Last year's "Big Ten Player of the Year" and Sporting News "National Player of the Year" announced Sunday afternoon that he's back, truth is fellow Hawkeye fans, he never left.

Luka Garza's teammate Connor McCaffery tweeted late Saturday night : "Hawk nation please just respect his decision." Like most passionate Iowa fans, I had been waiting on "pins and needles" for Garza's decision if he would forego his senior season and enter his name in the NBA draft or return to Iowa City for one more (possibly historic) season. Like many Iowa fans, when I read that seemingly innocuous statement, ("just respect his decision") I thought the worst, immediately assuming that meant Garza would be leaving Iowa. Well, I have to admit, Connor "trolled" me...he got me, "hook, line and sinker". I bet Connor stared at his phone all Sunday morning giggling as Hawkeye Nation freaked out. As it turns out, Garza encouraged McCaffery to send out the "troll tweet", very funny guys...very funny. You got us. But more importantly, we got #55 back, and that sets Iowa Basketball up for a very special basketball season.

"I want to be here and wear IOWA across my chest one more time" - Luka Garza - #55

Garza is now the front-runner for the 2020/21 National Player of the Year and he leads a team that is loaded with talent. Led by the return of Iowa's 3-point scoring leader, Jordan Bohannon coming off a successful hip surgery. Along with, a member of the All Big 10 Freshman team and 3-point sharp-shooter, C.J. Fredrick, plus, All Big Ten team player, Joe Wieskamp, and the nation's turnover to assist ratio leader, Connor McCaffery this is a team to be reckoned with. Add in guys coming in off the bench, like the super-fast and cagey, point guard Joe Toussaint and big man Jack Nunge coming off a torn ACL...I can't wait for basketball season to start.

The Hawkeyes will start the season ranked in the top 5 in nearly every poll. This is setting up to be Coach McCaffery's best team since he's been at Iowa, and I swear, if this pandemic that we're battling messes that up, I'm going to bang my head against the wall. As Garza says in his letter (link below) to Iowa fans, it's time "run it back". Yes indeed, "run it back" to 1980 and Iowa's last "Final 4" appearance. And hopefully, make some of their own history winning the National Championship. This is the best shot we've ever had at it, and that's not just the Hawkeye fan in me talking. Even sports analyst Dick Vitale tweeted: "With Luka Garza back, it's time to believe in Iowa as a national title contender". If that would happen, I could die a happy man. #gohawks

Read Luka Garza's letter to the "Hawkeye Nation":

Here's what Coach McCaffery had to say about Garza's return:

Luka Garza highlights from 2019-2020 season:

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