116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Patrick McCaffery has potential.
You can say that about almost anyone, of course, but he’s got it. He can run, he can jump, he can shoot, he has an inside-outside game, he can play. As a third-year sophomore in the season ahead, the 6-foot-9 forward could be a starter for the Iowa men’s basketball team.
McCaffery has a season under his belt, having played all 31 games last season and averaging 14.7 minutes after sitting out all but the first two games of the 2019-20 season with health issues.
“I had never played a limited role before,” McCaffery said last week. “Every team I’d ever been on, I played the whole game. It was just different this year.
“It was good because I needed to learn, because in no situation ever am I going to be able to come in and play however much as I want and do whatever I want.
“If I play 15 minutes, 18 minutes, 12 minutes, I want to make sure I impact the game in those minutes. That’s something I was really able to embrace as the year went on.
“You learn a lot. Obviously, I was playing behind somebody like Joe Wieskamp, who’s going to be drafted this year. You obviously learn from him. He doesn’t say much, but just how he carries himself.”
McCaffery had moments late in the season that boded well for what’s ahead. He scored 19 points in a March 4 game against Nebraska. He blocked two shots in Iowa’s win over Wisconsin at the Big Ten tournament.
While the Hawkeyes got rolled by Oregon in the second round of the NCAA tournament, McCaffery played 20 minutes for the first time in 2021, scoring 10 points.
Now, Wieskamp is gone and McCaffery will no longer be the proverbial role player. Twenty minutes may have to become 25-28.
“I’m getting stronger,” he said, “really working in the weight room every day, trying to work on my stamina and my cardio a little bit. I don’t think I was in a good enough position last year with that, but I think I’ve put myself in a position this offseason with the stuff that I’ve been doing.
“I want to be somebody that can be counted on to play a lot of minutes.”
Comments: (319) 398-8440; firstname.lastname@example.org