffery’s 200th as Iowa’s head coach.
Garza totaled 73 points in Iowa’s three games last week, which moved him past three former Hawkeyes and into fifth place on Iowa’s all-time scoring chart: Ronnie Lester, Roy Devyn Marble, and B.J. Armstrong. Garza has shot 75 percent or better from the field in four of six games this season.
Garza has earned four Big Ten Player of the Week honors in his career (Dec. 9, 2019; Jan. 20, 2020; Nov. 30, 2020; Dec. 14, 2020).
No. 3 Iowa (6-0) will challenge top-ranked Gonzaga (3-0) on Saturday. Tipoff is slated for 11 a.m. (CT) at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.