Iowa’s Luka Garza to test NBA Draft waters

Iowa center Luka Garza plans to go through the NBA Draft process without hiring an agent, the school announced Friday.

By holding off on hiring an agent, the 6-11 junior will retain his final year of eligibility if he chooses to return to campus next season.

“The NBA has been my dream since I started playing basketball as a kid and I’m going to do everything I can to pursue that,” Garza said in a prepared statement. “If it ends up not being the right time to make the move to the NBA, I’m excited about the potential of what my senior season as a Hawkeye could have in store.”

Garza, Sporting News’ college basketball Player of the Year for 2019-20, was the centerpiece of an Iowa team that finished 25th in the final Associated Press poll and rose to as high as No. 17 during the season.

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The 21-year-old averaged 23.2 points and 9.8 rebounds this past season on his way to being named the consensus Big Ten Player of the Year. He also averaged 26.2 points per game during the 20-game conference schedule, the most by a Big Ten player in conference play since Glenn Robinson’s 1993-94 season. His impressive season also made him a finalist for the Naismith Trophy, which was won by Dayton’s Obi Toppin.

Garza has gradually increased his versatility over his three-year career with the Hawkeyes; he shot 35.8 percent from beyond the 3-point line on 109 attempts last season.

Despite his improvement, Garza failed to be considered one of the top 60 available players in an ESPN mock draft Thursday.

The 2020 draft is due to be held on June 25 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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