Oh yeah, what a feeling! Football is in the air which means Iowa Hawkeyesbasketball is right around the corner. We’ll be counting down the days, here and there, until Iowa’s first game tips off. The countdown continues with… Cordell Pemsl!
Guard, 6’5”, 205 lbs
RS Freshman, Iowa City, IA (West)
Last season was a weird one to say the least for Connor McCaffery. Fran’s oldest child was originally slated to play baseball only last year before an eleventh hour transfer by Christian Williams meant there was no backup point guard available to play. He decided to flip his freshman year priorities - play basketball and redshirt at baseball - in order to help the Hawkeyes out on the hardwood.
The plan did not stay on the tracks as McCaffery had a sprained ankle followed by mononucleosis, undiagnosed strep throat, and tonsillitis to start the season. He missed the first 10 games of the 2017-18 season as a result. He returned to play backup minutes at point guard for four games before having to return to the bench after two emergency surgeries. He lost over 20 pounds as he could not eat solid food for three weeks.
He was eventually ruled out and received a medical hardship waiver after the season.
As it stands, he’s returned to his fighting weight and was able to be with the Hawkeye baseball team during their fall schedule.
ICYMI... redshirt freshman @connor_m30 had six hits in the fall opener last night against Southeastern CC... finishing 6-for-8 with one double, two steals, and four RBIs! #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/HZyLo6JW7R— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) September 21, 2018
If nothing else, it’s great to see him at what would appear to be full health. Nobody deserves the freshman year he had to endure.
So what can Iowa fans hope to get from Connor? During his limited playing time, he showed a pass-first style as Iowa’s backup point guard. That’s expected to continue and with Jordan Bohannon being the starter as well as the other strengths on this roster. Scoring, quite frankly, would be more luxury than requirement from backup point guard. That is not to say he cannot score, as his range extends to the three, though he passed on many open shots in his limited minutes.
The main question which will stick with McCaffery is if he can defend. Should he prove to be a much more viable option on that end of the floor, it will make it easier for Fran to balance Bohannon’s workload. Additionally, he provides the option to slide Bohannon over to shooting guard, if Iowa looks to give opponents a different look.
Ultimately, it is good to Connor McCaffery at 100%. Availability is the best ability, after all, and Iowa’s still-unbalanced roster means they can use all the guards they can get.