Sports, Wednesday, March 25th

By: Nathan Bloechl —

College Basketball:

The National Association of Basketball Coaches has named Luka Garza of Iowa a First Team All-American.

Marquette’s Markus Howard, Oregon’s Payton Pritchard, Kansas’ Udoka Azubuike and Dayton’s Obi Toppin are also on the first team.

The second team included Seton Hall’s Myles Powell, Michigan State’s Cassius Winston, Malachi Flynn of San Diego State, Kansas sophomore Devon Dotson and Gonzaga’s Filip Petrusev.

The third team list saw Baylor’s Jared Butler, Vernon Carey Jr. and Tre Jones of Duke, Louisville’s Jordan Nwora and Jalen Smith of Maryland.

Haliburton to the NBA:

According to multiple reports, Iowa State sophomore guard Tyrese Haliburton is entering the NBA Draft.

Haliburton averaged 15.2 points, 6.5 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 2.5 steals for ISU this past season. His year was cut short due to a fractured wrist in February.

Haliburton is expected to be a lottery pick in June’s draft.

Topping Earns AP Player of the Year Award:

Dayton Flyer sophomore forward Obi Toppin was named the Associated Press Player of the Year, yesterday.

Toppin and his head coach Anthony Grant, who was named National Coach of the Year, swept the awards marking just the 11th time since 1967 that the Player and Coach of the Year were represented by the same school.

Iowa’s Luka Garza finished as the runner-up, despite sweeping the previous awards as Player of the Year from multiple other outlets.

Garza finished with 24 first place votes to Toppin’s 34.

Iowa’s Lee, UNI’s Schwarm Earn NCAA Wrestling Awards:

Yesterday, Iowa’s Spencer Lee picked up the NCAA’s Most Dominant Wrestler award.

Lee, 18-0, earned nine tech falls, four falls and earned bonus points for his team in all but one match this year.

Ranked #1 at 125, Lee was set to compete for his third straight national championship.

UNI wrestler Jay Schwarm was also given the award for most falls this season.

Schwarm, also at 125, earned 16 fall victories this winter.

It was a competitive race for most falls as Schwarm’s 16 falls put him two ahead of 2019 winner Matt Stencel of Central Michigan as well as Ben Darmstadt of Cornell.

The Big 12 Championships proved critical for 125-pounder Schwarm as his falls over Jace Koelzer of Northern Colorado and Joey Thomas of West Virginia proved to be the difference.

Schwarm is the lightest-weight wrestler to win the award in Division I.

Cyclones Add to Defensive Side of the Ball with Ralph Commit:

Iowa State picked up their fifth commitment of the 2021 recruiting class yesterday when Chicago metro area linebacker Aidan Ralph inked with the Cyclones.

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound linebacker received an offer from Iowa State during a Junior Day visit earlier this month.

Ralph is Iowa State’s first commit in the 2021 defensive recruiting cycle.

He’s also the first commit of the month, which of course has been slowed on the recruiting front due to the coronavirus pandemic.

247Sports rates Ralph a three-star prospect and ranks him the No. 39 junior prospect in the state of Illinois.

The Cyclones now have five commitments in their 2021 recruiting class. Ralph is the first from Illinois.