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22 Days Until Iowa Basketball: Patrick McCaffery

Will the 4-star forward be physically ready for Big Ten action?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Columbus Practice
This is not Patrick McCaffery, but it is another McCaffery son with head coach Fran.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The annual countdown to the Iowa Hawkeyes basketball season marches on with a familiar family name with a fresh face: Patrick McCaffery!


55: Luka Garza
51: Aidan Vanderloo
35: Cordell Pemsl
30: Connor McCaffery
24: Nico Hobbs

Patrick McCaffery

Forward, 6’8”, 180 lbs
Freshman, Iowa City, IA (West)

It’s been some time since a Hawkeye donned the #22, but for the next four (or five??) years, Iowa fans can look forward to watching Patrick McCaffery in the number.

McCaffery, the middle of head coach Fran McCaffery’s three sons, comes to the Hawkeyes as a former 4-star recruit out of Iowa City West High School. His Hawkeye Sports bio indicates he’ll be wearing #22, previously retired for former All-American Bill Seaberg, to honor Iowa City local Austin “Flash” Schroeder who passed away in 2015.

While the eldest of the McCaffery boys, Connor, is a guard, Pat stands north of 6’8” and is more of a forward. However, at only 180 pounds, he projects more as a small forward/wing than a true post.

As a senior at West, McCaffery the Middle average 25.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. In Iowa’s class 4A, he played more inside and out than Iowa fans should expect him to at the next level where he won’t have the same size advantage he once enjoyed.

Instead, look for McCaffery to primarily back up Joe Wieskamp at the SF spot. He isn’t nearly the shooter or penetrator that Wieskamp is, but he certainly can step outside and shoot it. He also puts the ball on the floor very well for a player at 6’8”, two inches taller than JW.

There is some speculation we could see Pat take a redshirt year this season. That wouldn’t be a bad thing. With his thyroid condition, he’s long had issues putting on weight and would ideally get to north of 200 pounds with a year dedicated to strength training at the Big Ten level. That seems to have worked well for Jack Nunge, who also came in with a slight build and has filled out nicely ahead of the 2019-2020 season.

Having Pat redshirt would also be a good indication this team has found some depth. With departures from Maishe Dailey, Isaiah Moss and Tyler Cook, there are plenty of new faces and question marks heading into the season. With Wieskamp expected to play as many minutes as he can handle, Pat taking a year off would indicate JW handled a whole lot of minutes.

On the flip side, if Patrick ends up playing significant minutes this season, one of three things has happened.

  1. Joe Wieskamp has been injured.
  2. Jack Nunge, Cordell Pemsl, Ryan Kriener or Luka Garza has been injured.
  3. Patrick McCaffery is much more physically ready than we ever thought possible.

Those scenarios point to two possibilities: either Pat plays at the SF or the PF spot. If he’s playing SF in place of JW, something has gone seriously wrong with the season. That’s scenario 1 above.

The other possibility is he’s playing in the low post. That only happens if Fran is dealing with an injury, and likely multiple, to guys we are all counting on contributing (scenario 2) OR Pat is so good he has to be on the floor. In scenario 3, we either learn that Pat has wiry old man strength to hold his own down low or he’s so good offensively taking his man to the perimeter that his defensive deficiencies can be masked with help defense or a zone.

Anything is possible, but the most likely outcome seems that Pat plays limited minutes or redshirts and comes out in 2020 as a likely starter in place of Joe Wieskamp.