It’s been a weird year. The start of Iowa Hawkeyes basketball is imminent amidst a delayed football season. We’ll continue our postponed countdown over the next 24 hours. Next up: CJ Fredrick.
Guard, 6’3”, 195 lbs
RS Sophomore, Cincinnati, OH (Covington)
When Isaiah Moss left Iowa City for Lawrence, there were murmurs of there being little drop-off due to what CJ Fredrick was showing in practice. The now-sophomore took his first year off to get his body right after coming to Iowa as a relatively unknown, 165-pounder.
He’s added 30 pounds, if Iowa’s website is to be believed, and shown just how silly it was for Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball to be a relative unknown. His freshman year only went down as the best from behind the arc (46%) of any first-year players since Dean Oliver’s in 1997-98 (56%). Fredrick, by the way, did it in nearly three times as many attempts as Dean-o - 102 vs 36.
At the risk of overselling just how great Fredrick was from behind the arc, the only person to have more attempts and a higher shooting percentage is Kent McCausland, who hit 52% of his 134 attempts from deep.
(An aside, McCausland’s senior season saw him hit 3s at a rate 0.1% lower than Fredrick on 162 attempts. Flame. thrower.)
Fredrick showed more than just shooting prowess in his 10-point, 3 assist, season as he looked like the perfect off-ball guard in Fran McCaffery’s motion offense. He was fantastic at cutting and dribbling with purpose and had a 2:1 assist:turnover ratio, which showed his ability as a secondary ballhandler. He also showed tenacity on the defensive end.
If there are nitpicks to his game, his 80% free throw shooting could improve and be healthier, overall. Foot injuries nagged him throughout last season and forced him to mix six games. Availability is an ability, after all.
Otherwise, Fredrick looks to be someone who may benefit as much as anyone with the cavalry coming in the backcourt between a healthy Jordan Bohannon and explosive freshman, Tony Perkins. A slightly lighter load throughout the rigors of the regular season should allow him to be even more intense defensively with hopefully, little drop-off in offensive production.