The Takeaways: Garza's Epic Night, But Not Enough Defense

Iowa's Luka Garza shoots over Michigan's Jon Teske (15) and Franz Wagner in Friday's game. (USA Today Sports)

John Bohnenkamp

Luka Garza had a game for history.

Now, there's a lot more to Iowa's 103-91 loss at No. 4 Michigan in Friday's Big Ten opener, and we'll get to that soon enough.

But let's take a deep look at the 44-point night for Garza, Iowa's junior center who has become unstoppable.

Garza finished 17-of-32 from the field — 0-of-3 in 3-pointers — and 10-of-13 in free throws.

Those were numbers for history. So are these:

  • Garza became the 49th Hawkeye to score 1,000 points
  • Garza’s 44 points are the most in a single game by an Iowa big man, third most in a single game in program history, and are the most scored by a Hawkeye in a single game since guard John Johnson had a school-record 49 points against Northwestern on Feb. 24, 1970.
  • Garza’s 44 points are the most scored by a visiting player in Crisler Center history, besting Ohio State’s Dennis Hopson’s 39 points on Jan. 8, 1987. The 44-point outburst is the second highest scoring output by any player in Crisler Center history (48 by Rudy Tomjanovich vs. Indiana on Jan. 7, 1969).
  • Garza made 17 field goals, tying Bruce King (vs. Michigan on Jan. 31, 1976) for third most in a single game in Iowa history. Garza’s 32 attempts tie three others (Fred Brown, Murray Wier and Charles Darling) for fourth most in Iowa history.
  • Garza’s 27 first-half points are the most by a Hawkeye in a half since Jarrod Uthoff had 30 at Iowa State on Dec. 10, 2015.
  • Garza's point total was the most for a Big Ten player in 20 seasons.
  • Garza's 44 points are also the most by a player against an AP Top 5 team since Oklahoma's Buddy Hield's 46 points against No. 1 Kansas on January 4, 2016.

Garza played almost 36 1/2 minutes, and drew 11 fouls.

Michigan's defensive plan was to take away Iowa's perimeter game, which opened up the inside for Garza. It was clear from the beginning this was going to be Garza's night, but he was going to need some help.

He didn't get it

Only one other Hawkeye scored in double figures — Connor McCaffery had 12 points.

Michigan's offense was more balanced — all five starters scored in double figures. Franz Wagner had 18 points, Zavier Simpson and Jon Teske had 16, Isaiah Livers have 14 and Eli Brooks has 13.

Michigan also had 26 points off the bench — Brandon Johns Jr., had 12 — compared to just 14 for Iowa.

Wieskamp's struggles

Iowa sophomore guard Joe Wieskamp took just six shots, making two, and finished with seven points.

Everybody's shooting numbers are going to be skewed from this game, considering Garza took 32 shots.

Wieskamp's numbers will improve — he's too talented — and it will help him to get some rest after next week's two games against Minnesota and Iowa State.

Garza is going to be the biggest cog of this offense moving forward, but Wieskamp needs to be effective once the Hawkeyes get into the meat of the Big Ten schedule in January.

How much does Bohannon have left?

You wonder if we're seeing the last days of Jordan Bohannon's season.

The Iowa senior guard, coming off offseason hip surgery, was 3-of-11 from the field, 2-of-6 in 3-pointers, in this game. He has admitted that the hip is bothering him to the point where he's not practicing.

Bohannon can play in both games next week, and then he'll have to make a decision on whether to sit out the rest of the season and take a medical redshirt.

Now, about the defense...

Michigan shot 54.8 percent from the field in the first half, 55.6 percent from the field in the second half, and 55.2 percent for the game.

The Wolverines were 10-of-24 in 3-pointers, got to the free-throw line 34 times, and had 12 offensive rebounds.

All of those numbers are signs of a game-long breakdown in defense.

Michigan's active offense is something the Hawkeyes will see from others as the season continues. They'll have to be better, because they can't afford these kinds of games all season.

Comments (1)
No. 1-1

Iowa's defense needs to be better. But Garza is playing like an All-American.