2021 NBA Draft Profile



Round 252
Drafted By:Detroit Pistons
6-11 / 243 lbs
Draft 2021

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About Luka Garza

• Luka Garza is a polished center who had one of the most dominant early-season stretches of any player in NCAA history to begin his senior year at Iowa and rode that momentum to Consensus National Player of the Year honors.  Hailing from a family with deep roots in basketball in Bosnia and Herzegovina and several generations of Division I players on both sides, Garza emerged as prospect early in his prep career finishing his senior season at Maret School (DC) considered one of the top-125 prospects in the high school class of 2017.  Averaging 12.1 points per game as a true freshman under Head Coach Fran McCaffrey at Iowa, he made an instant impact at the college level, but solidified himself as one of the nation’s top players as a junior.  Making meaningful strides in several key areas over his four-year college career, the 22-year-old center averaged 24.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game as a senior while leading the Hawkeyes to the NCAA Tournament to earn his second consecutive Big Ten Player of the Year and Consensus 1st Team All-American nods.

• A skilled 6’11 center with a mature 265-pound frame and decent length, Garza is not the most mobile big man, but ranks among the most polished, diligent players to come through college basketball in recent memory.

• Filling a massive role in the Hawkeyes’ offense with his ability to impose his will with footwork and touch in the low post, use his size as a finisher, make effort plays on the glass, and demoralize opposing big men with his consistency from beyond the arc when sliding out to the perimeter, Garza took over dozens of big games over final last two seasons in Iowa City.  His senior year ranks among the most efficient offensive seasons for a high-volume scorer in modern college basketball history.

• Lacking a degree of agility covering ground on the defensive end, Garza nonetheless made marked strides on the defensive end as an upperclassman after struggling to avoid foul trouble early in his career.

Advanced Stats

• An assertive, intelligent offensive player with an unrelenting motor, Garza carried Iowa for long stretches last season, but was savvy enough to deliver the ball out of double teams and be opportunistic off the ball when opposing teams built their gameplans around limiting him. With over half of his possessions coming in the post, another significant portion coming on put backs and dump passes, and the rest coming on the perimeter, Garza’s efficiency across the board and combination of throwback skills on the block and shooting touch stood out last season.

• Ranking among the top post scorers in recent college basketball history, Garza scored an elite 1.07 points per Post Up possession [89th percentile] despite getting a huge volume of touches and facing regular double teams.  Ducking in with great timing, operating decisively, possessing excellent touch playing over his left shoulder, and using the rim to make his shot more difficult to block inside, Garza was a force going one-on-one on the interior.  Doing a nice job delivering the ball back out to the perimeter against pressure, he showed more ability to play cat and mouse with opposing defenders than his assist numbers suggest.

• Earning some catch and finish opportunities around the rim with his activity level on the glass and timing presenting himself as a target, Garza averaged 1.41 points per shot around the rim in the half court [90th percentile].  He showed some ability to play above the rim with time to gather, but is more of a threat to play angles than try to finish a lob.

• Flashing the ability to step out and make three-point shots consistently all the way back in his prep days, Garza turned a corner from the perimeter as a senior.  Averaging a terrific 1.18 points per jump shot in the half court [91st percentile], he added a dimension to his game with just how accurate he was from deep as a senior.

• Ranked 1st in the NCAA and 1st in the Big Ten in offensive efficiency among volume scorers (1.16 points per possession)

• Ranked 1st in the NCAA and 1st in the Big Ten in post up scoring (10.3 points per game)

• Ranked 4th in the NCAA and 1st in the Big Ten in put back scoring (3.4 points per game)

• Ranked 1st in the Big Ten in roll man scoring (3.2 points per game)

Defensive Analysis

• An intense defender who lacks a degree of quickness in space, Garza nonetheless held his own inside as a senior.  Facing a huge volume of post up possessions as teams aggressively looked to get him in foul trouble, he allowed 0.74 points per post up possession [66th percentile] as he did a far better job walling up without fouling to keep himself in the game in his final two seasons at Iowa than he did early in his career.

• A capable area rebounder who blocked shots at a nice rate on the ball and by sticking with plays, Garza is not a prolific rim protecting presence, but showed some instincts when they action came to him.


— Profile by Synergy Sports