Assessing Tyrese Haliburton, Luka Garza, and Joe Wieskamp

December 13th, 2019

by Alan Lu

Yesterday, I took the time to watch Tyrese Haliburton and Iowa State take on Iowa in a non-conference, college basketball game. Both Haliburton and his team got off to a slow start, as Iowa jumped on the Cyclones to get the early lead, and had a stronghold on the game, as the Hawkeyes ended up running away with the victory. Luka Garza played very well throughout this contest, and Haliburton ended up having a good game at the end. Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared, as well as how their games may translate to the NBA.

Tyrese Haliburton could be a lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.  (Photo: Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register via Des Moines Register.)
Iowa State’s sophomore point guard, Tyrese Haliburton played very well in his team’s loss to Iowa. (Photo: Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register via Des Moines Register.)

Tyrese Haliburton had a solid showing in this game that took place between Iowa and Iowa State.  He had a slow start early on as his team fell behind early, but he played much better in the second half, as he ended up having a good game in his team’s loss to Iowa.

He did a good job of scoring on quick drives to the basket. Haliburton has a solid first step to the hoop that enables him to score on layups, and he also can score on floaters off the dribble. He also has a variety of ball handling moves that can enable him to get past his man, and he also can score on reverse layups off the glass. Sometimes though, he can go in too fast, which can lead him to miss on off-balanced shots around the basket. He also can score off of cuts, and in transition, and Haliburton also ran in to score on a tip-in after leaping up to get an offensive rebound.

Also, he flashed the ability to make jumpers in this game. Haliburton took numerous three-point shots from beyond the arc. Though he struggled to make them consistently, he was able to make a couple of spot-up threes, and he was able to make one from way out.

Plus, he also displayed good playmaking skills. Haliburton is an unselfish player that sees the floor well. He can push the ball up the floor to find teammates in transition, and he also will make the extra pass to keep the ball moving. He throws crisp interior passes, and he was able to drive off of a screen to throw a no-look pass to a cutter to set up a score once. He has very good timing on his passes and court sense, but sometimes he would throw long passes that would get intercepted, as he would sometimes try to hit the home run pass too often.

Haliburton also did a good job of rebounding the basketball. He would run in to get multiple boards on both ends of the floor, as he would chase down balls to help his team on the glass.

He also played perhaps above average defense. Haliburton is an active help defender that can get steals and blocks, and he is a rangy defender that can make numerous plays on the ball. He was able to sprint back to block a shot in transition due to possessing good recovery speed, leaping ability, and timing, and he also managed to get his hands on a pass to get a steal. Haliburton also would contest threes to force misses. However, he also tended to sag too far off his man, which would cause him to allow opponents to score on three-point shots. He also can tend to be caught ball watching, as he would occasionally get beat off the dribble and attempt a lazy swipe at the ball in the process, which would lead his team to allow scores.

In general, Tyrese Haliburton is a smart, skilled playmaker that can play either backcourt position, and he is a very good facilitator that also could project into a plus-level defender at the next level. He will need to be more assertive on offense on a consistent basis, improve his jump shot, and be a more focused on-ball defender in games in the meantime. Right now, he may project to go in the mid first round range, and he may have the skills to end up being a solid role player in the NBA.

Iowa's 6-11 junior center, Luka Garza had a tremendous showing, as he lead his team to a double-digit victory over Iowa State.   (Photo: Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register via Des Moines Register.)
Iowa’s 6-11 junior center, Luka Garza had a tremendous showing, as he lead his team to a double-digit victory over Iowa State. (Photo: Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register via Des Moines Register.)

Iowa’s 6-11 junior center, Luka Garza had a tremendous showing in his team’s win over Iowa State. He scored early and often, as he can make shots from all over the floor, and he played a solid all-around game to help get his team the victory.

Garza did a great job of scoring the basketball. He is a strong, physical player that can often score in the post, as well as on hustle plays, and he showed a surprisingly good ability to consistently score in traffic. Garza would tend to score on jump hooks after getting deep position in the paint, and he also can draw plenty of fouls upon his defenders. He also scored on a dunk after being left open underneath the hoop.

Plus, he also can score on rolls, in transition, as well as on numerous put backs, as he is an active big man that can get plenty of scores on the move. Sometimes though, he would miss on contested, fadeaway jumpers, and he also had his shot blocked once. He doesn’t possess great foot speed or quickness, but though defenders would often hound him, he would often find a way to score inside, as he possesses very good size, strength, and shooting touch.

He also showed the ability to knock down jumpers to help his team space the floor. Early in this match, Garza ran out to the ball to knock down an open, spot-up three off the catch. He did miss on two other long-range shots from beyond the arc, but Garza was able to show that he can make threes to provide some floor spacing.

Garza also displayed solid playmaking skills. He does a good job of passing out of the post, and he can pass out of double teams to set up scores for his teammates. He did so once, as he passed out when doubled to find a cutter to notch an assist. Garza also sets good on-ball screens, as he can free up shooters to set up scores for them. He is an effective ball handler, and while he may not overwhelm his opponents with dribble moves, he gets to where he needs to go to score and get assists on the floor.

He also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball. He would often leap up to get numerous boards on both ends of the floor, and he can get tough offensive rebounds in traffic, as he would frequently score off of them to provide his team with second chance points. He also was able to tip a ball to a teammate to help his team get a defensive rebound, and Garza would outwork his opponents to get many rebounds in this contest.

Plus, he also played decent defense. Garza was able to tip entry passes to help his teammates to help his team get steals, and he was able to contest shots inside the paint to force misses. Plus, he also contested a mid-range shot to force a miss. Sometimes though, he would struggle to defend in the post, which would cause him to commit fouls and allow scores. There was another play where he sagged too far off his man, as he allowed his man to score on a long two-point shot.

In summary, Luka Garza played very well to lead his team to a double-digit victory over Iowa State. He is a skilled, high-motor big man that can contribute in a number of ways, and he is an underrated prospect that could be a good find for an NBA team whenever he decides to enter the NBA draft.

Iowa's junior swingman, Joe Wieskamp also played well in his team's win over Iowa State.  (Photo: Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register via The Des Moines Register.)
Iowa’s junior swingman, Joe Wieskamp also played well in his team’s win over Iowa State. (Photo: Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register via The Des Moines Register.)

Iowa’s 6-6 sophomore swingman, Joe Wieskamp also put forth a good performance in his team’s win over Iowa State. He excelled as a shooter and scorer when he was on the floor, and he also rebounded the ball very well to help his team get the victory.

Wieskamp did a good job of making shots efficiently in this game. He would make open, spot-up threes off the catch, and he showed a decent ability to score on crafty drives to the basket. Sometimes though, he would occasionally miss shots in traffic, but he did a good job of scoring on offense.

Also, he did a very good job of rebounding the basketball. Defensively, he looked to be about average. For the positives, he would jump on loose balls to help his team get steals. However, he also struggled to guard shooters, as he would bite on pump fakes and sag too far off his man, which would allow them to score on three-point shots.

Overall, Wieskamp had a solid showing in his team’s win over Iowa State. He is a skilled shooter that can also rebound the basketball. While he may not possess elite physical tools, he is a smart, high IQ basketball player that tends to make sound plays when he is on the floor. He will need to show that he can guard quicker players out on the perimeter, but right now, he is a second round prospect that could project into a shooting specialist role in the association.

Other Notes:

Iowa State’s 6-10 sophomore big man, George Condit IV played fairly well in his team’s loss to Iowa. Strangely, his team brought him off the bench, and he ended up in foul trouble late in the game, and there were times where he was not involved enough on offense.

Conditt showed a good ability to score on hustle plays. He managed to score on a thunderous dunk when left open around the basket, and he also can draw plenty of fouls upon his opponents. Conditt also ran in to score on a tip-in after leaping up to get an offensive rebound. He struggled to score in the post, as he had trouble scoring on jump hooks in this game.

He also played adequate defense. He managed to intercept a pass to get a steal, and he also contested a running jump hook to force a miss when defending in the post, but he also was called for quick fouls when defending on the block on other plays.

Overall, Conditt is an athletic big man that had a decent showing in his team’s loss to Iowa, and he could project into a defensive specialist role at the next level. He will need to be featured more, a lot more for his team to be more successful moving forward, but he is a player that could potentially end up being a second round pick for the NBA sometime down the road.

Iowa State’s 6-8 redshirt junior forward, Solomon Young did a good job of scoring in the post as well as on hustle plays, and he was able to score on a powerful dunk on the break. He also played adequate defense, as he would get his hands on passes to help his team get steals and deflections, but he also tended to pick up quick fouls when defending in the post. Right now, he could be a prospect to keep an eye on for the 2021 draft.

Iowa’s 6-3 redshirt freshman guard, C.J. Fredrick did a great job of making spot-up threes off the catch, as he is a good shooter that can help his team space the floor. He also scored on a left-handed drive, and he also would get his hands on passes to get steals. Overall, he is a skilled combo guard that can knock down shots, and while he may not possess elite physical tools, he is a very good shooter that could end up having a very good collegiate career.

Iowa’s 6-1 senior point guard, Jordan Bohannon did not have a great game, as he missed many shots and committed several turnovers due to carelessness, but he did make a couple of timely pull-up threes to help his team seal the win in the second half. He has not been having a great season individually, but he has had a good career at Iowa, and he could end up finding his way into the G-League or on a professional team overseas when his collegiate career ends.