The freshman center says don't be surprised to see him shooting 3s at times
It was Luka Garza's unofficial Iowa basketball debut, and the freshman center made the most of it Tuesday, putting up 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead a 99-65 rout of a German All-Star team in an exhibition game played in Heidelberg, Germany.
Garza, a 6-foot-11 recruit from Washington, D.C., played only 19 minutes, but he shot 6 of 10 from the field and made 5 of 7 free throws.
"Luka’s energy level is infectious," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. "He’s incredibly intelligent and efficient. He’s always in the right place."
"I was really excited to come out here and play with my new team," Garza said.
The game was the first of four on the Hawkeyes' European tour. Next, Iowa faces a matchup with a group of Swiss All-Stars on Thursday.
Tuesday's game allowed Iowa senior forward Dom Uhl to play in front of a home crowd of sorts. Uhl hails from Frankfurt, Germany. He started the game, and finished with seven points, seven rebounds and three assists.
"It was definitely a special feeling," Uhl said of the ovation he got when introduced.
Iowa led just 48-44 at halftime, but swamped the Germans in the second half, enjoying a 51-21 advantage.
"I thought our defense was a lot better in the second half. They were hurting us with some ball-screen action, but we really contained penetration much better, which created more misses, which created more opportunities for us to run," McCaffery said. "I thought our ability to sustain that pressure against them was the difference."
Tyler Cook added 16 points for Iowa, with Isaiah Moss contributing 15 on 5-of-6 shooting from the 3-point arc. Nicholas Baer added 10 points.
Freshman Connor McCaffery, Fran's son, had a team-high five assists while playing 20 minutes off the bench.
Eleven Hawkeyes tallied points, with Garza leading the way, with 17. Tyler Cook contributed 16 points, while Moss chipped in 15 and Baer had 10.
McCaffery plans to rotate his starting lineups on the European trip, with each of the 13 scholarship players taking part in at least three games. On Tuesday, Maishe Dailey, Ryan Kriener and Cordell Pemsl did not play, but all three are expected to see action in Iowa’s final three European contests.
The Hawkeye forward offers thoughts on where the freshman can help the team right away
Wagner 0-1 0-0 0, Bohannon 3-11 0-0 9, Moss 5-9 0-0 15, Uhl 3-10 0-0 7, Garza 6-10 5-7 17, Nunge 3-9 1-1 7, Cook 7-13 2-3 16, Williams 0-0 0-0 0, Till 1-1 0-0 3, Ash 1-1 0-0 3, Ellingson 3-9 0-0 7, McCaffery 2-5 0-0 5, Baer 4-8 0-1 10.
3-POINTERS:Bohannon 3, Moss 5, Uhl 1, Till 1, Ash 1, Ellingson 1, McCaffery 1, Baer 2.
TOTALS: 38-87 8-12 99.