Per a university release on Friday afternoon, the Iowa Hawkeyes announced some disappointing news for the program. Forward Luka Garza had to undergo surgery to remove a benign cyst in his abdomen.
Head coach Fran McCaffery said the following in a school announcement:
“We are happy to hear that Luka’s procedure went well,” said McCaffery. “Luka has had a phenomenal summer preparing for his sophomore season and we look forward to him rejoining his teammates on the court later this fall.”
During last season, Garza was one of the bright spots for the Hawkeyes. He averaged 12.1 points and 6.4 rebounds and was one of the best rebounders in the league. In fact, Garza ranked fifth and ninth in the Big Ten in offensive and defensive rebounding rate, respectively, during last season.
While no specific time table was provided for Garza’s return, it does appear that he will return to the court this fall. That’s good news for a Hawkeye squad that is looking to rebound after a few rough years. Iowa posted a 14-19 overall record last season and hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2016.
Should Garza remains sidelined for a long period of time, expect players like Tyler Cook and Ryan Kriener to step in. Jack Nunge is also another option. These three aren’t necessarily natural fits at the five spot like Garza, but will have to keep the ship above water.
It should be an interesting story to follow going forward.