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Iowa's Luka Garza tops initial Wooden Award list

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Garza goes off for 36 points in the 1st half (1:00)

Iowa heads to halftime with a 58-35 lead thanks to Luka Garza's dominant performance in the first half as he racks up 36 points. (1:00)

Iowa senior center Luka Garza highlights the list of 50 preseason candidates for the 2021 Wooden Award that was announced Tuesday.

Garza, one of five finalists for the 2020 award and the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year, leads an Iowa team that is ranked No. 3 in the current AP poll and is attempting to reach the Final Four for the first time since 1980. The senior from Washington, D.C., has been dominant in the Hawkeyes' first two games, scoring 67 points on blistering 22-of-25 shooting (88%) in blowouts of North Carolina Central and Southern.

Also earning mention on the initial Wooden list were seven freshmen, including heralded newcomers Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State), B.J. Boston (Kentucky), Evan Mobley (USC) and Ziaire Williams (Stanford).

Cunningham (No. 1), Boston (No. 3), Mobley (No. 4) and Williams (No. 5) are all ranked in the top five of ESPN's most recent 2021 NBA mock draft.

Dayton's Obi Toppin was the winner of last season's Wooden Award; he was selected No. 8 overall by the New York Knicks in last month's draft.

Schools with multiple players on the initial Wooden list include Iowa (Garza, Joe Wieskamp), Kentucky (Boston, Olivier Sarr), Stanford (Williams, Oscar da Silva), Baylor (Jared Butler, MaCio Teague), Duke (Matthew Hurt, Jalen Johnson), Gonzaga (Corey Kispert, Drew Timme), Illinois (Kofi Cockburn, Ayo Dosunmu), LSU (Javonte Smart, Trendon Watford), Tennessee (John Fulkerson, Yves Pons), Villanova (Collin Gillespie, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl) and Virginia (Kihei Clark, Sam Hauser).

Wooden Award preseason top 50 list:

  • Scottie Barnes, Florida State (6-9, Fr., G)

  • Charles Bassey, Western Kentucky (6-11, Jr., C)

  • B.J. Boston, Kentucky (6-7, Fr., G)

  • James Bouknight, Connecticut (6-5, So., G)

  • Garrison Brooks, North Carolina (6-10, Sr., F)

  • Greg Brown, Texas (6-9, Fr., F)

  • Jared Butler, Baylor (6-3 , Jr., G)

  • Marcus Carr, Minnesota (6-2, Jr., G)

  • Kihei Clark, Virginia (5-9, Jr., G)

  • Kofi Cockburn, Illinois (7-0, So., C)

  • Jalen Crutcher, Dayton (6-1, Sr., G)

  • Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State (6-8, Fr., G)

  • Oscar da Silva, Stanford (6-9, Sr., F)

  • Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois (6-5, Jr., G)

  • John Fulkerson, Tennessee (6-9, Sr., F)

  • Marcus Garrett, Kansas (6-5, Sr., G)

  • Luka Garza, Iowa (6-11, Sr., C)

  • Collin Gillespie, Villanova (6-3, Sr., G)

  • Kellan Grady, Davidson (6-5, Sr., G)

  • Ron Harper Jr., Rutgers (6-6, Jr., G/F)

  • Sam Hauser, Virginia (6-8, Sr., F)

  • Joey Hauser, Michigan State (6-9, Jr., F)

  • Matthew Hurt, Duke (6-9, So., F)

  • Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana (6-9, So., F)

  • David Johnson, Louisville (6-5, So., G)

  • Jalen Johnson, Duke (6-9, Fr., F)

  • Keyontae Johnson, Florida (6-5, Jr., F)

  • Corey Kispert, Gonzaga (6-7, Sr., F)

  • Isaiah Livers, Michigan ( 6-7, Sr., F)

  • Remy Martin, Arizona State (6-0, Sr., G)

  • Caleb Mills, Houston (6-3, So., G)

  • Evan Mobley, USC (7-0, Fr., F)

  • Landers Nolley II, Memphis (6-7, So., G)

  • Yves Pons, Tennessee (6-6, Sr., G/F)

  • Neemias Queta, Utah State (7-0, Jr., C)

  • Nate Reuvers, Wisconsin (6-11, Sr., F)

  • Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Villanova (6-9, So., F)

  • Colbey Ross, Pepperdine (6-1, Sr., G)

  • Fatts Russell, Rhode Island (5-10, Sr., G)

  • Olivier Sarr, Kentucky (7-0, Sr., F)

  • Javonte Smart, LSU (6-4, Jr., G)

  • Chris Smith, UCLA (6-9, Sr., G)

  • MaCio Teague, Baylor (6-4, Sr., G)

  • Drew Timme, Gonzaga (6-10, So., F)

  • Oscar Tshiebwe, West Virginia (6-9, So., F)

  • Trendon Watford, LSU (6-9, So., F)

  • Joe Wieskamp, Iowa (6-6, Jr., G/F)

  • Ziaire Williams, Stanford (6-8, Fr., F)

  • McKinley Wright IV, Colorado (6-0, Sr., G)

  • Marcus Zegarowski, Creighton (6-2, Jr., G)