IOWA CITY, Ia. — During his weekly radio show Wednesday, Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery took exception to a caller who was critical of senior forward Zach McCabe. Two days later, McCaffery still bristled at the notion that McCabe doesn’t deserve the minutes he gets.
“The guy’s going to score 900 points and get 500 rebounds, and (the caller) is trying to rip the kid on my radio show,” McCaffery said Friday. “That’s not going to happen, not on my show. I don’t care if the guy … I was this close to saying, ‘You know what? Don’t preface what you’re getting ready to say by saying, I’m a big Hawk fan.’ No, you’re not. No, you’re not. Go root for somebody else. I don’t have time for that guy.”
McCabe has 835 points and 492 rebounds in 129 career games (39 starts). He is averaging 6.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 16.4 minutes per game this season.
“He’s been a terrific player for us for four years, a great teammate, tremendous captain,” McCaffery added. “He has won games for us. I use him in so many different ways. But he clearly is underappreciated in many ways.”
McCabe hadn’t heard about McCaffery’s defense of him over the airwaves, but he said that he appreciated it.
“That helps me not listen to that nonsense that people talk about,” McCabe said. “Any time your coach stands up for you, it helps you believe in him. I’ve always believed in him. And he believes in what I do. If people don’t agree with that, that’s fine.”
McCaffery said that he appreciates the role McCabe has played in helping Iowa go from an 11-win team in 2010-11 to one trying to win a 20th game Saturday against Wisconsin.
“He gives me everything he’s got every day with tremendous attitude and support of all of his teammates,” McCaffery said. “You’re not going to bad-mouth him, not in front of me.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball