A reworked coaching staff has readjusted Notre Dame’s recruiting outlook.
But when head coach Mike Brey offered four-star Luka Garza on Friday after watching the 6-foot-11, 235-pound big in a Las Vegas tournament, it was not one of those fresh look moves.
Notre Dame had been recruiting Garza since last season when assistant Rod Balanis visited him in at the Maret School in Washington D.C. And the Irish have been going hard after Garza’s AAU teammate D.J. Harvey, a four-star wing from DeMatha Catholic. That put Brey at all three Team Takeover games on Friday in Vegas.
“Today was some of my better games in July,” Garza said. “I think Brey has basically seen every game I’ve played this month and I’ve had some good performances. Today I was in the flow, playing well with D.J. I didn’t expect the offer, but I knew I put myself in good position.”
Notre Dame joins an offer list that includes Indiana, Georgetown, Iowa, Louisville, Alabama, Nebraska and Pitt. Garza has already taken official visits to Iowa and Alabama. Notre Dame might be next considering he said he “definitely” wants to see South Bend.
“They always go deep in the tournament,” Garza said. “They’re always on TV and I love watching college basketball. Obviously with Jerian Grant playing for Team Takeover before, I definitely saw him play a lot.”
Harvey is scheduled to visit Notre Dame for the home opener against Nevada on Sept. 10. That might fit Garza’s schedule too. He said he wants to set his officials in August, take them in September and be off the board by October. He plans to sign in the early period in November.
“I’m just looking in general for coaches and players where I’m comfortable,” Garza said. “I want to be around a group of guys that can maximize my potential. I just need to see the campus, meet the coaches, meet the players.”
Garza said he’s only connected with Brey, also a D.C. product, to date from the Irish staff. That figures to change soon.
“I’ve always had interest in Notre Dame,” Garza said. “One of the assistants, the one who is still there, came out to see me work out in the fall. But it wasn’t heavy interest. I was just on the radar. But when they started recruiting D.J. really hard they got to see a lot of me in July. Brey liked what he saw and was impressed.”
Garza said he averaged about 25 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks during his junior season.