IOWA CITY, Ia. — This offseason has been a change of pace for Iowa recruit Patrick McCaffery.
He isn’t the biggest star of his grassroots basketball team anymore. Instead, he plays alongside five-star Matthew Hurt and fellow four-stars Zeke Nnaji, Tyrell Terry and Tyler Wahl on a loaded D1Minnesota roster.
Back home in Iowa City, the headlines normally saved for the son of Iowa coach Fran McCaffery have gone to five-star point guard D.J. Carton.
So, for the first time in a long time, Patrick McCaffery is living life largely out of the recruiting spotlight.
But his goals haven’t changed.
Quietly, he’s still focused on convincing blue-chip talents like Keion Brooks, Trayce Jackson-Davis and Malik Hall to play for the Hawkeyes with him.
“There’s pressure for me to try to do more because that’s what I’ve always done. The less pressure added, the more pressure there is — if that makes any sense,” McCaffery said. “That will always be the case with me. I think there’s still pressure on me to be the player I’m supposed to be.”
McCaffery showcased his full set of improved skills with Iowa City West at last month’s Justin Sharp Memorial Shootout in Rock Island.
During West’s second game versus Davenport Central, McCaffery caught a pass on the perimeter and called for a screen. He angled right, dribble-weaved his way through defenders and rose up for a one-handed flush.
It was an impressive display from a 6-foot-8 forward, and it showcased the qualities — court vision and good handles — that make West head coach Steve Bergman project McCaffery at point guard through center next season.
But his role is different with D1Minnesota.
“It’s pretty nice to be able to throw the ball to whoever on D1 and get an assist,” McCaffery laughed. “Just throw it to Matthew (Hurt) and he’ll score.”