Fredrick ready to display improved skills

After taking a year to redshirt, it’s C.J. Fredrick’s time to show off his improvement.

The+Iowa+Hawkeyes+play+aginst+Savannah+St+during+the+men%27s+basketball+game+at+Carver-Hawkeye+Arena+on+Tuesday%2C+December+22%2C+2018.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Tigers+110-64.
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Fredrick ready to display improved skills

The Iowa Hawkeyes play aginst Savannah St during the men's basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Tuesday, December 22, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Tigers 110-64.

The Iowa Hawkeyes play aginst Savannah St during the men's basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Tuesday, December 22, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Tigers 110-64.

Roman Slabach

The Iowa Hawkeyes play aginst Savannah St during the men's basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Tuesday, December 22, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Tigers 110-64.

Roman Slabach

Roman Slabach

The Iowa Hawkeyes play aginst Savannah St during the men's basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Tuesday, December 22, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Tigers 110-64.

Pete Ruden, Sports Editor

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C.J. Fredrick is a shooter. But after redshirting his first season as a Hawkeye, he might be much more than that.

“In the past years, I would just say [I was] a really good shooter,” Fredrick said. “But this past year, practicing against a top-25 team for most of the season has really expanded my game. Just creating more on my shot, I got a lot better on my defense, a lot better with the ball.”

Now a more complete player, Fredrick’s ready to get his first real taste of college basketball, and it will be sweet for the Cincinnati, Kentucky, native.

Despite the improvements he made, it wasn’t easy for Fredrick to watch from the sidelines for a year.

“I’ve been playing basketball my whole life, so to take a whole year off, it was definitely tough mentally,” he said. “But talking to my family and people who care about me, it was the best decision for me personally that I could’ve made.”

There’s no doubt Fredrick’s skills will be counted on more now than they might have been in March.

Since Tennessee ended its season in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, Iowa has lost its leading scorer and potentially two of its top shooting threats. Isaiah Moss transferred to Kansas, and Jordan Bohannon underwent hip surgery.

RELATED: Pemsl, Fredrick back Bohannon on and off the floor 

Bohannon’s status for next season is still uncertain, but receiving Fredrick fresh off a year of learning could do wonders for the Hawkeyes if the veteran guard winds up sitting out.

“With him redshirting last year, people didn’t really get to see a lot of him,” forward Ryan Kriener said. “He was really good on the scout team, “Being gone for two months, I came back, and he took a big leap. He’s shooting it from 24 feet with a hand in his face, knocking them down. He’s really good at the pick and roll, he’s a strong finisher around the rim. I’m predicting he’ll have a really good year.”

Fredrick’s improvements go beyond his ability on the floor, however. He entered his redshirt year at 6-3, 170 pounds but said he’s now up to 195.

Teammates have noticed his defensive ability, and his basketball IQ has made him even more effective. He also said he has the ability to play some point guard after working with the ball.

No matter his role, whether he’s a starter some games or comes off the bench in others, he will help the Hawkeyes in a way they desperately need.

“He’s going to bring a lot. He’s been hooping lately, whether that’s offensively or defensively,” forward Cordell Pemsl said. “He can guard any wing position, any guard position. He’s passing the ball well, he’s making the right reads coming off screens. He’s shooting the hell out of the ball right now. I’m just excited to show him be able to showcase all that.”