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  • What does the ability to play in the debate tournament mean to you personally?

  • It means the world to me.

  • Honestly, I think the last memory I have the tournament with not having one last year was us losing in overtime to Tennessee to go to the sweet 16 that's been burned in my head since leaving that floor.

  • So it's something that means the world to me.

  • I've worked extremely hard to try to, you know, push this team.

  • And we've all worked so hard to get back to this this moment.

  • Um, so we're very excited about our opportunity.

  • Look, you're gonna be national Player of the Year, man.

  • I I know that from one to another.

  • I'm gonna congratulate you early on that.

  • Yes, I will project it.

  • I wanted to ask you about how you dealt with something throughout the year.

  • You got your jersey retired, man.

  • Uh, you know, most times, players like I left college and then came back to get my jersey retired at Duke.

  • But years happened throughout your season.

  • Um, how was that experience?

  • Ultimately.

  • And how do you feel?

  • Like you guys are ready for the tournament right now.

  • Well, first of all, thank you.

  • But second of all, you know, it was really It was surreal.

  • Um, you know, I didn't expect it.

  • It was happened on senior Day, too.

  • And I was already kind of an emotional mess on senior Day as well.

  • So, you know, just kind of all hit me at once, and and I've just been so thankful.

  • Um, that coastal Catholic gave me an opportunity to come here to the University of Iowa.

  • You know, there were a lot of coaches who didn't really see it in me.

  • I didn't think I had the foot speed at the athleticism and be able to compete at this level.

  • And he saw right through that and gave me a chance.

  • And, you know, I've just been really lucky and blessed to play with some of the guards that I played with because, you know, a big man is nothing without his guards.

  • I hear you, man.

  • You guys in your region in the west, you're the two seed.

  • Gonzaga is one.

  • So you guys met earlier this year.

  • Uh, I'm not putting the cart before the horse.

  • Obviously.

  • You know, there's a lot of games in between those games.

  • But, you know, how do you guys look at your your region and how you guys preparing for Indianapolis?

  • You know, I think the way we prepare is just so we're focused on grand.

  • Can we know they're a great team?

  • They won the whack regular season and postseason, which is very impressive.

  • Um, you know, we know they're a dangerous team and you know it's happened before, so we're really locked into making sure that we take it one game at a time.

  • And especially as coach McCaffrey, who's coached as a 13 14 15 seed, he understands that mindset.

  • So we know that, you know, our main focus can be on who we're playing the Sweet 16 who were playing around the 32.

  • It's gotta be just on Grand Canyon right now, and that's what we're locked into.

  • The Big 10 has nine teams in the N.

  • C.

  • A.

  • A tournament.

  • How has that house playing in that conference prepared you guys for the next steps?

  • You know, it's been awesome.

  • Truly as a competitor, you want to play against the best, so it's been a lot of fun, but you know, when you talk about how good the league is on both sides during the Big 10 tournament semifinals were once he versus the two seed.

  • So that's just the type of level of competition.

  • Um, you know, in in our league that's going to prepare us to play anybody else because we've seen it all.

  • You got to take care of business, obviously, in the tournament.

  • But if you win a national championship, you've had a lot of accomplishments in your young career.

  • If you win that national title, where does that rank up with those accomplishments?

  • That would be, you know, the best thing I've ever done in my life.

  • You know, that would be my favorite.

  • Um, you know, everything you can list about me.

  • Um, you know, I'm always a guy who wants to win.

  • And, you know, obviously you know, I I didn't come back to school for the individual accomplishments.

  • I came back to win as a team and the win in March, So I'm very excited about this opportunity to go out there with my brothers and win and win the championship.

  • I gotta say guys and I've watched Luca play and I've thought this, but now that we see him up close and personal here in the interview.

  • Look, have you ever heard anyone say to you?

  • You look like Wally Szczerbiak?

  • Yes, I especially I think the first time really was.

  • You know, when I wasn't actually in the tournament myself from here, and I checked my phone after the game and it was like, People are comparing me to different people because of my eyebrows.

  • And I don't want to say it.

  • I didn't want to say while he's a friend of mine.

  • So while while he was one of those people, there were a lot, you know, some people on Sesame Street, you know, it's a ton of people, so I don't know.

  • But with that, with that in mind, um, as well, he had himself a run all those years ago in the n C.

  • Double A tournament.

  • You're somebody the whole country already knows about.

  • He was somebody that was, you know, became a national phenomenon.

  • You already are.

  • But your when your senior year, your eligibility is up.

  • A lot of players will say I'll worry about this when I get there, but I'm just curious because this is my first chance to talk to you.

  • Do you pay attention at all to NBA mock drafts?

  • Do you pay attention to what they're saying about you and the NBA, someone that has dominated the college game the way you have and not really in a conversation as far as lottery pick or even in the first round?

  • Is that stuff bother you?

  • Is that a bit of a chip on your shoulder at all?

  • You know, honestly, you know, I've kind of been used to that my entire career.

  • It's been the same way as I have moved on to every single level.

  • Um, and it was the same thing going to college that people didn't really see me as a high measure.

  • High measure got, um so, you know, it's really, um it's not new for me.

  • I know that.

  • You know, once I get there, I feel like I'm hard enough worker that I'm gonna do whatever it takes to be able to get on the floor and produce.

  • And, you know, I think that's gonna be valuable to some team down the road.

  • But for right now, my main focus is just on winning in college and and I think I'll figure the rest out later.

  • But no, that's something that you know.

  • Obviously, it's gonna motivate me, but it's not something that's going to bother me or get in my head.

  • Look at Do you guys feel like you guys have a chip on your shoulder, that you're underrated?

  • That maybe, you know, people haven't kind of been sleeping on you guys as it relates to going into this tournament?

  • I definitely think so.

  • I think people, you know have counted us out at different points in the year.

  • You know, obviously, we had a rough stretcher in the middle, Uh, when we lost one of our starting guards and and I think ever since then people have kind of been, God knows.

  • But towards the end of the season, you know, we were the number one defense in the Big 10, and that's what's been.

  • You know, everybody's problem with us with us on the defensive end, and and that's what we improved to a very high level.

  • So we're excited to continue to go out there and and show how much we've improved on the defensive end and obviously continue display.

  • Why were you know, the best offense in the country, Luca.

  • So my my junior year.

  • I laughed.

  • Well, actually, my sophomore year when we win the whole thing.

  • We met with Maryland four times, met with them two times in the regular season, then a C C championship, and then we met them in the Final Four.

  • If you were to meet Illinois again, how would this time be different?

  • I'm just curious, because I know that has to be sitting.

  • And it has to be sitting in the back of your mind somewhere.

  • Yeah.

  • I mean, you obviously don't like losing, especially when you lose to arrival.

  • So it's something that is, you know, like I said, burned into all of our heads.

  • So we know, you know, we we know what that team does and their credit to them.

  • They are a tremendous team and, you know, they add additions they had since last year helped them so much.

  • You know, you talk about Andre Capello Curbelo that comes off the bench and other guys who are we've just helped them so much that they're really dynamic team and we know we know we have to do to beat them.

  • Um, and unfortunately, the two times we got this year, we weren't able to do that.

  • Um, and and and we're excited.

  • You know, if we do match up again, we're hoping for that matchup.

  • Thanks for watching ESPN on YouTube.

  • Live streaming sports and premium content subscribed to ESPN plus right now.

What does the ability to play in the debate tournament mean to you personally?

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A2 tournament college people seed met main focus

Luka Garza says Iowa is laser focused on winning NCAA tournament | KJZ

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/15
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