Michigan State Spartans Hold Iowa Hawkeyes’ Luka Garza To Single Digits For the First Time Since 2018

Published 02/14/2021, 11:37 PM EST
Jan 10, 2021; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes center Luka Garza (55) reacts with guard Jordan Bohannon (3) against the Minnesota Golden Gophers during the first half at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports


The Iowa Hawkeyes were called one of the top teams this season because of their senior forward Luka Garza. After initially declaring for the draft, he withdrew to come back and win the NCAA title. He has been excellent for them so far and is also a favorite for the National Player of the Year.

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Garza is easily the most consistent player the Hawkeyes have, but he had a rare off-night yesterday. In 23 minutes of action, Garza shot just 3-11 and was held within 10 points. It is the first time that has happened since Thanksgiving Week 2018 against San Diego State.

Despite him finishing with eight points and eight rebounds, the Hawkeyes still coasted to a win. They thrashed the Michigan State Spartans, 88-58, in a 30 point blowout win. Joe Wieskamp and Connor McCaffery were at their sharpshooting best to fill in for the misfiring Garza.

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Are the Iowa Hawkeyes still one of the favorites for the NCAA tournament?

After starting the season as one of the favorites, the Hawkeyes have had a few bumps on the road. Some of their most surprising losses have been against the Indiana Hoosiers (twice) and the Minnesota Gophers.

They have also lost three more games and have a 15-6 record currently.

However, the Hawkeyes have also got five wins over ranked opponents this season. That is an impressive feat, and that is why the Hawkeyes are still among the top teams heading into the NCAA tournament.

He may have fallen short in his last game, but Garza is still averaging 24.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. His shooting splits are also impressive, with 56% from the field and 43% from three. There is no doubt that he is still among the top candidates for the National Player of the Year award.

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

The Hawkeyes also have Wieskamp, who has gone under the radar in spite of his stellar performances. He is averaging 15.4 points while shooting 50% from the field and 49% from three.

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Having him as a second option behind Garza is a luxury, and that is what makes them the #1 ranked offense in the country.

Feb 13, 2021; East Lansing, Michigan, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes guard Joe Wieskamp (10) looks to pass the ball against Michigan State during the second half at Jack Breslin Student Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Their performance in the Big Ten conference hasn’t gone as expected, but they will use those shortcomings as fuel when they enter the Indiana bubble for March Madness.

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DIVE DEEPER

Iowa Hawkeyes’ Joe Wieskamp Reveals How They Overcame the Rutgers Scarlet Knights

3 months ago

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Aaron Mathew

1556 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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