IOWA CITY, Iowa — Patrick McCaffery’s page on all the various recruiting sites is thoroughly unique.
For the other players, there is a list of all the colleges that expressed an interest in recruiting them along with how many formal scholarship offers they received.
Bettendorf’s D.J. Carton, for example, is shown as having received 16 offers before signing with Ohio State. Mountainous center Kofi Cockburn had 26 before he settled on Illinois.
McCaffery? One school showed interest. One offered.
It’s not what you expect to see with a player who is rated as the 75th best prospect in the country by Rivals.com. It’s just that everyone knew from the very beginning that it was a foregone conclusion that McCaffery was going to play for his father, Fran, at Iowa.
Even though he didn’t formally commit to the Hawkeyes until just before his junior season at Iowa City West, no one else wasted their time trying to woo him.
“Deep down, I always wanted to be a Hawkeye,’’ McCaffery admitted. “Especially since my older brother (Connor) came here, that sort of set it in stone for me. I always knew I wanted to be a Hawkeye. I always knew what I wanted to do.’’
And now that time is at hand. McCaffery has been working out all summer with teammates he’s known very well for years. But now instead of being the skinny kid hanging around the periphery, he is out on the court competing.
About three months from now he’ll get a chance to step onto the court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in a black and gold uniform.
“It’s a dream come true really,’’ he said. “This is something I looked forward to my whole life. It’s been a long time coming. It’s just something that I’ve wanted to do ever since I was little.’’
Hopefully, it all turns out as dreamy as he believes it will.
Playing for your father can be a slippery slope. Plenty of players have done it and most have come away pleased with the experience. Some haven't.
It requires a certain amount of compartmentalizing of relationships.
“We’ve always done a pretty good job of keeping it separate,’’ Patrick said of his father. “He was never my coach but he always came to a lot of my games so he’s always been able to help me.
“We’ve always kind of separated those two relationships. It’s been kind of weird but I’ve gotten kind of used to it, I guess. I still look at him as my father. Once we have more practices coming, that will change a little bit, I think.’’
He said he already has learned to look at Fran as his coach first and foremost while they are out on the basketball court. It probably helps that he is now one of two McCaffery sons on the Iowa roster. Connor undoubtedly has blazed a trail for Patrick to follow.
“It’s still basketball,’’ Patrick added. “You’ve just got to go play. You can’t really think too much about it or you’ll drive yourself crazy.’’
He said playing for his dad will be a big change from what he was used to in high school. His high school coach, Steve Bergman, focused heavily on the defensive end of the court and had an acidic tongue of almost legendary proportions.
“There’s a lot less sarcastic jokes,’’ Patrick said with a laugh. “He (Fran McCaffery) is not as insulting of the players … I’ll miss Coach Bergman but I’m ready for the next level.’’
It’s not clear at this point how much Patrick will play right away. He is Big Ten-ready from a skills standpoint but at 6-foot-8, 180 pounds, he may take some time to adjust to the rigors of perhaps the most physical league in the country.
He figures to play mostly at small forward, a position manned last year by Joe Wieskamp, who made the Big Ten’s all-freshman team and will be one of the team’s marquee players this season.
That is not to say that Patrick and Wieskamp never will be on the floor together at the same time. The Hawkeyes are not hung up on position designations and Wieskamp is versatile enough to line up almost anywhere and fill almost any role.
“I think we’ll play really well with each other and that’s something that during the year could be really fun,’’ Patrick said.
He said he has been watching Iowa games for the past few years trying to visualize where and how he will fit in.
“Ever since I decided I had what it took to play at this level, that’s kind of been my thought process,’’ he said.