‘Most Clutch’- NCAA Analyst Compares Luka Garza and Ayo Dosunmu in the Race For Naismith Player of the Year

Published 02/21/2021, 1:00 PM EST
Jan 10, 2021; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard Ayo Dosunmu (11) drives against Maryland Terrapins guard Darryl Morsell (11) during the first half at the State Farm Center. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports


Luka Garza and Ayo Dosunmu are emerging as the best players in the NCAA this season. While Baylor’s Jared Butler and Gonzaga’s Drew Timme have also been sensational, it looks like the race for Naismith Player of the Year will come down to Garza and Dosunmu.

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Garza has been dominating for the Iowa Hawkeyes and is averaging 24.7 points and 8.4 rebounds. Meanwhile, Ayo Dosunmu has been emerging as one of the best end-games scorers in the NCAA. Ayo averages 21.2 points, 5.3 assists, and 6.2 rebounds. He plays for the Illinois Fighting Illini, who are ranked fifth in the AP Poll. Iowa is ranked 11th.

NCAA analyst Steve Lavin said that while he may still lean towards Garza for Player of the Year, Dosunmu is creating a resume for himself as the most clutch player in NCAA basketball.

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“Based on today, I’d still give it to Luka Garza. But if they were to make an award for the most clutch player in college basketball, that would unquestionably go to Ayo Dosunmu.

“As good as Luka Garza is, I had to think around to find a moment where Luka Garza had a game-winner. He has, but the big moments. They belong to Ayo Dosunmu.”

Luka Garza: Has he been surpassed?

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Feb 2, 2021; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes center Luka Garza (55) reacts as Michigan State Spartans forward Julius Marble II. (34) looks on during the first half at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Luka Garza is a phenom in college basketball. His size and ability make him dominate his opponents. However, he doesn’t have the same upside as Dosunmu. Ayo is turning out to be the leader on this talented Illini team that are being pegged for a deep NCAA Tournament run.

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As it comes to awards, it seems Garza will be crowned the best player in the NCAA this season. His numbers are way too good for people to overlook them. But Dosunmu is catching up to him, and the scales could tip at any point.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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