Luka Garza sure has good timing.
The Class of 2017 power forward visited Iowa this past weekend when there were four basketball games, a wrestling meet that set an attendance record and a sold out football game for the fifth-ranked and unbeaten Hawkeyes. He left town feeling good about what he saw.
“The campus was beautiful and I was so impressed with how many people showed up to all of the sport events,” Garza said. “I was really impressed at how the whole community was behind the program. I also was impressed that out of all the people I met, there wasn’t one negative comment about the school.”
While the spectacle of the wrestling and football competition served as a bonus, the 6-foot-10, 240-pounder was focused on the basketball team. Again, he liked what he saw.
“Another thing that impressed me was watching the coaching style of Coach (Fran) McCaffery. He is very detailed, but calm. He doesn’t always jump on players unless absolutely necessary. Also, I was impressed with the athletic trainer and his program. Very advanced stuff that definitely helps the players,” Garza said.
The Hawkeyes offered a scholarship to the Washington, D.C. Maret School forward in June after watching him with Team Takeover on the EYBL AAU Circuit. Central Michigan, DePaul, George Washington and St. Joseph’s also have offered him, he reports. Maryland and George Mason have been involved, he added.
“I’ve visited Maryland, George Mason, George Washington and Iowa. I will start to schedule more visits after the season. I like all of the schools that are recruiting me,” Garza said.
Iowa took the next step with Garza by getting him on campus early. He hung out with ’16 signees Cordell Pemsl and Ryan Kriener as well as ’17 verbal, Connor McCaffery, the coach’s son.
“I met Connor in the summer during the circuit, and we became friends. I met Cordell and Ryan for the first time on this visit and they were really cool and helped me feel welcome. I also met the whole team and they all seem like really good guys. You can tell Coach McCaffery only recruits guys with really high character,” Garza said.
Fran McCaffery expressed to Garza why he’d like him in his program.
“It was great spending time with him. He knows the game very well and he’s a fun person to be around. He showed me what Iowa could do for me, and how I could impact Iowa. Watching them play and practice, it was evident that there style of play fits mine,” Garza said.
“They pass the ball, they play D and they play as a team. Jarrod Uthoff was put in a position where he could go inside and out. I am a similar type of player who can shoot the three and bang in the low post.”
Garza is taking his time with the recruiting process.
“I think I’m in the beginning to middle stages. I still have a lot of time. In August, I worked very hard and became a much better player. I hope the work pays off,” he said.