Garza Named to Lute Olson Award Mid-Season Watch List

BOSTON — University of Iowa All-American center Luka Garza is one of 35 men’s basketball players named to the Lute Olson Award Mid-Season Watch List. The award is presented annually to the nation’s top Division I player.

Garza (6-foot-11, 265 pounds) has been the most dominant player in college basketball in 2020-21. Garza leads the country in points per game (26.9), player efficiency rating (43.73), 30-point games (6), and field goals made (150). He ranks eighth nationally in double-doubles (7) and 11th in free throws made (80). The native of Washington, D.C., is one of only two players in the country (Notre Dame’s Nate Laszewski) to shoot at least 60 percent from the field and at least 46 percent from 3-point range; Garza has more than double the field goals made and attempted as Laszewski.

Th Hawkeye senior became Iowa’s all-time leading scorer in Big Ten games on Jan. 10, 2021. He is 37 points from netting point No. 2,000 and 154 passing from surpassing Roy Marble as Iowa’s all-time leading scorer.

Garza was recognized as the National Player of the Year by six national media outlets, as well as being named the Pete Newell Big Man of the Year, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Player of the Year, Big Ten Player of the Year, and District VI Player of the Year.

The award is named in honor of Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson, who won 776 games in 34 seasons, nine of which were spent at the University of Iowa. Olson is one of just 25 head coaches in NCAA history to win 700 or more games (all divisions) and ranks ninth on the Division I career victories list. He finished with a winning percentage of .731 and is one of only three coaches in NCAA history to record 29 or more 20-win seasons.

The 2020-21 Lute Olson National Player of the Year Award will be announced in April.

Garza and the nationally-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes compete at Illinois on Friday. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. (CT) at the State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois.