Luka Garza has received a vote of confidence from one of the most recognizable names associated with college basketball.
On Thursday, Garza had another outstanding performance in Iowa’s 85-76 victory over Ohio State. The Hawkeyes big man scored 24 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished four assists in the victory, marking the 21st time this season he’s scored 20 points or more in a game.
Garza’s performance helped Iowa get its 19th victory over the season, improving to 19-8 on the year and 10-6 in the B1G, two games out of first place in the league standings.
After another dominant performance from Garza, ESPN basketball analyst Dick Vitale made the bold claim that the Iowa center is the guy to beat in the race for the 2020 National Player of the Year award.
GARZA will be to beat for the 2020 Player of the Year!
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) February 22, 2020
This season, Garza is nearly averaging a double-double on the year. He’s averaging 23.7 points and 9.6 rebounds for the Hawkeyes, while shooting at a nearly 56 percent clip. He’s been described by many as the best big man in college basketball.
Iowa’s final four games are tough, but they’ll be great tests for Garza as he makes a final push for Player of the Year honors. The Hawkeyes have games against Michigan State, Penn State, Purdue and Illinois all remaining, all teams over .500 this season.
Add a few more big performances against those squads, and Garza may be a lock for the yearly honor.