Garza's Decision Among Those That Will Shape Upcoming College Season

The national opinion: If Luka Garza returns, Iowa is a Top-5 team. (Reese Strickland/USA Today Sports)

John Bohnenkamp

Luka Garza is going through the NBA Draft process, but when the Iowa center announced his decision he made it clear that he was going to keep his eligibility.

When Garza announced his decision on April 10, he emphasized that he would leave for the NBA only for the "real opportunity," and that if he didn't find it, the feedback would be important.

"I want to hear, also, if it’s not the time to make that move, I want to hear the improvements I need to make, to be ready for that next step after my senior year," said Garza, a 6-foot-11 junior. "So, I’m looking for a lot out of this process, and I’m looking forward to it. It would have to be a real opportunity."

The likelihood of Garza returning is why the Hawkeyes are in the top-10 of the way-too-early preseason rankings for the 2020-21 season.

Sports Illustrated's Molly Geary wrote on Tuesday that Garza's decision is one of the main ones that will impact the offseason.

Garza isn't ranked on SI's Big Board of the top 80 prospects — Iowa teammate Joe Wieskamp was at No. 65, but he announced Saturday that he'll return for his junior season. But Garza was at the top of Geary's list.

Her take:

"If Garza comes back to Iowa, it seems a safe bet he will be the preseason favorite for National Player of the Year. The senior is in a bit of a similar situation to Cassius Winston last year, with not the highest NBA draft stock (Garza doesn’t appear on SI’s latest 80-prospect Big Board) and a chance to have a special senior season upon return. The Hawkeyes would likely be a preseason top-10 team and perhaps the Big Ten favorite if Garza opts to stay in Iowa City, especially considering they’ll get a healthy Jordan Bohannon back and are otherwise set to return their entire starting lineup."

Another decision that will affect the national landscape, and will certainly have a big factor on the Big Ten, will be whether Michigan State's Xavier Tillman and Aaron Henry return, Geary wrote.

Tillman is ranked 29th on SI's Big Board, while Henry is at No. 64.

Comments (1)
No. 1-1

He'll be back.