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Garza clinches consensus status by making NABC team
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IOWA BASKETBALL

Garza clinches consensus status by making NABC team

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It’s official. Luka Garza is a consensus All-American.

Iowa’s junior center was named to the first team of the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-America team on Tuesday, giving him a spot on all four of the postseason teams used by the NCAA to bestow consensus status on players.

The 6-foot-11 Garza previously was named to All-America teams by the Associated Press, The Sporting News and the United States Basketball Writers Association. He joins Murray Wier (1948) and Charles Darling (1952) as the only consensus first team All-Americans in Iowa history.

He also is the seventh Hawkeye to make an NABC All-America team, which has been used to bestow consensus status since 1957. Darling made the first team in 1952, Wier the second team in 1948 and four Hawkeyes have made the third team: Carl Cain (1956), Don Nelson (1962), Ronnie Lester (1979) and Jarrod Uthoff (2016).

Garza also has earned national player of the year awards from ESPN, The Sporting News, Basketball Times, Stadium and Bleacher Report although he finally was beaten out for one national player of the year honor Tuesday.

The Associated Press bestowed its award on Dayton sophomore Obi Toppin, who collected 34 of a possible 65 votes to 24 for Garza.

Garza averaged 23.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game for the Hawkeyes last season and was remarkably consistent, scoring 20 or more points 24 times, including the last 16 games in a row.

He set Iowa’s single-season scoring record and was at his best against the best opponents. He averaged 26.7 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots in a dozen games against ranked teams.

Garza was joined on the NABC first team by Toppin, Marquette’s Markus Howard, Oregon’s Payton Pritchard and Kansas’ Udoka Azubuike. Toppin and Howard are the only other players to make all four of the primary All-America first teams.

Two other Big Ten players also were honored by the NABC as Michigan State’s Cassius Winston made the second team and Maryland’s Jalen Smith was on the third team.

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