Two B1G stars among four finalists for Naismith College Player of the Year
The B1G accounts for half of the finalists for the Naismith Trophy Men’s College Player of the Year honor this year.
On Friday, the four finalists for the prestigious individual award were named. Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu, Iowa’s Luka Garza, Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham and Gonzaga’s Corey Kispert were the four players included as finalists for the honor.
Along with the finalists, there is also an interesting fact that comes with this year’s award. The winner of this year’s Naismith Trophy, regardless of who it is, will be their school’s first recipient in history.
Dosunmu was a do-it-all player for the Illini, averaging 20.7 points and 5.3 assists per game, leading the team in both categories. He also pulled down 6.4 rebounds per contest, ranking second on the squad behind Kofi Cockburn. The junior finished the season scoring in double figures in every game he played in and recorded three double-doubles and two additional triple-doubles.
Illinois earned a No. 1 seed by ending the season with a 23-6 record and winning the B1G Tournament.
Garza was a double-double machine for the Hawkeyes this year, averaging 23.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per contest, leading the team in both areas. He was also the team’s leading shot blocker, averaging 1.7 per contest.
This year, Garza became Iowa’s all-time leading scorer, passing Roy Marble atop the list. He piled up 13 double-doubles on the year and scored 20 points or more in 20 games for Iowa. The Hawkeyes are a No. 2 seed in March Madness with a 21-8 record.
A winner will be announced during the Final Four.