By Dylan Burn
Iowa City, Iowa – Patrick McCaffery was a key contributor for an Iowa City West team that won the Class 4A state tournament in March.
However, that team loses four starters, including Connor McCaffery, who is now an Iowa Hawkeye and Patrick's older brother, and Devontae Lane, who plays basketball for Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa.
But if you ask Patrick, the goal still is the same for next season.
“We have a really talented team.” Patrick McCaffery said Wednesday. “We probably still have more talent than any other team in the state, so we should be able to make a run at it again. We return like four of our top eight (players). We lose four starters, but we have a couple younger guys that are ready to step up.
“I’d say I’m looked at as the leader of the team, so I’m just really excited for the season to get started. The main goal is to just get back to Wells (Fargo Arena) and win (another state title)."
Patrick McCaffery has used the AAU circuit this summer to polish his game in preparation for his junior season at West. His 16U Iowa Barnstormer squad won two tournaments on the adidas gauntlet before falling just short in Las Vegas at the Summer Championships. The Barnstormers fell to Steakhouse Elite in the championship game.
"I’m just trying to get better at leading a team,” said the 6-foot-8 Patrick McCaffery, who mostly plays small forward. “Then I’m just trying to get bigger and stronger, so I can be ready for my junior season and then the 17U ballot. I don’t play any other sports, so I’m just either in the gym or I’m lifting.”
Patrick's ability apparently stretches beyond the court as he also has a talent for sales and marketing.
He coined the phrase “Iowa vs. Everybody” while participating on the AAU circuit this summer. The son of Iowa coach Fran McCaffery came up with the idea after playing a game in South Carolina in which almost all of the fans cheered for the opposing team.
“We were in Spartanburg and our 17’s were playing Team Loaded North Carolina and there was like a million people in the gym all cheering for Team Loaded NC, except for my team because we had just won.” McCaffery said. “Me and a couple of my teammates were just like “Iowa vs Everybody” and then I tweeted it and it kind of blew up.
"So, we capitalized on it and made shirts and stuff and thought that’d be a cool idea.”
McCaffery said at least 1,800 shirts have been sold with the proceeds being used to benefit the Adolescents and Young Adults Cancer Program from University of Iowa Health Care.
Patrick and his parents are heavily involved in fighting against cancer. Patrick knows first hand about the effects from cancer after having a malignant tumor removed from his thyroid barely three years ago.
As he heads into his junior season, Patrick reports just one scholarship offer, which is from his father, Fran McCaffery. His lack of offers is sort of strange, considering Rivals ranks Patrick as the 29th best player in the 2019 senior class.
“Miami of Ohio texts me every so often, but other than that I just get letters really,” Patrick McCaffery said.
It is widely assumed that Patrick will follow in his brother's footsteps and play for his father at Iowa. That is probably why most schools aren't actively recruiting Patrick.
But whatever is the case, Patrick still isn't ready to commit to Iowa just yet.
He does chat with some of Iowa's current recruiting targets and tells tham about the advantages of playing in Iowa City.
“A lot of the guys Iowa has offered I know pretty well," Patrick said. "So I just kind of talk to them about Iowa, be honest with them, and try to get them to come to Iowa."
Here is the link for ordering shirts: iowavseverybody.com