Connor McCaffery’s assists critical for Hawkeyes’ success

Connor McCaffery leads the NCAA in assist-to-turnover ratio, boosting the Hawkeyes across multiple games.
Published: Feb. 18, 2023 at 8:06 PM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa’s sixth-year senior Connor McCaffery is the ultimate utility player for the Iowa men’s basketball team. His impact was on full display in the Hawkeyes’ Thursday night victory against Ohio State.

McCaffery isn’t a guy who is going to stack the points column on a stat sheet, but he was the difference maker as Iowa avenged a January loss against the Buckeyes.

“I feel like there’s definitely times when you are kind of in the zone as a passer, just as like a shooter. You’re just seeing things, seeing cutters,” McCaffery said.

His football-like pass to Kris Murray in the second half, was one of McCaffery’s favorite plays of the game. He finished with a career-high 13 assists, but even more impressive is that he had zero turnovers.

“I said that to Connor afterwards, that I’ve never seen that. It was a really impressive game by him on a number of different levels,” Iowa men’s basketball head coach Fran McCaffery said.

“I haven’t ever seen anything like that,” senior guard Tony Perkins added. “Thirteen assists and zero turnovers, those are great stats right there. He was finding people, being unselfish. That’s just how he is.”

McCaffery currently leads the NCAA in assist-to-turnover ratio. He led the same category in the 2019-2020 season and is on pace to finish second in assist-to-turnover ratio in NCAA history.

“You can’t throw it to soon, you can’t throw it too late, you got to throw it at the right time and that’s what he does Coach McCaffery said.

“I got to credit my teammates as well, because if they’re not cutting, if they’re not running in transition and especially if they’re not making shots, that doesn’t happen,” Connor said.

Iowa sits 9-6 in conference play and have won 9 of their last 12 Big Ten games. What makes this Hawkeye team difficult to defend, is that they have multiple weapons who can contribute in numerous ways.

“They’re all worried about Kris right, or they’re all worried about Filip on the block and then, Ahron and Tony start getting downhill and making pull ups. When they’re trying to stay out on me, stay out on Kris, stay out on Payton, but then Tony and Ahron are just getting downhill, it’s just something that is really hard to stop,” Connor said.