‘He Became Great’- Iowa Hawkeyes Coach Opens Up About Coaching Luka Garza

Published 12/23/2020, 6:30 AM CST
Dec 13, 2020; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes center Luka Garza (55) controls the ball against the Northern Illinois Huskies during the first half at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports


Luka Garza is definitely going to be the prohibitive favorite for Naismith Player of the Year. He has been putting up historic stats from the start of this season. While he came close to winning Player of the Year last season, he lost out to Obi Toppin. However, this season is shaping up to be different, and the Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffery has spoken about Garza and his standing amongst all-time Iowa greats.

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The coach said, “I think as I look at some of the guys I’ve coached over the years, and I’ve coached so the really good ones. The thing that I’m impressed with Luka the most is who he’s doing it against, and recognizing that every team is scheming completely to stop him… He’s a guy that he continues to try to perfect his craft. Would’ve been easy to be satisfied with his freshman and sophomore year. He was terrific, he was good. He wanted to be great. Now he became great. Okay, well, now I’ve arrived. I want to be a first-round draft pick. And that’s what you love about this kid.”

Luka Garza: Easily the best player in college basketball today?

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The ease with which Luka Garza is dominating opponents is something we do not see every year. Matter of fact, we didn’t even see him do this last season. However, this year is a different story for Garza. He is averaging 28.4 points and 9.1 rebounds for the season, as the Hawkeyes are a solid top-5 team in the nation.

Dec 11, 2020; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes center Luka Garza (55) reacts after hitting a three point basket during the second half against the Iowa State Cyclones at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Garza is doing his scoring damage at an almost 70% shooting clip, which is sensational. McCaffrey commented about how Garza wants to be a first-round pick, and that may seem odd. How is the best player in college not a first-round pick?

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Garza is a senior who will be 22 heading into the 2021 NBA Draft. His potential is something most scouts believe is already fulfilled, and he will enter the NBA the way he is playing right now. However, whichever team gets him will be getting the most polished prospect in the entire draft.

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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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