Fran McCaffery expects his son Patrick to be back on the Iowa men’s basketball team.
Whether or not it will be in Thursday’s game at Michigan State will be a “game-time decision,” the Hawkeyes coach said Wednesday.
“He’s still practicing, he’s doing better,” said Fran McCaffery.
Patrick McCaffery retired out of fear after the Jan. 1 game in Iowa at Penn State. He has attended home and away games with the team and trained with the team.
“He’s doing whatever everyone else is doing,” said Fran McCaffery. “So he runs, he lifts, shoots, trains. I think his condition should be fine whenever he decides to play.
“Eventually he will undoubtedly play.”
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Patrick McCaffery started in all 14 games this season, averaging 12.8 points and 4.8 rebounds in 26.1 minutes per game.
Iowa (12-7 overall, 4-4 Big Ten, 38 NET) goes into the game at Michigan State (13-7, 5-4, 40 NET) after winning four of its last five games but 93 on Saturday -77 at Ohio State took away some of the momentum for the Hawkeyes, particularly on the defensive end.
“We weren’t that connected at both ends of the floor,” said Fran McCaffery. “It was obvious. We’re not a team that turns the ball 14 times. We’re not a team that bounces like that. You know, we played well for a while. We got stuck in there. We did a few runs, we kept reducing it to eight, couldn’t get it below eight. You have to learn from it. And this is an adult group and I think their approach was really good.”
Michigan State has lost three of its last four games. Starters Tyson Walker (14.3 ppg), Joey Hauser (13.8 ppg), and AJ Hoggard (12.7 ppg) are the only Spartans to average in double digits. Hoggard is second in the conference and No. 7 nationally with 122 assists.
“[Walker played]about as well as anyone I’ve seen on tape,” McCaffery said. “Great confidence to score the ball with a high cut. I think the development of Hoggard played a big part in that. I liked Hoggard last year. I think he will be elite. There are two different things – he was good, now he’s elite. Now Walker can play the ball – sometimes he has it, but he can get buckets. He can hit the ball at different levels and get to the edge.”
Iowa has won three straight games against the Spartans, the Hawkeyes’ longest streak in the series since the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. The Hawkeyes have won their last two games by a combined margin of 56 points.
Michigan State has won 14 of the last 20 matchups.