Big Ten Player of the Year Luka Garza withdraws from NBA draft, will return to Iowa

Chris Cwik
·2-min read

Good news, Iowa Hawkeyes fans: Luka Garza is coming back. Garza announced Sunday he’s withdrawing his name from the NBA draft, and will return to Iowa for his senior season.

Garza, 21, told Yahoo Sports he decided to return because he thinks Iowa can win a national championship next year.

“I think there was a lot of interest in the NBA. For me, I feel very confident about the team that we could have coming back. And I think, with that team, we could win a national championship, be a Final Four contender and be a Big Ten championship team.

“With all that, I think that coming back will help my stock and help me individually. Even though I feel like my stock was high at this time, I just couldn’t leave my guys and coaches. I love this place too much. I love the university too much. And I just feel like, if I left, I would regret not finishing the chapter.”

Garza initially declared his intention to enter the NBA draft in April.

Luka Garza will be a Wooden Award favorite in 2020

Iowa should be a force with Garza back in the fold. As a junior, Garza averaged 23.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. He finished as a runner-up for the John Wooden Award, which is given to the most “outstanding collegiate basketball” player every year.

While Garza missed out on that award, he was named the Big Ten Player of the Year. He should have a shot at repeating that honor in 2020, and will be considered a favorite for the John Wooden Award.

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