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Garza, Green named to Naismith Trophy Watch List

ATLANTA — The man some say should have won the Naismith Trophy in 2020 is back on the watch list.

Iowa senior forward Luka Garza was named to the 2021 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy Watch List Thursday, after being a finalist in the 2019-20 season.

The Washington, D.C., native averaged 26.2 points per game in conference play last season, the first player to do so in the Big Ten since Glenn Robinson at Purdue in 1994.

Garza was named the National Player of the Year by six media outlets and was the Big Ten Player of the Year while also being named a First-Team All-American. He was second in the country with 12 20-point, 10-rebound performances this year and scored 20 points 25 separate times.

He has been named the Preseason Big Ten Player of the Year, the Dick Vitale Preseason Player of the Year and a First Team Preseason All-American from CBS Sports, Blue Ribbon and the Associated Press.

He wasn’t the only member of an Iowa college basketball team to land on the Naismith Trophy Watch List. Northern Iowa junior AJ Green was named to the list Thursday as well.

Green averaged 19.7 points per game in 2019-20 and shot 39.1 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.

As a sophomore, he won the Larry Bird MVC Player of the Year award and is a favorite to take home the trophy for a second time.

The Panthers open up the season against West Virginia on November 25 in Sioux Falls, S.D.

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