Fresh off being named an AP First Team All-American last week, Luka Garza added a pair of other significant First Team All-America honors this week. First, he was named to the USBWA (United States Basketball Writers Association) All-America first team yesterday:
Joining Garza on the UBSWA first team were guards Myles Powell (Seton Hall) and Markus Howard (Marquette), forward Obi Toppin (Dayton), and fellow big Udoka Azubuike (Kansas).
Today, Garza was named to the NABC (National Association of Basketball Coaches) All-America first team:
Joining Garza on that first team were Toppin, Howard, and Azubuike -- as well as Oregon guard Payton Pritchard.
Why is it significant that Garza was named a first team All-American by the USBWA and NABC? Because those two organizations -- as well as the AP and (for some reason) The Sporting News -- are the organizations used to signify consensus All-American status. Garza was named a first team All-American by all four organizations, which officially makes him a consensus All-American -- and puts him in some very rare company among Iowa players.
Also, worth nothing, Luka Garza has officially earned consensus all-American honors. He joins former Hawkeyes Murray Wier (1948) and Charles Darling (1952) as consensus first team All-Americans. https://t.co/LodZrHcvcQ— David Eickholt (@DavidEickholt) March 24, 2020
Garza's the first Iowa player since Charles Darling in 1952 to earn consensus first team All-America honors and just the third overall. Make room in that very exclusive club, Murray Wier and Charles Darling. As Scott Dochterman points out, Garza's accomplished something that several other very, very, very good Iowa players did not:
Iowa center Luka Garza earns first-team NABC honors time become @IowaHoops first consensus 1T All-American since 1952.— Scott Dochterman (@ScottDochterman) March 24, 2020
Think about that. Not Don Nelson, Downtown Freddy Brown, John Johnson, Ronnie Lester, B.J. Armstrong, Roy Marble, Jess Settles, Andre Woolridge.
Just Garza. pic.twitter.com/MvqLgp4UNd
While Garza added to his collection of first team All-America honors this week, he did not add to his collection of Player of the Year awards. Dayton's Obi Toppin was announced as the AP Player of the Year today.
This Flyer flew!— ESPN (@espn) March 24, 2020
Obi Toppin is the men's AP National Player of the Year. pic.twitter.com/hEevsQGqUP
Toppin earned that honor despite the fact that Garza did this:
Garza made more 2s. Garza made more 3s. Garza made more free throws. Garza had a higher block rate, efficiency rate, and fouls drawn rate, and he did it in America's best conference by miles. Choosing Obi Toppin is only justified if you like dunks more than post moves. https://t.co/KQdD4p680k— Hawkeyes and Cobbles SZN (@PV_GIA) March 24, 2020
His average of 26.2 points per game in B1G play were the highest by any player since Glenn Robinson in 1994. No true center has averaged more in B1G play since 1967.— Scott Dochterman (@ScottDochterman) March 24, 2020
He outscored his opposing B1G center in an elite year for bigs by 15.9 points per game and he was 5th in FG%.
Last five players to average 23+ PPG/9+ RPG & to earn consensus First-Team All-American status in a season:— Matt Benson (@mbenson6) March 24, 2020
Luka Garza, Iowa (2019-20)
Michael Beasley, Kansas State (2007-08)
Kevin Durant, Texas (2006-07)
Glenn Robinson, Purdue (1993-94)
Shaquille O'Neal, LSU (1991-92)
But congratulations to Garza on his well-deserved first team All-America accolades from the USBWA and NABC and for becoming Iowa's first consensus All-American in almost 70 years. That's one hell of an accomplishment. Well done, big fella.