Posted On: 12/31/18 10:55 AM
If you ask the guys on Drake’s basketball team about walk-on freshman Garrett Sturtz, they’ll tell you his rookie season success has been predictable.
Sturtz, despite averaging an Iowa high school best 34.7 points per game last season as a senior at Newton, was still very-much under-recruited; but has been ultra-productive for the Bulldogs this season.
It’s not too often you see walk-on freshman make as big of a difference as Sturtz has this season. But the skilled and lengthy guard is averaging 7.5 points in 19.2 minutes per game. His team-best 61.2 percent field goal percentage is sixth-best in the Missouri Valley Conference.
And he’s doing it on a Drake team that is turning heads around the country. The Bulldogs are 11-2, and alone atop the MVC standings.
“I think if you asked anybody on our team (about Sturtz’s success), they wouldn’t be surprised. Since the beginning, he’s come in and worked, put in a lot of hours…he’s been doing it for a while” said Drake fifth-year senior Nick Norton.
Sturtz originally committed to Drake when former coach Niko Medved and his staff were still around in March of 2018, just after his senior season at Newton was finished. Later that month, Medved took a job at Colorado State.
Although Sturtz’s walk-on spot was in limbo, it wasn’t too long before the new coach, Darian DeVries, called to tell him the walk-on opportunity was still on the table.
That turned out to be a terrific move by DeVries and his staff.
“Choosing Drake last year, it was a completely different staff, it was with Niko’s staff. And once they left, DeVries called me and said that the opportunity was still there, and I felt I had a good position there, a good chance to come in a play with this team and the guys he had coming in,” said Sturtz.
“I couldn’t have picked it any more perfect. This coaching staff, these teammates have been perfect to play with and be around on and off the court, and it’s made my transition into Drake 100 times better.”