IOWA CITY, Iowa - Coaches' kids often display a keen understanding of the game. They benefit from having a parent with expertise tutor them from an early age.
Connor McCaffery serves as a good example of this idea. And not only can he pick up pointers from his dad, Iowa coach Fran McCaffery, his mother, Margaret (Nowlin) McCaffery, is a former star player at Notre Dame.
Connor McCaffery, a sophomore, is in his second season as the starting point guard at Iowa City West High. The Trojans are gunning for their fourth Class 4A state title in a row.
The 6-foot-5 McCaffery leads the 10-0 Trojans in scoring (16.6 PPG) and assists (3.6 APG). He's also averaging 3.8 rebonds and 1.5 steals.
Tuesday night, McCaffery scored 15 points and dished out seven assists in his team's 80-66 win against defending Class 3A state champion Dubuque Wahlert.
EVALUATION: The left-handed McCaffery has improved quite a bit since I watched him at this time last year. He's noticeably stronger with a body that is filling out. He also picked up his aggressiveness since the graduation of Wyatt Lohaus, now at Northern Iowa.
McCaffery boasts excellent court vision and handles the ball very well. And long, 6-5 point guards don't grow on trees.
McCaffery drives the ball strong to the basket and finishes at the rim. He draws fouls at a good clip.
On several occasions, McCaffery showed an ability to post up smaller defenders and either get to the basket or find the open man on the perimeter. He has a high aptitude for running the offense.
The main areas of focus for McCaffery are working on his outside shot and solidifying his defense.
McCaffery's jumper looks flat at times, especially when he shoots quick. He needs to find more arc. Once, he straightens out his form, he needs to repeat his delivery like a baseball pitcher.
Defensively, McCaffery would benefit from sliding his feet more instead of playing with his hands. He picks up some cheap fouls at times which causes him to lose minutes.
We're picking nits at this point. McCaffery is just a sophomore and already excelling. He's got a chance to be really good if he continues to develop at the rate he has to this point.