Observing Joe Wieskamp, Luka Garza, and Day’Ron Sharpe

December 9th, 2020

By Alan Lu

Yesterday, I decided to see Luka Garza and Iowa play against Caleb Love and North Carolina in a competitive, non-conference basketball game.  Iowa started off with red-hot shooting, as they made a bunch of threes early and often throughout the contest.  Iowa’s junior guard, Joe Wieskamp put forth a strong performance as he especially started off really well, and he really excelled at knocking down threes, passing, and rebounding the basketball, and the Hawkeyes kept making jumpers to provide lots of offense for their team.

North Carolina was able to rally back at times, but Iowa’s strong shooting, and Garza’s solid performance in the second half helped Iowa stave off North Carolina to get a double-digit win at home.  Here are my thoughts on how Wieskamp, Garza, and the others fared on this day, as well as where they may currently rate as prospects for the NBA.

Iowa’s 6-6 junior guard, Joe Wieskamp played very well in his team’s win over North Carolina, and he scored 19 points, made 5 threes, and also collected 9 rebounds and 5 assists to help his team get the victory.
(Photo:
Brian Ray/hawkeyesports.com, via Hawkeye Nation)

Iowa’s 6-6 junior guard, Joe Wieskamp had a tremendous showing in his team’s win over North Carolina.  While his teammate, Luka Garza could be a strong Player of the Year candidate in college basketball, Wieskamp showed that he is also a very important member of Iowa’s team, and Wieskamp did a great job of shooting, scoring, and rebounding the basketball, as he generally played a very good all-around game in his team’s win over North Carolina.

Wieskamp did a tremendous job of knocking down threes to space the floor for his team.  He showed a knack for making pull-up threes, and he also was able to make a couple of corner threes in this game.  He also was able to score on a quick put back off of an offensive rebound.  Plus, he also showed a fairly good ability to score off the dribble, and Wieskamp in particular can make pull-up jumpers from beyond the arc.  He seemed to be better at going to his right to when driving to the hoop to score, and he also was able to draw some non-shooting fouls.  Sometimes though, he would miss shots in traffic, as his offense started to slow down in the second half.

He also displayed solid playmaking skills in this game.  Wieskamp is an unselfish player that consistently was able to find open shooters to set up a wealth of scores for his teammates, and he also generally did a good job of throwing passes off the dribble to get his teammates the basketball.  However, he did commit some ball-handling turnovers due to carelessness, and he also threw a lazy entry pass that got picked off another time.

Plus, Wieskamp did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.   He showed a penchant for leaping up high to get defensive boards, and he also was able to crash the glass to get multiple offensive boards.  Defensively, he looked to be fairly average.  He would play passes to get steals and deflections.  However, he struggled more to defend on the ball.  He struggled to defend a bigger player in the post once, which led him to commit a foul and allow a score once.  Another time, he was caught ball watching and was out of position, which led his team to allow an opponent to get a score off the dribble.

In general, Joe Wieskamp played very well, and he really helped himself by having a strong showing in his team’s win over North Carolina.  He did a terrific job of shooting and scoring the basketball, he made smart passes to consistently find the open man, he crashed the glass to get many boards, and he was active defensively.  He is a smart, skilled swingman whose game seemed to resemble Brooklyn Nets’ sharpshooter, Joe Harris in this game.  He is a strong offensive player whose quick release enables him to easily get his shot off, and Wieskamp could be a solid pick for an NBA team in the late first to the second round range of the 2021 draft.

Iowa’s 6-11 senior center, Luka Garza had a fairly solid showing, as he scored 16 points and had 14 rebounds, and 4 blocks in this game, and he especially excelled at making plays down the stretch to help get his team a double-digit win over North Carolina.
(Photo:
Jeffrey Becker/USA Today Sports, via Dear Old Gold)

Iowa’s 6-11 senior center, Luka Garza played fairly well to lead his team to a sizable win over North Carolina.  Though he struggled to consistently score in the first half, he excelled as a rebounder, passer, and shot blocker, and he was able to get going in the second half, as he did a good job of scoring in the post later on to help his team pull away with the victory.

Early on, he struggled to score consistently in the post, but he showed a better scoring touch in the second half.  Garza has great strength to back his man down to establish getting deep position on the block, and he would frequently draw free throws to get to the foul line.   He was able to score on a couple of turnaround jump hooks.  However, he had some trouble finishing plays against North Carolina’s similarly physical and more athletic big men, as he had his shots blocked at times, and he would sometimes miss on contested jump hooks and on tough reverse layups, as he would try to overpower his opponents to score inside, which didn’t always work. 

As a scorer in this game, Garza was the most effective in grabbing offensive rebounds and scoring on put backs.  When he would beat opponents to the offensive glass, he would use his great strength and motor to score on strong put backs, and he was able to score on some very difficult layups, a couple of which he was able to draw extra free throws on those plays. He did look to take a couple of jumpers, but he struggled to make shots from outside of the paint area in this game.  He also attempted to use a spin move off of a drive, but he ended up missing the shot short that time.

He also displayed decent playmaking skills.  Garza is an unselfish player that did a good job of passing out of the post to find open shooters to set up scores for his teammates.  Sometimes though, he would try to barrel his way in to score in the post in traffic, and there were a couple of plays where he had balls poked away that led him to commit turnovers. Garza did a great job of rebounding the basketball.  He was relentless on the boards, and he is a high-motor player that showed a knack for coming away with many boards on both ends of the floor.

Defensively, he looked to be about average.  On one hand, Garza did a good job of blocking shots in the post, as he would use his length and timing to swat shots to help his team protect the paint.  He also was able to get his hands on a pass to get a steal, and he also jumped on a loose ball to force another turnover.  He was active in defending in the post to force misses, and he also would contest shot off the dribble to get some stops for his team.  However, sometimes he would struggle to defend in the post, as he would at times allow easy catches and allow his man to get too deep to allow scores.  Sometimes, he would be slow to get back in transition or to rotate out on shooters.

In summary, Luka Garza is a strong, physical big man that had a positive effect for his team to help them get the win, especially in the second half.  Down the stretch, he especially excelled as an interior player, and he is a smart, skilled player that makes winning plays on the court.  His performance may not have quite answered if he can succeed consistently against longer, more athletic big men at the NBA level, but Garza definitely has been very productive, and he definitely has proven that he will constantly outwork his opponents.  Right now, he currently projects to go in the second round range of the 2021 draft, and he could end up being a solid rotational big man in the NBA.

North Carolina’s freshman center, Day’Ron Sharpe played well off the bench, as he scored 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting in his team’s loss to Iowa.
(Photo:
Steve Mally/hawkeyesports.com, via The Daily Tar Heel)

North Carolina’s 6-10 freshman center, Day’Ron Sharpe had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Iowa.  He is a very strong, high-motor big man that excelled as an interior player on both ends of the court, and he also passed the ball well to help his team in this game.

Sharpe did a very good job of scoring in the post.  He has great strength and solid mobility that allows him to score on strong moves to the hoop.  Plus, he also used a quick ball fake and a spin move to score on a turnaround jump hook.  He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays, and he would crash the glass to help his team score on second chance points.  Sharpe also showed off some range, as he was able to make an open long two from just inside the arc.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Sharpe threw crisp, accurate interior passes to set up scores for his teammates, and he is an unselfish player that will look for the open man to get his teammates the basketball.  However, there was one play where he posted up, but ended up losing the ball out of bounds due to carelessness.

Also, Sharpe did a very good job of rebounding the basketball, and he was able to get multiple boards on both ends of the floor.  On the other hand, there was one possession where he was called for committing an over the back foul when going for a defensive board.

Plus, Sharpe also played fairly good defense.  He would play quickly jump passes to get steals and deflections, and he also showed that can ably contest shots in the post as well as out on the perimeter to force plenty of misses.  Sometimes though, he would give up too much space to his opponents, which would sometimes cause him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Day’Ron Sharpe played very well off the bench, and he excelled as an interior player and rebounder to help his team in this game.  He was able to consistently make solid plays on both ends of the floor, and he is a strong, mobile big man that could be a good value pick for an NBA team in the late first to the second round range of the 2021 draft.

North Carolina’s 6-10 senior center, Garrison Brooks had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Iowa.  He excelled as a low post scorer for his team, and he was especially productive in the second half, as he provided his team with consistent offense and with some passing skills when he was on the floor.

Brooks did a good job of scoring in the post.  He has solid footwork, as he can use a quick spin move to get his shot off, and he was able to throw down a couple of powerful dunks in this game.  He also scored on a strong layup, as well as on a turnaround jump hook.  Plus, he generally excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  However, he did miss a couple of times, but Brooks was still quite effective as an inside scorer for his team.

He also was able to show some range, and he was able to knock down a mid-range jumper once in this game.  Brooks also displayed decent playmaking skills in this game.  He is an unselfish player that excelled as a passer out of the post to set up scores for his teammates.  However, sometimes he was a bit careless with the ball, and there was one time where he lost the ball after getting an offensive board that resulted in a turnover.

Brooks also did a fairly good job of rebounding the basketball, and he was able to haul in plenty of boards on both ends of the floor.  However, there was one play where he committed an over the back foul when going for an offensive board.  Also, he will need to improve his defense.  For the positives, he was active in contesting threes and shots in the post to force some misses.  However, he would sometimes get beat off the dribble or get outmuscled when defending down low, which lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.  Other times, he would give up too much space to shooters to allow them to knock down those shots.

Overall, Garrison Brooks is a strong, mobile big man that did a good job of scoring and passing the basketball, but he will need to improve his defensive skills in the meantime.  Right now, he is a physical post player whose interior presence on offense could allow him to go in the second round of the 2021 draft, as he could project well into being a rotational big man in the NBA. 

North Carolina’s 6-4 freshman point guard, Caleb Love had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Iowa.  He really struggled in the first half, but he played better in the second half, especially early in the second half.  Though Love didn’t quite shoot the ball well overall, he showed off versatile scoring skills, and he showed off strong athletic gifts as he was able to make plays on both ends of the court, and he seemed to play much better in transition than in the half court in this game.

Love was at his best as a scorer off of drives and in transition.  He drove aggressively to the hoop and used a Euro-step move to his left to score on a quick layup once. He also showed a knack for drawing fouls on hard drives to the hoop.  He also scored on a tough, fallaway layup in traffic after using his speed to quickly get to the rim to score on a half court drive.  Love also ran the floor to score on a thunderous dunk on the break after jumping a pass to get the steal.   Sometimes though, he would miss on off-balanced layups off the dribble due to rushing.

Though he did make an open spot-up three-pointer off the catch midway through this contest, Love struggled to consistently knock down jumpers in this game.  He also missed on a quick put back after grabbing an offensive board another time.

Love displayed decent playmaking skills in this game.  He played unselfishly, and he did a much better job of getting his teammates involved on offense than he had in previous games.  He was able to throw some solid interior passes, and he can throw passes off the dribble and in transition to set up scores for his teammates.  However, he was still rather turnover prone in this game.  Sometimes he would throw inaccurate passes that would go astray.  Other times, he would go too fast and lose the ball after handling it on the break.

Love also helped out on the glass, as he was able to get multiple boards on both ends of the floor to get rebounds for his team.  Defensively, he looked to be about average at best.  Love was able to quickly jump a pass to get a steal, and he also was able to contest a pair of threes to force some misses.  However, he tended to bite on pump fakes, which would lead him to often be out of position.  As a result, he tended to allow opponents to score on three-point shots, but he also got beat off the dribble another time to allow a score around the basket.  He also would tend to over-help in the paint and sag too far off of shooters, which would cause him to allow scores to them.

Overall, Caleb Love had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Iowa.  He’s still learning the point guard position, as he played mostly off the ball alongside Robert Martin when he was a high school senior at CBC.  His shot selection and decision-making is still a work in progress, but Love may be making slow, steady strides to get his offense up to speed at the collegiate level.  He will still need to make more shots consistently and show that he can effectively run the point at a high level, but Love’s strong athletic gifts, playmaking potential, and ability to make plays on both ends of the floor are still reasons to continue to watch him play, even when he’s struggled considerably so far this season.

Iowa’s 6-1 redshirt senior point guard, Jordan Bohannon had a terrific showing in his team’s win over North Carolina.  He did a great job of knocking down threes from beyond the arc to provide floor spacing for his team on offense.  He would run off ball screens to knock down outside shots, and he has a lot of range on his shot.  Plus, he also scored on a layup after driving to his right to score around the basket. 

Overall, Bohannon is a tough, gritty player that excelled at shooting and scoring the basketball in this game, and while he may not possess ideal size or physical tools for the point guard position, his ability to knock down jump shots could enable him to potentially make an NBA team’s roster in the association.

Iowa’s 6-3 redshirt sophomore guard, C.J. Fredrick played very well in this game to help his team get the win over North Carolina.  He did a tremendous job of shooting and scoring the basketball in this game.  He was able to make threes both off the catch and dribble, and he also has a savvy pump fake move that he can use to quickly draw defenders in the air.  Fredrick also showed off some nifty dribble moves to score on crafty layups, and he also was able to score on a mid-range shot.  He also played solid defense, as he was able to intercept an entry pass and also jumped on a loose ball to help his team force turnovers.

Overall, Fredrick is a smart, skilled player that has very good offensive skills, and he is a sharpshooter that is really efficient in scoring the basketball, and he also showed off solid playmaking and defensive skills in this game.  He may be one of the more underrated prospects in college basketball, and he has been a solid role player for Iowa throughout his collegiate career.  With his skill set, he could project well into a shooting specialist role in the NBA.

North Carolina’s freshman guard, R.J. Davis excelled as a shooter and scorer on offense, and he is a versatile scorer that can make spot-up threes, and also can score on tough shots off the dribble.  He also passed the ball well, as he collected 8 assists in his team’s loss to Iowa.  Davis is an agile combo guard that can shoot and pass the basketball, and he could end up moving up draft boards if he can continue to play well this season.

Iowa’s 6-8 freshman forward, Keegan Murray came in off the bench to produce to help his team win this game against North Carolina.  He is an athletic, high-motor player that was able to fly in to score on a tip-in after leaping up to get an offensive rebound, and he also drew an extra free throw afterwards on the play.  He also managed to rotate to block a shot off of a drive out of bounds, and he also picked up a steal as well. 

In this game, Murray played very well in limited minutes.  He will need to show that he can consistently knock down outside shots and play well in extended playing time, but his ability to make solid plays on both ends of the floor could make him a prospect to watch sometime in the future.

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