Schwartz: 10 Sentences – Luka Garza’s Big Decision Edition

July 5, 2020

Written by David Schwartz

Hawkeye Nation

Ten sentences to fill the time as we wait for Luka Garza’s decision:

1. So I heard from not one but two friends this past week who wanted to talk about Hawkeye men’s basketball, and each came from the perspective that they are anticipating the best men’s squad since at least 2005-2006, when they earned a three seed in the NCAA Tournament.

2. Of course the conversation turned toward  the fate of Luka Garza, who any day/week now will decide whether to keep his name in the NBA Draft pool or return for his senior season.

3. 247 Sports wrote—accurately, I believe—that “Garza’s NBA decision will shape college basketball”; even if it doesn’t quite have the full NCAA ripple effect that we think it might, it certainly will go a long way toward determining the direction of the Hawkeyes and alignment of the Big Ten Conference.

4. It’s been a while since this much college power has rested in Iowa City; the last time the college-sports universe paid this much game-related attention to the Iowa Athletic Department has to have been Dec. 5, 2015, when the undefeated Hawkeyes met Michigan State in the Big Ten Football Championship Game.

5. Whatever the Hawkeyes did in that game was going to have a massive effect on the college football playoff, which at that point was in its second year; if Iowa won they would have been in the playoff, and if they lost it most likely would have been Michigan State, although at that point it wasn’t certain to be the Spartans.

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6. We don’t need to rehash how that worked out, with MSU winning and going to the playoff, but it’s fun to see so much national attention being paid to the Hawkeyes for doing something positive, which has been in short supply over the last month or so.

7. This is such a strange sports year because of the global pandemic that everything is being turned on its head, since usually if a player—Garza or whomever—is getting feedback that they could go in the first round, it would be wise to just go, but the NBA Draft Combine has been temporarily derailed just like everything else; usually it would be over by now—as would the draft—but as it stands the NBA is still trying to complete the 2019-20 season, which means the 2020-21 season will likely start around Christmas, maybe.

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8. Iowa seems like the more stable play for Garza, not that a word such as “stable” is the right choice at this point in time—I stared at my keyboard a good 20 seconds debating whether I should use the word at all.

9. It might sound counterintuitive, but the fact that Iowa might have its best team since 2006—or heck, maybe even since the late 1980s—shouldn’t be the key component in Garza’s decision, not when his professional opportunities hang in the balance; by comparison, the best move for Garza’s professional ambition trumps the best move for Garza’s emotional attraction.

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10. It just so happens that in this case the two might align: Garza might want to return to the Hawkeyes to see how high the Hawkeyes can soar as he lines up alongside Jordan Bohannon, Joe Toussaint, the McCaffery brothers, CJ Fredrick, a strong freshman class and others, but he also might want to return and play college hoops as the NBA reduces from a rolling boil to a low simmer, and if that happens, we’ll all get to enjoy the ride.

* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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