Iowa star Luka Garza was the Big Ten Player of the Year and a first-team All-American last season. If he returns to school for next year, he'll probably be the preseason National Player of the Year.
At the end of the 2019-20 campaign, Garza declared for the 2020 NBA Draft while retaining his eligibility. However, he still hasn't made a decision on next year, as the COVID-19 pandemic led to the entire draft process being pushed back.
The deadline for underclassmen to remove their name from the draft is now set for August, with the draft being held in October. As of now, Garza is still weighing his options.
The 6-foot-11 center is back on campus and going through voluntary workouts with his teammates. In a lengthy interview with CBS Sports' Gary Parrish recently, he provided some insight into his thought process on the future.
"After my freshman and sophomore years, I don't think anybody thought I'd be in this position, and be talked about this much, and be [somebody] everybody's so concerned about what decision I would be making," Garza said. "It's something that I really didn't see for myself. But I worked as hard as I could to make sure this happened, and, honestly, now it's just a blessing to be in this position. And I know, at the end of the day, that I'm going to make the right choice."
Garza, according to Parrish, is "as clear-eyed as anybody could possibly be in his position."
"Sometimes, when you talk to prospects, they come across as delusional about how NBA front offices view them," Parrish wrote. "But that couldn't be further from the truth with Garza."
The Wooden Award runner-up last season, Garza averaged 23.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. Judging by the sound of his comments and Parrish's framing, it seems like unless the big man gets some guaranteed feedback that he can be an NBA player in 2020-21, he'll be returning to Iowa City.