Joe Wieskamp, Luka Garza both selected in second round of NBA Draft

Wieskamp is heading to the San Antonio Spurs, while Garza reunites with fellow former Hawkeye Tyler Cook on the Detroit Pistons.


Kate Heston

Friday, Jan. 29, 2021; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Iowa’s Joe Wieskamp (10) dribbles past Illinois Guard Ayo Dosunmu (11) during the Iowa v. Illinois basketball game at State Farm Center Friday night. Illinois beat the Hawks, 80-75.

Robert Read, Summer Editor

Former Iowa men’s basketball players Joe Wieskamp and Luka Garza were both selected in the second round of Thursday’s 2021 NBA Draft.

Wieskamp, a three-year starter for the Hawkeyes, was selected in the second round by the San Antonio Spurs at No. 41 overall. Garza, the program’s all-time leading scorer and the consensus national player of the year, went 11 picks later to the Detroit Pistons at No. 52 overall.

Wieskamp, a 6-foot-7 (in shoes) wing, is the Iowa men’s basketball program’s highest draft pick since Ricky Davis went No. 21 overall in 1998 (also the last time Iowa had two players drafted), and the first Hawkeye to be drafted since Aaron White in 2015.

Wieskamp and Garza are the third and fourth Hawkeyes drafted under Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery, joining Roy Devyn Marble and White. Iowa and Michigan were the only Big Ten teams to have multiple players drafted this year.

The Spurs selected Alabama’s 6-foot-6 guard Josh Primo in the first round with the No. 12 overall pick.

San Antonio, a member of the Western Conference, went 33-39 last season, missing the playoffs. The franchise is led by head coach Gregg Popovich, who has won five NBA championships in his 25 seasons at the helm of the team.

The Muscatine, Iowa, native was a second-team All-Big Ten performer for the Hawkeyes last season as a junior. Wieskamp averaged 14.8 points per game on 49.1 percent shooting from the field and 46.2 percent shooting from 3-point range last season.

Shortly after Iowa lost to Oregon in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, Wieskamp declared for the NBA Draft. At the combine, Wieskamp seemed to boost his draft stock with his 6-foot-11 measured wingspan and 42-inch max vertical, alongside his 26 points and 10 boards on 6-of-7 shooting from 3-point range in an exhibition game.

Wieskamp is the state of Iowa’s all-time leading boys’ high school basketball scorer and was a two-time Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year at Muscatine High School.

Garza reunites with former Hawkeye, Tyler Cook (who he played with for two seasons in Iowa City), in Detroit. Cook appeared in 28 games for the Pistons last season, averaging 5.5 points per game. If Cook is on the team’s roster on Aug. 11, his $1.7 million contract for next season would become guaranteed.

The Pistons went 20-52 last season — the second worst record in the league. Detroit, a member of the Eastern Conference, picked Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.

The Washington, D.C., native is a two-time consensus All-American and two-time Big Ten Men’s Basketball Player of the Year. Garza owns the two highest single-season scoring marks in program history, and his No. 55 jersey will be retired. As a senior, Garza averaged 24.1 points per game on 55.3 percent shooting from the field and 44 percent shooting from 3-point range.

The 6-foot-11, 242-pound center has lost nearly 30 pounds since Iowa’s season ended. Garza’s apparent lack of quickness and questionable ability to defend at an NBA level were the biggest questions experts had about his play heading into the draft.

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