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Garza named preseason Big Ten Player of the Year, Wieskamp gets all-conference recognition

Iowa's Joe Wieskamp (10) celebrates with teammate Luka Garza in front of Rutgers' Ron Harper...
Iowa's Joe Wieskamp (10) celebrates with teammate Luka Garza in front of Rutgers' Ron Harper Jr. (24) after making a three-point basket during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, in Iowa City, Iowa. Iowa won 85-80.(Charlie Neibergall | AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Published: Nov. 9, 2020 at 4:00 PM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Last season’s player of the year in the Big Ten conference is heading into the upcoming season earning the same plaudits.

Luka Garza, the star senior center for the Iowa men’s basketball team, was named the preseason player of the year for the 2020-2021 basketball season. Garza was also a unanimous selection to the conference’s preseason all-Big Ten team, according to an announcement on Monday. Joe Wieskamp, a junior guard, was also named to the all-conference team. Iowa and Illinois were the only teams in the conference to have at least two players on the 10-man honorary team.

Garza established himself as one of the best players in college basketball during the truncated 2019-2020 season, earning several player of the year awards from various media outlets and end-of-season Big Ten player of the year recognition. He got the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, given to the country’s top center, and was named a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award. Garza averaged 23.9 points per game during the season, along with 9.8 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, and 0.8 steals.

Garza decided to stay at the University of Iowa in August, rather than enter the NBA draft, saying “it would have been way too hard to close the book without the last chapter.”

Wieskamp was recently named to the Jerry West Award watch list heading into the season, for which he was a semifinalist last season. He averaged 14 points per game and 6.1 rebounds during the 2019-2020 season. Head coach Fran McCaffery described Wieskamp on Monday as “ready to be one of the elite players in the country” in his junior season.

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