Iowa men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery, who won three MAAC championships when he coached at Siena College, has a big man coming his way from the Capital Region.
Riley Mulvey, a Rotterdam resident who is in his junior year at Connecticut prep school St. Thomas More, gave McCaffery a verbal commitment to play for the Hawkeyes earlier this week.
The 6-foot-11 Mulvey chose Big Ten member Iowa over several other high-major schools that made offers, including Virginia Tech, Syracuse and Penn State.
“I knew Iowa was the way I was going to go. It was just when,” said Mulvey, who spent three years at Albany Academy before his move to the Connecticut school last September. “A lot of it has to do with the relationship I have with coach McCaffery. Every week, we talk on the phone. I also got to know all of the assistants. I even talked to [Luka] Garza, and that was real cool.”
The 6-foot-11 Garza has been one of the most dominant players in college basketball this year, and the senior All-American leads Iowa into an NCAA tournament run that starts Saturday against Grand Canyon.
“Look at the level where Garza is now. He wasn’t the No. 1 player when he got to college, and coach McCaffery helped him get to that level,” Mulvey said. “I believe coach McCaffery can help me do some of the things I want to do.”
Collegiate interest in Mulvey picked up during his freshman year at Albany Academy when coaches including McCaffery came to see then-junior Andre Jackson, and were impressed with the tall, mobile youngster who is also a classroom standout. Jackson eventually selected the University of Connecticut.
“I enjoyed it,” the 18-year-old Mulvey said of his recruitment, during which he paid unofficial visits to Iowa, Rutgers and UMass, and attended camps at Syracuse and Yale. “I liked everything that happened. It was fun to talk to the coaches. I enjoyed the process.”
Mulvey is currently one of two juniors playing on his St. Thomas More team.
“It’s absolutely amazing here,” said Mulvey. “Basketball-wise, I’ve made so much improvement.”
McCaffery coached at Siena for five seasons through 2010 before his move to Iowa. He recently signed an extension to stay at Iowa through the 2027-28 season.