The Indiana Hoosiers extended an offer to Luka Garza during the prestigious NBPA Top 100 Camp. Garza, who has started to really improve his stock, is seen as one of the more offensively gifted centers in the class of 2017, and it is very easy to see where the Hoosiers see him fitting in, as they already had a version of Garza play an important role in an Indiana uniform.
At around 6-foot-9, pushing 6-foot-10, and about 235 pounds with long arms, Garza is someone who brings college ready size to the center position. The other thing he brings is big time scoring ability.
When Scout.com evaluated Garza during the high school, the junior looked much improved. His body looked to be in better shape, and offensively he was a load to deal with. Garza has tremendous touch both facing the rim and with his back to the basket.
In fact in this day and age which is dominated by ball screens, a player such as Garza on the offense end can have incredible value in pick and pop situations.
For Indiana fans this should be easy to imagine, as they just saw a player like Garza in fifth year senior Max Bielfeldt. Bielfeldt wasn’t a great player for the Hoosiers, but he was a very valuable one. He was extremely efficient on offense, and shot 45 percent from three which made the rest of Indiana’s offensive weapons that much tougher to deal with since he spread out the defense.
Obviously the hope for Tom Crean and his staff is that Garza would develop into a player like Bielfeldt, but a taller and longer version. Bielfeldt is only around 6-foot-7. Garza is easily two inches taller, and then also has significantly longer arms.
Because of that Garza could develop himself into being an even better version of Bielfeldt who averaged 8 points and 5 rebounds per game in his lone season in Bloomington.
Also like Bielfeldt, Garza struggles athletically and on the defensive end. As valuable as Garza can be on offense, he can be exposed like that on defense as well due to his struggles to move laterally and his limited athleticism, which takes away from his ability to protect the rim.
Still at the end of the day Garza has the look of a very valuable rotation player who develops into a consistent starter at the high-major level. He is an offensively gifted center who scores inside and out, and someone who will always play hard and limit mental mistakes.
Indiana will have significant competition here from Iowa, Georgia, Georgetown, Louisville, and other programs, but with the Hoosiers set to get a fall official visit, Crean and his staff could be putting themselves in a solid position to land one of the best scorers from the post in this class.