Iowa Men's Basketball

Indiana Coach Archie Miller could be Luka Garza's press agent

Miller has a long list of things he likes about the Hawkeyes' star center

Iowa center Luka Garza (55) works to get a shot away as he is defended by Indiana forward Trayce Jackson-Davis (4) durin
Iowa center Luka Garza (55) works to get a shot away as he is defended by Indiana forward Trayce Jackson-Davis (4) during the Hawkeyes’ 89-77 loss to the Hoosiers last Feb. 13 at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind. (Doug McSchooler/Associated Press)

Indiana men’s basketball coach Archie Miller was asked Wednesday about Iowa center Luka Garza, since Miller’s Hoosiers play at Iowa on Thursday night (8 p.m., FS1).

Miller was like the player he was describing. He just kept going.

“He can step out and shoot the 3 as consistent as their guards and he’s probably looking for it a little more maybe this year than last,” Miller said.

“He’s one of the more unique players you’ll see. He’s got great size, he’s got great physicality. He doesn’t jump that high and he probably doesn’t run that fast, but you will not find a guy that you watch on film that moves and works like he does.

“Great scorers have a knack to get the ball. Great scorers have a knack to get to the foul line. But this guy right here never stops moving. It’s a credit to him. It’s also a credit to their system. Their pace is great, their motion’s great. But he does not take a break.

“He does not give you an inch in terms of being able to catch your breath when you’re defending him. If he’s posting, you’re in trouble. If he’s running to the basket, it’s every time. If he’s moving in their motion on the perimeter, he’s ready.

“Some guys take their wind and maybe they take a possession off from posting, or some guys don’t run as hard throughout the course of the games. He’s always the same, and it’s the same every game.

“The greatest compliment I can give him is he just never allows the defense off the hook. There’s never a possession where he’s not attacking you in some way.

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“He offensive rebounds, he posts … From 10 to 12 to 14 feet off the lane or facing up, he shoots that shot as well as any player you’ll see. Then you add in the free throw shooting and 3-point line, you’ve got a guy that’s averaging 28, 30 a game.

“He’s improved, starting with his freshman year. It carried over. He’s continued to work.

“But I hate just talking about him because I think their team and the depth and quality of players they have around him are terrific as well. It’s a great blend. That’s why they’re so good. It’s because you have to deal with somebody on every catch on their team.”

Indiana post player Trayce Jackson-Davis averages almost 21 points a game, and has averaged 34 minutes. Garza averages a national-best 26.9, and he has played 32.4 minutes per Big Ten game after playing just 24 minutes Sunday in Iowa’s 96-73 win at Northwestern.

Thursday night we should see a whole lot of two of the elite big men in college basketball.

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