Luka Garza becomes Iowa men’s basketball’s all-time scoring leader
Record was held by Roy Marble since 1989
By Tyler Devine
IOWA CITY, Iowa – It took longer and was more difficult than many expected, but Luka Garza became the Iowa men’s basketball team’s all-time leading scorer against Penn State on Sunday.
The actual basket, a wide open layup with 8:18 left in the second half, could not have been easier.
Unfortunately for the senior center, he had to do it in an empty Carver-Hawkeye Arena in the middle of a global pandemic.
Garza, a native of Washington D.C., broke the record previously held by the late Roy Marble, who had held the record since 1989.
Marble died of cancer in 2015 at the age of 48.
“I’ve known and researched so much about Iowa basketball history, especially when I was getting recruited,” Garza said. “I knew who Roy Marble was and how good he was, how great of a person he was, how great of a teammate he was. So, it’s truly an honor to even be in the same sentence as a guy like that. To pass him is something I never could have dreamed about.”
Garza had a chance to break the record on a free throw early in the second half, but only made the front end of a 1-and-1 opportunity and air balled the second free throw.
He then missed the front end of another 1-and-1 a few minutes later.
The 6-foot-11 Garza is the only player in Big Ten history with at least 2,000 points, 800 rebounds, 125 blocks, and 100 made 3-pointers.
Iowa was the first major conference school to offer Garza a scholarship after his sophomore year of high school in June 2015 after head coach Fran McCaffery saw Garza play in an AAU tournament.
From that point, McCaffery and Garza built a strong relationship that resulted in Garza’s commitment to the Hawkeyes in September 2016.
“I just told him I loved him,” McCaffery said. “I appreciate him as our leader. Every game you just become more and more impressed with how he goes about his business and the example he sets for everyone in that locker room, for everyone that’s going to come behind him. He makes everyone that came before proud. It was really simple. I just told him I loved him, I’m proud of him, we’re not done.”
Garza, the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year, reached the 2,000-point milestone in 113 games, faster than any player in Big Ten history and is the only player in Iowa history to record four 400-point seasons.
Garza set Iowa’s single season scoring record last season with 740 points and is the only player in program history to score over 700 points in a single season.
The previous record was held by B.J. Armstrong, who scored 592 points during the 1988 season.
Garza was named National Player of the Year by six national news outlets after the 2019-20 season and is widely considered to be a favorite to win the award this season.
He was the first Hawkeye to be named National Player of the Year, and the first since 1968 to be named Big Ten Player of the Year.
Garza currently leads the nation with 24.5 points per game and six 30-point games.