This is Fran McCaffery’s 11th year at Iowa, and he has not had a more talented roster than this year. A big reason for that? Is Luka Garza, who has a great relationship with his head coach.
“Coach McCaffery saw something in me that not a lot of other coaches saw,” said Garza. “He took a chance on me, and i feel like he’s done so much for me and my career. That it wouldn’t be right to finish it off, and finish what I started here at the University of Iowa.”
A big reason for returning is the unusual NBA Draft process this year, where players had to make a decision before going to the combine or the NBA Draft Lottery.
“I felt strongly that if I would keep my name in I would’ve been drafted,” said Garza. “You know, I had a lot of opportunities in the NBA, as well as in Europe for a lot of money, but at the end of the day I felt like the teams that like me this year, will like me next year, and they will like me even more because I put in a lot of work this summer. And I will continue to put in work to improve my game. The question that people have is that could I improve my stock any more? For me that’s not a question, I am always confident in myself, and I feel like every summer I make strides and improve my game in some way.”
Garza’s head coach, Fran McCaffery, said changes in the drafting process may have hurt his ability to get drafted this year, but believes he’ll have the chance to prove his worth in the upcoming season.
“He didn’t have the Big 10 tournament, he didn’t have the NCAA tournament, he didn’t have the combine, he did have meetings but he didn’t have workouts,” said McCaffery. “They were able to get to know him, which is great and I am glad he had the opportunity to do that but a lot of times it comes down to a workout where you show up with other players that they might have rated higher. All of a sudden they say, ‘wait a minute this guy is better than them’ and he moves up. I feel for Luka in that regard, he didn’t have those opportunities, because typically he out plays the guy who lines up in front of him.”
McCaffery believes that Garza will eventually become a first-round draft pick in the NBA.