Iowa Men's Basketball

Connor McCaffery will miss Saturday's Savannah State-Iowa game

Freshman point guard is in concussion protocol

Iowa guard Connor McCaffery (30) drives to the basket during the Hawkeyes' 78-60 win over Western Carolina Tuesday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Iowa guard Connor McCaffery (30) drives to the basket during the Hawkeyes' 78-60 win over Western Carolina Tuesday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

Iowa men’s basketball freshman point guard Connor McCaffery is in concussion protocol and will be held out of the Hawkeyes’ home game against Savannah State Saturday at noon.

McCaffery was hurt late in Iowa’s 78-60 win over Western Carolina Tuesday.

“He got an elbow to the face,” Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said Friday. “It was actually (teammate) Tyler Cook who hit him. They both went for a rebound. It’s one of those unfortunate situations.”

“Connor’s progressing rapidly,” McCaffery said. “I expect him to play in the next game (Dec. 29 vs. Bryant).”

Connor McCaffery is averaging 7.5 points and a team-high 3.5 assists per game. He has played 21.5 minutes per game. He is second on the team in free throw attempts with 57, and has a 3-to-1 assists-to-turnovers ratio.

Concussions were a problem for the 9-2 Hawkeyes last season. Ryan Kriener had two and Brady Ellingson had one. Both missed several games.

On the current injury front, Fran McCaffery said he expects Kriener to play Saturday. The junior center had an ankle problem in the second half of the Western Carolina game and missed the last 11-plus minutes.

“Other than the tweaked ankle the other night, he’s been healthy,” McCaffery said, “so he’s had the chance to play some quality minutes. At the end of last year he got some quality minutes and showed what he’s capable of.

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“He’s getting a lot of playing time, he’s a junior, and he’s a talented player. He can dribble, pass, shoot. He’s a really good defender, he’s smart, he’s tough. He’s a critical part of our success.”

Forward Riley Till missed Tuesday’s game with a sprained ankle, McCaffery said “I think he’ll do some stuff today (in practice) and play tomorrow. I’d be surprised if he didn’t.”

l Comments: (319) 368-8840; mike.hlas@thegazette.com

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