Iowa men’s basketball has multiple scorers

Center Luka Garza isn’t the Hawkeyes’ only option on offense.


Nichole Harris

Iowa guard Joe Wieskamp takes a shot from the charity strip during a men’s basketball game between Iowa and Penn State on Saturday, Feb. 29 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes defeated the Nittany Lions 77-68.

Isaac Goffin, Assistant Sports Editor

Luka Garza figures to be Iowa men’s basketball’s top dog this season, unsurprisingly. If he’s open – especially near the basket – his teammates will get him the ball, and more than likely, the 2020 Big Ten Player of the Year will convert the opportunities he gets into points.

While it does seem like Garza has unlimited firepower, he isn’t the only Hawkeye that can contribute on the offensive end of the floor.

Last season, behind Garza’s 23.9 points per game, wing Joe Wieskamp scored 14 points per game, and guard C.J. Frederick averaged 10.2 points per game.

“I think, offensively, we have so many weapons,” guard Connor McCaffery said. “And this is basically our third year of all playing together like Jack [Nunge], Luka, [Jordan Bohannon], [Wieskamp], C.J., me, that group, it’s going to be our third year. So, that chemistry, offensively, is great. And that’s obviously, that’s what you’re going to want to have. It’s going to be tough to score once you get in the league. We have a really tough schedule, so teams are going to be game-planning different things – how they’re going to try to stop Luka.”

McCaffery believes the Hawkeyes have the ability and know-how to combat anything opposing defenses throw at them.

The Hawkeyes are currently ranked No. 5 in the AP preseason poll. Though a full season schedule hasn’t come out yet, Iowa will be playing No. 16 North Carolina on Dec. 8 in Iowa City, as well as No. 1 Gonzaga on Dec. 19 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

With the high AP ranking and the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year on the roster, the Hawkeyes aren’t going to sneak up on their opponents. But, Iowa does have the right mentality to manage expectations this season.

“I talk a lot about how this is the most unselfish group I have ever been a part of,” Garza said. “I think that’s really important when you have a team with so many scorers, and I think when you look at myself individually, like I said, I don’t care about how much I average this year. It’s really not about that for me, it’s about our wins and losses, and I think everybody on this team shares that same mindset.”

“So, I know, as a team, we can be successful, and we don’t need anybody to force anything,” Garza said. “I think we have enough guys that, somebody is out, you just move it on to the next guy and we will find the best shot every time.”

COVID-19 might force several Hawkeyes to miss a significant number of games this season, but the virus is not likely to make Iowa’s depth any thinner than it was last season.

In 2019-20, Bohannon averaged 8.8 points per game in 10 contests before undergoing his second hip surgery and missing the remainder of the season. Nunge averaged six points per game in five matchups before an ACL injury prematurely terminated his season.

Wieskamp is excited to have Bohannon – who has shot about 40 percent from the 3-point line during his college career – back this year.

“Having Jordan out there just bring a new dimension to our team and I think allow for more spacing for all of us,” Wieskamp said.