One of the top shooters in the country will suit up for the ‘Cats next season.
Over two weeks after putting his name in the transfer portal, Iowa shooting guard CJ Fredrick has officially committed to Kentucky, with the announcement coming Wednesday afternoon.
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) May 5, 2021
“I am very excited for this new opportunity in my basketball career,” Fredrick said in UK’s press release. “I really appreciate the confidence Coach Cal has in me. I am looking forward to going to work and developing as a player with Coach Cal, the staff and my future teammates. Thank you to Coach (Fran) McCaffery, the staff, my teammates and Iowa fans for three memorable years. I cannot wait to get back on the floor at Rupp Arena to help this team win and make Big Blue Nation proud.”
Fredrick has been rumored to Kentucky for several months now, with strong rumblings of a potential offseason transfer first surfacing in February, well before his Hawkeyes were knocked out of the NCAA Tournament by Oregon in the second round. The 6-foot-3 guard spent three seasons with Iowa, redshirting the 2018-19 season before starting all 52 games he appeared in during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. What Fredrick does best is shoot with incredible efficiency from long range, hitting 46.4 percent from deep on 4.1 attempts per contest during his redshirt freshman year and 47.4 percent on 2.8 attempts this past season.
“CJ Fredrick is an established college player from a terrific program who has competed at the highest level and has made big shots and big plays,” UK head coach John Calipari said in the same press release. “As we all know, CJ is a terrific shooter, but what stuck out to make on tape is he takes care of the ball – he has an excellent assist-to-turnover ratio – and he can hold his own defensively. He guarded the best guard on the other team in just about everything I have seen.
“What I love about CJ is his approach in all of this. In every conversation I have had with him, he has a great plan of how he wants to improve and where he needs to take his game to get better. He wants to be challenged, he wants to be coached and he embraces competition.”
As a redshirt sophomore, Fredrick played on an Iowa team loaded with talent and eager to make a deep run in the tournament. As a result, his minutes per game dipped sightly from his 28.7 to 24.7, as did his points per game, sliding from 10.2 to 7.5. That being said, the sharpshooter is the perfect piece to add to a team searching for someone who can help stretch the floor. He was named an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention in 2020-21 by the media. With two years of college experience under his belt, Fredrick will help provide stability on and off the floor for Kentucky.
A former Covington Catholic superstar, Fredrick was named the 2018 Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year after leading the Colonels to the state championship the same year. During the team’s title run, Fredrick averaged 27.8 points while shooting 63 percent from the field in the Sweet 16, earning MVP honors in the process. Fredrick is officially from Cincinnati, OH, but played his high school hoops across the river, where he set a single-season school record for points with 900 as a senior and totaled 1,651 points over the course of his career (2015-18).
Welcome home, CJ.