The freshman center added three blocks and was perfect from the field (6/6) and was joined by Tyler Cook in the 100% club, who went 4/4 from the field and had 12 points, six boards and three assists.
It was Iowa’s most complete game so far, which isn’t saying all that much but remains a step in the right direction. Jordan Bohannon and Isaiah Moss joined starters Garza and Cook in double figures with 12 and 14, respectively. Ahmad Wagner was the fifth starter and worked through a quick hook (he was replaced briefly by Jack Nunge in the opening minutes after a silly turnover) for a solid floor game of six rebounds and four assists.
Though the Hawkeyes struggled in transition defense, they looked much better in the half court. They regularly switched between man-to-man and zone and their hands looked much more active in both defenses. They had eight steals and seven blocks on the night.
While backup point guard Connor McCaffery missed the game with a tweaked ankle, Brady Ellingson played a clean game at point in the first half, as the team went +5 in four and a half minutes.
Fran McCaffery called off horses early - the reserves played over 15 minutes of the after a fiery start to the second half where they outscored the Cougars 16-10.
- Luka Garza is so fun to watch. There was a stretch late in the first half where he blocked a three and sunk an easy 12 footer in transition. His only assist came from the high post for a wide open three to Bohannon. He looked really smooth in all aspects of the game - including some quality pick and roll defense - and is already the most skilled Iowa center of my lifetime.
- The ball movement was quite good. In addition to Garza, Tyler Cook looked much better passing out of the post and everyone seemed to look for the open man.
- I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the juxtaposition of 12/22 three point shooting (led by Bohannon and Moss at 4 a piece) with 21/35 free throws. Behind transition defense, the charity stripe is the easiest place for Iowa to improve.
- Dom Uhl was the last scholarship player to come in with 4:09 left in the first half. Maishe Dailey joined the action at 12:13 to replace Bohannon.
- No trillions - Charlie Rose notched a foul in three minutes and Riley Till had a board, turnover, and steal in five.