The Iowa Hawkeyes have become a top team since the rise of Luka Garza. The senior forward is now having a career-best year and has broken multiple records since the start of the season.
Tonight, he found himself in the record books once again, when the Hawkeyes faced the Penn State Nittany Lions. With a 23-point performance, he overtook Roy Marble to become the new all-time leading scorer of the Hawkeyes.
In this journey to the top, Garza has surpassed many Hawkeyes legends, including former NBA champion B. J. Armstrong.
During the post-game interview, he was humble and praised his teammates for supporting him.
“I just wanted to step in, to work as hard as I could to become the best player I could,” Garza said. “It speaks to the teammates I’ve had throughout the time I’ve had here. They have just made me look really good.”
In over 100 years of existence, the Hawkeyes haven’t been able to win an NCAA tournament. The closest they came was when they reached the Final in 1956.
They lost to the San Francisco Dons, and since then, they have made just one Final Four appearance in 1980. They have reached the Sweet Sixteen a few times after that, but the last appearance came in 1999.
While they haven’t found any success since then, this is the strongest team they have had in years. Leading the attack is Garza, who is likely to become the first Hawkeye to win the Wooden Award.
They have another star player in Joe Wieskamp, who can also lead the scoring any night.
Jordan Bohannon and Connor McCaffery are the ones pulling the strings, making the important plays while Jack Nunge has become their main scorer off the bench. This makes them the most dangerous offense in the country.
But they desperately need to step up with their defense, which is ranked 74th in the country according to KenPom. That has arguably been their biggest weakness so far, and if they don’t work to fix it, it could be the reason they fall in the NCAA tournament.