Iowa’s Garza, Badgers’ Gard take AP All-Big Ten top honors

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Luka Garza

FILE – In this Feb. 20, 2020, file photo, Iowa center Luka Garza celebrates after making a basket during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Ohio State in Iowa City, Iowa. Garza was selected the Associated Press Big Ten Player of the Year Tuesday, March 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

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Iowa’s Luka Garza is The Associated Press player of the year in the Big Ten Conference and Wisconsin’s Greg Gard is its coach of the year.

Garza was the unanimous pick for player of the year and for a spot on the AP’s All-Big Ten team, also announced Tuesday, in voting of 15 journalists covering the conference.

Illinois’s Kofi Cockburn was named newcomer of the year.

Joining Garza on the all-conference first team are Michigan State’s Cassius Winston, Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu, Penn State’s Lamar Stevens and Maryland’s Jalen Smith.

Winston, the 2019 player of the year, is a repeat selection to the first team. Stevens was a second-team pick last year.

Garza, a 6-foot-11, 260-pound center from Washington, D.C., has scored 20 or more points in his last 16 games, the longest streak by an Iowa player since 1971.

He has scored 25 points or more 13 times this season and has seven games with at least 25 points and 10 rebounds. His 15 double-doubles are the most by an Iowa player since 2002. His 23.9 points per game rank fifth nationally, and his 26.2-point average in conference games is the highest since Purdue’s Glenn Robinson averaged 31.1 in 1994.

The second team is made up of Maryland’s Anthony Cowan, Michigan’s Zavier Simpson, Minnesota’s Daniel Oturu, Michigan State’s Xavier Tillman and Ohio State’s Kaleb Wesson.

Cockburn, a 7-foot, 290-pound freshman from Kingston, Jamaica, averaged 13.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. He blocked a shot by Garza under the basket at the buzzer to secure a 78-76 win Sunday that gave Illinois the coveted No. 4 seed, and double-bye, for the Big Ten Tournament.

Under Gard, Wisconsin won 16 of 21 games after a 5-5 start to finish 21-10 overall and 14-6 in the Big Ten. The Badgers shared the regular-season title with Michigan State and Maryland after winning eight straight games, the program’s longest win streak to end the regular season since 1940-41.

The 2020 AP All-Big Ten team, with players listed with school, class, height, weight and hometown (“u” denotes unanimous selection):

FIRST TEAM

Guard — Cassius Winston, Michigan State, Sr., 6-1, 185, Detroit.

Guard — Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois, So., 6-5, 185, Chicago.

u-Center — Luka Garza, Iowa, Jr., 6-11, 260, Washington, D.C.

Forward – Lamar Stevens, Penn State, Sr., 6-8, 225, Philadelphia.

Forward – Jalen Smith, Maryland, So., 6-10, 225, Baltimore.

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SECOND TEAM

Guard — Anthony Cowan, Maryland, Sr., 6-0, 180, Bowie, Maryland.

Guard — Zavier Simpson, Michigan, Sr., 6-0, 190, Lima, Ohio.

Center — Daniel Oturu, Minnesota, So., 6-10, 240, Woodbury, Minnesota.

Forward — Xavier Tillman, Michigan State, Jr., 6-8, 245, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Forward — Kaleb Wesson, Ohio State, Jr., 6-9, 270, Westerville, Ohio.

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Coach of the year — Greg Gard, Wisconsin

u-Player of the year — Luka Garza, Iowa, Jr., 6-11, 260, Washington, D.C.

Newcomer of the year — Kofi Cockburn, Illinois, Fr., 7-0, 290, Kingston, Jamaica.

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AP All-Big Ten Voting Panel: Mike Carmin, Lafayette (Ind.) Journal & Courier; Mike DeCourcy, Sporting News and Big Ten Network; Marcus Fuller, Minneapolis Star Tribune; Adam Jardy, Columbus Dispatch; Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune; Chris Heady, Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald; Mike Hlas, Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette; Andrew Kahn, MLive.com (Ann Arbor, Michigan); Don Markus, Baltimore Sun; Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star; Jim Polzin, Madison.com (Madison, Wisconsin); Scott Richey, Champaign (Illinois) News-Gazette; Keith Sargeant, New Jersey Advance Media; Jon Sauber, Centre Daily Times (State College, Pa.); Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press.

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