McCaffery brothers set to make Iowa a full family affair

Mark Emmert

MOLINE, Ill. — Sometime this fall, Patrick McCaffery expects to see a rather surreal scene unfold in his own living room.

That is when his older brother, Connor, will take his “official” recruiting visit as a basketball prospect at the University of Iowa.

The Hawkeyes, of course, are coached by his father, Fran, meaning the visit will involve Connor sitting at his own dinner table with his family, making a decision that has seemed preordained for years.

“That will be weird to see how that works out,” Patrick McCaffery said Tuesday at an I-Club gathering at the I Wireless Center, where he accompanied his father. “Usually we have the official kids over to our house. So it will be kind of funny to see he’ll just be at his own house so it will just be like regular.”

Patrick McCaffery is a young star for power program Iowa City West.

Connor McCaffery is finishing up his junior year at Iowa City West, where Patrick is a freshman. Both star on the basketball team and intend to stay in town and play for the Hawkeyes, and their father.

Fran McCaffery said he had assumed his boys would wind up playing for him at Siena, where he coached before coming to Iowa six years ago.

“When I got here I wanted to make sure that it felt right for them, and they fell in love with the place right away,” he said.

Fran McCaffery said the process of recruiting his sons doesn’t feel appreciably different than with other athletes, with one big exception.

“It’s not so much where you’re dealing with the mom, moreso just to answer the questions that he has,” McCaffery said.

“Mom” in this case is Margaret McCaffery, a former basketball star at Notre Dame. And she doesn’t need to be sold on the virtues of the Iowa program.

“Mom’s on board,” Fran McCaffery said.

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Patrick McCaffery, a 6-foot-8 wing player, said he enjoys having a friendly give-and-take with his dad over his basketball future, even though it seems pretty set.

“He has an edge, so I probably will go there and nowhere else,” Patrick said. “Sometimes if he doesn’t get me food or something like that, I’ll go, ‘Oh, I’m not coming anymore.’ Just jokes like that.”

The prospect of continuing to play alongside his older brother also holds appeal for Patrick, a 160-pounder who is looking to add 20-25 pounds to his frame in the next year while developing his post play. He’s also hopeful that he might still grow taller.

“That’s a blast,” Patrick said of teaming up with Connor, a 6-6 point guard. “He’s a really good passer so he really sets me up because I’m more of a scorer.”