Fran McCaffery and his Hawkeye squad were in need of help in the post after National Player of the Year Luka Garza graduated and Jack Nunge transferred. Fran targeted Filip Rebraca and closed the deal. Iowa also went after former Gopher Liam Robbins who chose Vanderbilt. Rebraca’s game probably fits more with what Iowa will do going forward X’s and O’s wise than Robbins.
No One Is Going to Replace Garza
It goes without saying, but I’m going to say it. Neither Robbins nor Rebraca was ever going to replace Luka Garza. The production of Luka will more than likely never be matched in Iowa basketball history. Fran did bring in a very accomplished player who also fills a need on the Hawkeye roster. As a comparison, let’s take a look at the measurables of Garza, Robbins, and Rebraca.
Luka Garza 6’11” 265
Liam Robbins 7’0” 235
Filip Rebraca 6’9” 222
Rebraca is not an old-school 5 who goes down low and bangs in the paint. Garza had two inches and 40 pounds on him. Rebraca will be more agile than Luka. Here is an excellent example of Rebraca posting up big in the lane, getting a high-low pass, and utilizing some nice footwork to score against the Gophers.
Here is Rebraca on the perimeter with a dribble handoff into a pick and roll.
Here is a nice reverse pivot mid-range jumper from Rebraca.
Rebraca runs the court well. Here he sprints to the rim in transition for a dunk.
Although Rebraca is not a big shot blocker, here he plays some pretty solid defense.
Rebraca averaged 7.6 rebounds this past year. Here he gives nice effort to grab an offensive board and goes up strong to finish.
As mentioned earlier, Rebraca has some nice footwork. Here he performs one of my favorite plays in basketball. An up-and-under move for a bucket. Gimme that old-school basketball any day of the week!
Here is a nice little jump hook in the lane for two more.
Rebraca can create offense for others. He has nice vision and is a crafty passer.
Here is a clip of Rebraca working showing determination in attacking the basket. He goes strong to the hoop and finishes with a soft touch.
What to Expect
This past season Rebraca averaged 31.8 minutes, 16.8 points, and 7.6 rebounds per game for North Dakota. He outplayed the Gophers’ Liam Robbins head-to-head. Rebraca had 23 and 6. Robbins ended with 9 points. Rebraca shot 37% from 3 and 61% from the free throw line. North Dakota ran a lot of ball screens with him; he primary rolled to the basket. My guess is that he will spend a great deal of time this offseason working on his 3 point shot. I can see him and Joe Toussaint running a lot of pick and rolls with Rebraca popping more than he has in the past, hitting that outside shot. Rebraca will rely more on quickness and agility than Luka Garza did. You can tell that Filip has incorporated some of his father’s game into his own. His father, Zeljko, played in the NBA for Detroit, Atlanta, and the Clippers. Here’s an old school clip of pops getting a block, cherry picking, and getting a dunk.
Welcome aboard, Filip! This was a huge get for Fran and the Hawkeyes. Go Hawks!