If you're familiar with the Iowa basketball program, you're familiar with the name Connor McCaffery.
On Tuesday night against Cedar Rapids Washington, McCaffery went over 1,000 points in his high school career after dropping 22 in a win for the Trojans.
"It feels great," he said in regards to eclipsing the 1,000 point mark. "To be honest, I didn't know how close I was until my brother reminded me of it," he admitted. "It's something that a lot of great players before me have done at West and now I'm glad that I can be one of those that scored 1,000 as well," he said humbly.
He's been the leader on a very talented Iowa City West team this year. They returned key guys like McCaffery, Devontae Lane, and Connor's younger brother, Patrick McCaffery. They've been one of the top 4A teams in the state sitting at 6-1 heading into the middle of January.
"I just want to win a state championship," he admitted about his senior season. "This (1,000 points) wasn't even a personal goal I set, because I hadn't even thought about it. I knew it would happen at some point, but now I just want to win it all," McCaffery exclaimed.
He's certainly got the team attitude and has been willing to do whatever it takes to get back to the state championship game after coming up short last season.
Younger brother Patrick, is now playing a more important role for the Trojans. They had good forwards in Wali Parks and Tanner Lohaus last year, but McCaffery has stepped in and filled a forward role nicely.
"It's really cool playing with Patrick because we both know what each other is good at and we can find each other in those sitatuions," Connor said about playing with his younger brother. "We have very different kind of games, so it's not like we are ever in each other's way or anything like that," he admitted.
Patrick has certainly been a key addition to this Iowa City West team this season. He's averaging right around 16 points per game to Connor's 20.
"We play well together and the more we play, the better we'll get," he said about the duo he and his brother are forming for the Trojans.
While Connor is looking at winning a state championship before his high school career is over, he also can't wait to be a Hawkeye.
"I can't wait to be a part of the team," he said about the Hawks. "I really like all the young guys on the team," he said about Iowa's young core. Connor is fairly familiar with guys like Cordell Pemsl, Tyler Cook, and Jordan Bohannon. Mainly because he's around the program constantly, but he has played against these guys before, so he has a big background with them.
He also notices the struggles a young team can go through.
"Dealing with inexperience in big games is probably the biggest thing you can see because everyone watches those closely," he said about Iowa's young, but talented group. "Road games can also cause problems at times because the young guys haven't experienced what it's like to have everyone yelling at you to the extent that it happens," he said about the tough road environments in the Big Ten.
Some rumors were swirling that McCaffery may just play baseball now that Iowa had filled the two open scholarships that were available with Jack Nunge and Luka Garza, but he assured me that basketball is the plan, still.
"Yes, basketball is for sure the plan," he told Scout. "I don't know exactly how it'll all work out yet, but I guess I'll have to talk about some details with both coaches," he said.
He's a great athlete and is a standout in both sports for the West High Trojans. He hit .407 with a .520 on base percentage for the Trojans last year, so he could help Rick Heller's team out as well as his father's.
McCaffery says he's really close to both signee's in Iowa's 2017 class, Nunge and Garza.
"I met Luka at a Nike camp a few years ago and Jack and I were introduced when we were in 6th grade," he said. "Jack was moving out when we moved in, so I never really got to know him." he admitted.
Yikes, can you imagine Nunge, and both McCaffery's on the floor for Iowa City West this season?
The last thing Connor and I talked about was probably the easiest question he had to answer. It was simple. One on one, who wins, you or Patrick?
"Haha, I win," he said. "He's really long, but I think my strength would get him. It'd be close though, I'll say that," he admitted about what would go down in a 1 vs 1 matchup between he and his brother.
I think Patrick would have a different answer to that one.