Carton, McCaffery Represent Iowa at U18 USA Tryout


Posted On: 06/6/18 1:55 PM

Iowa’s top two 2019 prospects each were invited to participate in a tryout for the USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team last week in Colorado Springs — both could soon be Hawkeyes.

Patrick McCAffery committed to the Hawkeyes long ago, nobody was surprised, his dad’s the coach.

DJ Carton has a slew of high-major D1 offers, he recently narrowed that list to six, Iowa is one of those that made the cut.

Speaking of making cuts, Carton made the first cut at the USA event, from 33 to 18. He did not make the final cut, from 18 to 12. McCaffrey did not make the first cut. Still, it’s pretty remarkable that little-ole Iowa was represented by two guys out of only 33 from around the country.

Here’s some perspective: (math). Six percent of the 33 guys invited to tryout were Iowans. But Iowans only make up about one percent of the country’s population. You can think of it as our little state exceeding expectations six-fold.

The class of 2019 has long been perceived now as Iowa’s strongest in recent history, this data certainly validates that idea.

But I digress.

                         Patrick McCaffery

The two standout Iowans have taken starkly different routes to stardom. McCaffery, a 6-foot-8 small forward who is currently PHIA’s top-ranked 2019, is the son of Iowa head coach, Fran McCaffery, and has long been in the limelight.

McCaffery was our top-ranked 2019 from our very first installment of that class’s rankings. He was sixth-man on a state runner-up team as a freshman, and has been heralded by national publications as a top-ranked player in the country since he was old enough to be evaluated.

Carton, currently PHIA’s second-ranked 2019, was more of a delayed superstar. He did not play with the Bettendorf’s varsity as a freshman, and was not included in our initial 2019 rankings. Very few outside of the Quad Cities knew of the burgeoning phenom.

As a sophomore, he started to come into his own. He helped lead the Bulldogs to a state tourney berth as the teams’ starting point guard. That tourney was first time we saw him play, at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. He was good, really good. Carton made a higher debut in the subsequent installment of 2019 rankings than anyone else.

DJ Carton

Still, the best was yet to come for Carton. The summer after his sophomore year, he erupted, nabbing double-digit D1 offers while excelling with Quad City Elite. He followed that up with a prolific junior season. Now, he’s in the middle of another huge AAU season, in which he’s picked up several additional high-major offers.

That brings us to now. Carton’s list has been narrowed to six; Iowa, Marquette, Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan and Xavier.

McCaffery, who is spending his summer playing with one of the nation’s best AAU teams, D1 Minnesota 17U, has long since committed to play for his dad at Iowa.

It’s no secret, that Patrick has been actively recruiting Carton to come with him to Iowa City.

And according the raw numbers, there’s a one in six chance that Carton commits to Iowa. That’s 17 percent.