Patrick McCaffery, son of Iowa men’s basketball coach, transfers to Butler

Former Iowa forward Patrick McCaffery, son of Hawkeyes’ men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery, has committed to playing his final collegiate season at Butler, he announced on his Instagram Saturday afternoon.

McCaffery, 6-foot-9, played five seasons at Iowa with 61 starts in 123 games and totaled 1,044 points in his career. Health derailed him at times at Iowa, in part because of his thyroid cancer diagnosis in 2014. He medically redshirted his 2019-20 freshman year after lingering effects from medication related to cancer. In early 2023, McCaffery stepped aside for nearly a month because of anxiety. Last season, McCaffery had an ankle injury that limited his minutes.

As the son of the head coach, McCaffery had lived in Iowa City since he was 10 years old. He appeared ready to move to a new environment during his final news conference before senior day, but didn’t indicate whether he’d play professionally or enter the transfer portal.

When McCaffery entered the portal three days after the Hawkeyes’ season ended in an NIT loss, it drew significant attention from fans who wondered if Fran McCaffery was long for the job after 14 seasons. That was not the case, Iowa athletics director Beth Goetz told The Athletic.

“In terms of the transfer portal, I’m not going to answer for Patrick, but I think that’s just reading too much,” Goetz said. “The kid has spent his whole career here. He’s been here five years.”

Like Iowa (19-15), Butler (18-15) was an NIT team last year.

What does this mean for Iowa?

McCaffery had his moments last season, averaging 8.9 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. He can run the floor unlike many forwards his size, and he can shoot from the perimeter with 105 career 3-pointers. But after missing time with an ankle injury, McCaffery mostly came off the bench during the season’s last two months.

His minutes next season likely will go to either sophomore forward Ladji Dembele or incoming four-star freshmen forwards Cooper Koch and Chris Tadjo.

(Photo: Tommy Gilligan / USA Today)

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