The Iowa basketball team takes on the Hoosiers tomorrow evening, and there is no shortage of respect for center Luka Garza from coach Archie Miller.
Sophomore center Luka Garza has been arguably the most dominant player on the Iowa basketball team over the last month. After playing just ten minutes against Nebraska and scoring just eight points, Garza has been on a tear.
Since that game on January 6th, Garza is averaging 19.7 points and 5.2 rebounds on 59% shooting. He has been the most consistent scoring option for the Iowa basketball team, and he was a big reason why the Hawks were able to knock off top-ranked Michigan last Friday evening.
Needless to say, this has coaches talking, and heading into tonight’s game, Indiana’s head coach Archie Miller is paying close to attention to the 6’11” center. Here is what Miller had to say during yesterday’s media conference.
"It’s natural progression. He was a very good freshman, in late, in the months of February and March, so you saw him really improve. Coach McCaffery and those guys do a tremendous job with their big guys in terms of them running and being physical, so you could see him grow up at the end of last year. Natural progression, most likely experience, he played a lot as a freshman, now’s sophomore. But he’s a really good offensive player. They do a great job of being able to pound the ball inside. They force you to run. He’s got tremendous size and he’s got a really, really good game in terms of being able to score around the basket and also bring you away from the basket at times. So to me he’s one of the most improved players in the league."
He wasn’t the only one singing Garza’s praises as Fran McCaffery had many good things to say about his post player in his Tuesday media conference. When asked about his offensive abilities, McCaffery had this to say about Garza.
"He could always score. He has an unbelievable knack for getting the ball in the basket. He will make a nine-footer while he’s getting banged off the glass in traffic look like a lay up. That’s really hard to do."
Against the Indiana Hoosiers tonight, the Iowa basketball team will need another big game from their big man as they head to one of the toughest courts in the country, Assembly Hall. Can Garza have an incredible encore performance to follow-up his game vs Michigan?
We find out in just a few hours when these two teams tip-off at 8 PM Central Standard Time.