Kentucky landed their second transfer of the offseason today — Iowa forward and Cincinnati native CJ Fredrick has signed to play for the Cats.
Fredrick’s shooting ability is something Kentucky lacked for most of the 2020-21 season. The transfer shot nearly 50% in two seasons at Iowa, while UK shot 33.5% as a team last year. He joins Davidson guard Kellan Grady and West Virginia forward Oscar Tshiebwe as three incoming transfers that have not played for the Cats before (Tshiebwe was only eligible for practice in the spring).
This will not be the first time Fredrick has suited up on the Rupp Arena floor, however, as the 2018 Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year played their as a member of the Covington Catholic basketball squad which he alluded to in a press release statement:
“I am very excited for this new opportunity in my basketball career. 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.”
UK Head Coach John Calipari not only pointed out Fredrick’s ability to make shots consistently, but also complimented his IQ.
“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,” Calipari said. “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.”
Fredrick’s 46.7% 3-point percentage in the 2019-20 season led the Big Ten and was the highest for a freshman in Iowa history. In his sophomore year, Fredrick was limited by a leg injury, but ended up as an All-Big Ten Team Honorable Mention.
This is a big pickup for the Cats, and adds some needed momentum.