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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Nicholas Baer was named recipient of the Chris Street Award for the 2018-19 University of Iowa men’s basketball season. The Hawkeye senior received the award Thursday evening at the team’s awards ceremony.
The Chris Street Award is presented annually to a Hawkeye player, or players, who best exemplify the spirit, enthusiasm and intensity of Chris Street. Street was an Iowa basketball player who died in an auto accident in 1993, midway through his junior year.
Baer saw action in 129 career games, including 32 starts. The native of Bettendorf, Iowa, is the only player in program history to total more than 750 points, 500 rebounds, 100 assists, 100 steals, 100 blocks, and 100 3-point field goals. Baer, who was a non-scholarship athlete his first two years, grew into a leadership role his final two seasons. Baer is one of three Hawkeyes since 1980 to lead the team in steals three consecutive seasons and the first Hawkeye since 1980 to lead the team in steals and blocks in the same season twice. A two-time co-captain, Baer helped Iowa to NCAA Tournament wins over Temple (2016) and Cincinnati (2019) and an NIT victory over South Dakota (2017). Baer was Iowa’s leading scorer off the bench as a senior, averaging 6.7 points per game, while leading the team in blocks (36) and steals (34). Baer was a three-time Big Ten Sportsmanship Award recipient for Iowa men’s basketball and a four-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
Other Hawkeyes recognized include Michael Baer, Jordan Bohannon, Tyler Cook, Luka Garza, Ryan Kriener, Connor McCaffery, Isaiah Moss, and Joe Wieskamp.
Bohannon earned the team’s Top Playmaker Award for the third consecutive season. The Marion, Iowa, native netted 85 points over the final two minutes of regulation and two minutes of overtime to rank among the nation’s best. Bohannon’s 3-point shooting down the stretch in games versus Indiana (home and away) and Northwestern (home) helped propel Iowa to victories in those three games. Bohannon, who led the team with 79 triples, became Iowa’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made (264) in only three seasons. He is just the 10th player in Division I basketball since 1992, to total at least 79 3-pointers and 118 assists in each of his first three seasons. A third-team all-conference performer, he was credited with a team-best 118 assists as a junior, becoming just the seventh Hawkeye to register three 100-assist seasons. Bohannon ranked third on the team in scoring (11.6 ppg) and led the Big Ten in free throw accuracy — during the 20-game league season — for the second consecutive season.
Cook was recognized as the team’s Best Rebounder for the second straight year. The St. Louis, Missouri, native pulled down 7.6 rebounds per game, ranking eighth in the Big Ten. In addition to leading the team in rebounding, Cook averaged a team-best 14.5 points per game. Cook is one of only nine players in Iowa history to total more than 1,300 points and 600 rebounds. He posted a team-best six double-doubles as a junior to become one of 15 players in program history to record at least 15 career double-doubles. Cook recorded at least 15 points and five rebounds over a 10-game span from Nov. 30 to Jan. 12, becoming the first Hawkeye to accomplish the feat since James Winters 25 years ago (1993-94). The forward was a second-team all-conference selection, earned NABC and USBWA all-district laurels, and was named to the 2K Empire Classic All-Tournament Team.
Luka Garza was the recipient of the Kenny Arnold Hawkeye Spirit Award. This award is presented to the Hawkeye(s) who exemplifies Arnold’s spirit of leadership, character, courage, determination and poise. This player inspires his teammates to be their very best in spite of the odds.
Garza’s sophomore campaign started with surgery in early September to remove a benign cyst in his abdomen. The native of Washington, D.C., recovered in time for the season opener and put up numbers that few Hawkeyes have done through their sophomore season. Garza joins Aaron White and Jess Settles as the only Hawkeyes to total more than 800 points and 350 rebounds through their sophomore year. Garza tallied 20 or more points a team-best eight times, and ranked second on the squad in scoring (13.1) and fourth in rebounding (4.5). He was an honorable mention all-conference honoree and was voted the Most Valuable Player of the 2K Empire Classic in New York City.
Wieskamp earned the team’s Newcomer of the Year Award after leading the team in 3-point accuracy (.424, 59-of-139) and ranking third on the team in scoring (11.1 ppg) and steals (32), and second in rebounding (4.9 rpg). Wieskamp twice earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors and sank the game-winning basket on a baseline 3-pointer that grazed the side of the backboard with 0.2 seconds remaining to propel Iowa to a 71-69 triumph at Rutgers on Feb. 16. Wieskamp, who was one of five player’s voted to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team, tied an Iowa’s single-game 3-point percentage record when he made all six 3-point attempts in Iowa’s 24-point win over Illinois (Jan. 20), tying Jeff Horner (2004 versus Penn State) and Jim Bartels (1995 at Ohio State).
Kriener and Moss shared the team’s Most Improved Player Award. Kriener posted single-season bests in nearly every statistical category. The Spirit Lake, Iowa, native averaged 5.7 points and three rebounds coming off the bench in 33 of 35 contests. Kriener netted double figures seven times and led the team in steals and blocks eight times.
Moss started all 35 games, ranking fifth in scoring (9.2), second in steals (32) and double-doubles (2), and fourth in assists (62) as a junior. He netted double figures 15 times, including scoring 15 points or more eight times. Moss, who is 94 points from career point No. 1,000, led the team in steals nine times and assists five times. He ranked in the top-five in the Big Ten in 3-point field goal percentage (.421, 48-of-114), which ranks sixth best by an Iowa junior in school history.
Michael Baer and McCaffery shared the team’s Academic Excellence Award. Both were Academic All-Big Ten honorees, while Baer also was honored on the Dean’s List in the Fall of 2018. On the court, McCaffery was second on the team in assists (102), while also averaging 4.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 34 games. He ranked 50th in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4). McCaffery was credited with the assist on Iowa’s three clutchest moments of the season (vs. Northwestern, at Rutgers, vs. Indiana). Baer played an integral role preparing the team for each game throughout the season, serving on the scout team in his first season on the roster. Baer saw limited action in nine games. He made Iowa’s record-breaking 19th 3-pointer against Savannah State, which established a new school team record for 3-pointers made in a single game.
Iowa posted a 23-12 overall record, including a 10-10 mark for a sixth place finish in the Big Ten. Iowa’s 23 wins equaled its second highest total in 13 seasons. The Hawkeyes won every nonconference game for the first time in 32 years, including winning the 2K Empire Classic championship with wins over No. 13 Oregon and Connecticut at Madison Square Garden in New York. Iowa, who was nationally-ranked for 16 straight weeks throughout the season, had five victories over ranked opponents to match its highest total in 12 seasons.
2019 IOWA MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM AWARDS
CHRIS STREET AWARD: Nicholas Baer
TOP PLAYMAKER: Jordan Bohannon
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Joe Wieskamp
MOST IMPROVED: Ryan Kriener, Isaiah Moss
BEST REBOUNDER: Tyler Cook
ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE AWARD: Michael Baer, Connor McCaffery
KENNY ARNOLD HAWKEYE SPIRIT AWARD: Luka Garza