With the competition tightening up in the growing 2022 NBA season, teams have been busy experimenting with their rosters and finding the perfect mix of guns that will land them a spot in the playoffs and potentially in the final stage.
Although the Minnesota Timberwolves were able to get back on track after ending their three-game losing streak with a 109-101 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, the former’s chances of following up their impressive performance last season with another appearance in the playoffs are still uncertain as the team has shown signs of inconsistency a couple of times this season.
Now standing with an 11-11 slate at the 10th seat in the Western Conference, the Wolves have a couple of cogs to bank on aside from their usual starters, one of which is 6-foot-10 center, Luka Garza. A towering stud with lots of potentials, should Minnesota give more minutes to Garza? Moreover, does giving him more time impact the Wolves’ 2022 NBA odds?
In 7 games with Iowa this season, Garza, who was named G League Player of the Week today, is averaging 27.3 points on 67.6% from the field, including 55.2% from three and 9.0 rebounds per game.
— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) November 29, 2022
Since his collegiate days with the Iowa Hawkeyes, Garza had always been on top of his game. He is currently one of the former Hawkeyes playing in the NBA.
As a rookie, Luka already logged 12.1 points per game, along with 1.1 assists, 0.3 steals, and a block across 21.7 minutes in 33 games. Although they were only able to clinch four wins after 18 matches, Luka’s numbers were above what one would expect from a rookie.
Despite being a newcomer, the American-Bosnian baller led the Hawkeyes in blocked shots with 32, second in rebounding with 6.4 a game, second in free throws made with 92 and free throws attempted at 135, and third in scoring, providing 12.1 a game. In the same year, he became the first baller since 2012 from the Hawkeyes to tally at least four double-doubles as a freshman.
Garza continued to explode for Iowa in his sophomore year, ranking second in the team in terms of scoring with 13.1 points per game, while also being the fourth-best rebounder from the team with 4.5 per match.
He was also an efficient shooter for the Hawkeyes, posting a 53.1 success rate from the field, leading Iowa and ranking 10th in the conference.
Luka made another history that season as he became the sixth Hawkeye to drop 20 points and seven rebounds in their NCAA debut. He is considering one of the top 10 best Iowa Hawkeyes basketball players of all time.
Recordist In Iowa
The 6-foot-10 center continued to shine in his junior year, garnering a number of awards under his belt. These included Big Ten Men’s Basketball Player of the Year, Unanimous Consensus First-Team All-American, Naismith Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award, NABC Pete Newell Big Man of the Year, among others.
After 31 performances, Garza posted an average of 23.9 points per game, along with 1.2 assists, 1.8 blocks, and 0.8 steals.
He also continued to become a reliable shooter for Iowa with a 54/35/65 shooting split. In the same year, Garza was put in the spotlight as one of the four players, including Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley, and Frank Kaminsky, in the country to accumulate 700+ points, 300+ rebounds, 50+ blocks and 35+ three-pointers.