Luka Garza still hasn't made an official decision on whether to stay in the NBA Draft, although it's likely he returns for his senior season at Iowa.
But one media outlet says Garza's choice will be the most important stay-or-go decision of the draft, and it could make the Hawkeyes a national championship contender.
This one should be obvious. Garza is coming off of a season where he averaged 23.8 points and 9.8 boards for a top 25 team, was named a first-team All-American and put himself alongside Dayton’s Obi Toppin in the race for National Player of the Year.
But he’s also in a unique spot where he doesn’t really project as a great pro because of his lack of athleticism and mobility. How often does a player that is that unquestionably great return for another year in the collegiate ranks? Cassius Winston did it. Doug McDermott did it. They were both preseason National Player of the Year candidates. It’s a big deal having him on the floor, to say nothing of the impact that he has on everyone else on that Iowa roster.
Depending on how the chips fall, I think that Iowa can still be in the mix as a top 25 team without Garza, and I don’t think that it would be crazy if Garza opted to take a deal overseas. He can make a lot of money in Europe.
But with him back?
I think this team is capable of getting to a Final Four and winning a national title.
If Garza is back, the Hawkeyes would have five starters returning from a 20-win team in 2019-20, a lineup that has more starts than any other team in the Big Ten.
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