Cade Cunningham, Luka Garza Headline 2020-21 AP Men's All-America 1st Team

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2021

Iowa center Luka Garza (55) plays against Illinois in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big Ten Conference tournament in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Oklahoma State's Cade Cunningham and Naismith Men's College Player of the Year favorite Luka Garza headlined the Associated Press' first-team All-America selections for the 2020-21 season.

Cunningham and Garzaβ€”a unanimous selectionβ€”were joined by Illinois' Ayo Dosunmu, Gonzaga's Corey Kispert and Baylor's Jared Butler. The players were chosen by the 63 media members who vote in the weekly AP Top 25 poll.

"Oklahoma State, last year wasn't the year that they were proud of, but I know there's a bunch of guys that wanted to win and were going to do everything that it took to win," Cunningham told the AP. "So having a group of guys like that, with the coach we have and staff we have, that's what I want to surround myself with."

Cunningham, widely projected as the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA draft, averaged 20.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game as a freshman. The Cowboys are a No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament after a run to the final of the Big 12 tourney.

Garza is the favorite for every national individual honor. The senior big man averaged 23.7 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks during the regular season, spearheading Iowa's run to a No. 2 seed. He became the Hawkeyes' all-time leading scorer in February, and the program has announced it will retire his No. 55.

"He's the focal point of every defense every time we take the floor. The more tape that's on him, the tougher that gets for him," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. "So I just have been really impressed with his relentlessness to continue to improve and to handle anything that comes his way."

Dosunmu was Garza's biggest challenger in the Big Ten, averaging 20.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists while leading the Illini to a No. 1 seed.

Kispert and Butler have been the best players on the nation's top two teams. Kispert averaged 19.2 points and 4.9 rebounds while shooting a lights-out 44.4 percent from three and leading Gonzaga to a 26-0 record. The Bulldogs are the first team to enter the NCAA tournament undefeated since Kentucky in 2014-15.

Butler averaged 17.1 points, 4.8 assists and 3.3 rebounds for Scott Drew's top-seeded Bears, leading them to a 22-2 mark.


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