Brotherhood keeps getting stronger for Hawkeyes men’s basketball

[The Gazette] Brotherhood keeps getting stronger for Hawkeyes men’s basketball

Pryce Sandfort will join brother Payton at Iowa, adding yet another pair of brothers to the Hawkeyes

Iowa men’s basketball recruit Pryce Sandfort (Stephen Mally/hawkeyesports.com)

IOWA CITY — It’s hard to imagine any college basketball program has had more sets of brothers in the last decade than Iowa’s and that number will grow in 2023.

The program of Nicholas and Michael Baer, Connor and Patrick McCaffery, and Keegan and Kris Murray will have Payton and Pryce Sandfort next year.

In addition to guard 6-foot-1 Brock Harding and 6-11 forward Owen Freeman of Moline (Ill.) High, Fran McCaffery has signed 6-7 Pryce Sandfort of Waukee Northwest High for his 2023 recruiting class.

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McCaffery has liked what he’s gotten and likes what he expects to get from sophomore wing Payton Sandfort. Here comes Pryce, who as a junior led Iowa’s Class 4A last season in points, 3-pointers, free throws and blocked shots, and was second in rebounds.

“With Pryce,” McCaffery said, “we were going after Payton hard and Pryce was a freshman, so that's how long we've been recruiting him and knowing him. He kept getting better and better, and his numbers last year in the state were phenomenal, as they were in the summer on a very high-level AAU circuit.”

Asked Thursday if Pryce would be any good in college, Payton said “That’s a tough one.

“I’m just kidding. I think he’s going to be awesome. We played together for a couple years in high school and grew up fighting in the driveway and stuff. So I’m really excited for him to get here, and I think we can do some special things, carry on the brother legacy.”

Pryce was a 4-star recruit, ranked the nation’s No. 27 small forward prospect for 2023 by Rivals.com. He was offered a scholarship by ACC, Pac-12 and Big East programs, and Drake pursued him hard.

“I really wanted him to make his own decision,” Payton said, “so I kind of stayed away. I wanted him to come here because he wanted to come here, not just because I really loved it here.

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"I was always a little nervous, but I always thought maybe he likes his brother a little bit.“

Fran McCaffery discussed the built-in advantages younger brothers of current players have, as well as the players already on the team.

“I think there's familiarity on a number of different levels,” he said. “Obviously the younger guys already know the guys on the team, and they've watched the program. They've watched the games. There's comfortability there.

“I think the fact that the older brothers are telling the younger ones to come, I think that's great. Obviously Keegan and Kris were the same year, but you're happy that the older brothers had a great experience.”

“I think having brothers, you have great camaraderie among the entire team,” said Connor McCaffery, a senior guard. “Patrick and I have a great relationship, and it can also bring up intensity some days in practice, having that brotherly love and brotherly toughness.

“It was the same thing you saw with Kris and Keegan. They would get after each other a little bit and bring everybody else’s energy up. You’re going to see the same things with Payton and Pryce.”

Comments: (319) 398-8440; mike.hlas@thegazette.com

Source: The Gazette