Fredrick begins redshirt freshman season on high note

Redshirt freshman C.J. Fredrick hit four 3-pointers and dropped 18 points in his first game after redshirting in 2018-19.


Katina Zentz

Iowa guard CJ Fredrick passes the ball during the men's basketball game against Lindsey Wilson College at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Monday, November 4, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Blue Raiders 96-58.

Pete Ruden, Pregame Editor

C.J. Fredrick got his career off to a fast start in Carver-Hawkeye on Monday.

In Iowa’s 96-58 exhibition win over Lindsey Wilson College, Fredrick hit his first two 3-point attempts on back-to-back possessions three minutes into the game to give the Hawkeyes a 10-3 lead.

In what quickly became a blowout victory in Iowa’s final tune-up before the regular season, Fredrick dropped 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting — including 4-of-5 from deep — to go along with two assists in his first game on his home floor.

“Right before I ran out, there was just kind of those giddies of just playing in front of a big crowd again,” Fredrick said. “Having that redshirt year, it kind of gave me a lot of confidence. I felt ready for the moment.”

Much was made of Fredrick’s ability to shoot the deep ball before the season began, and it was with good reason.

Just as Isaiah Moss did for the Hawkeyes before transferring to Kansas, Fredrick found a way to ignite his team with his play from beyond the arc.

Iowa needed someone to step up in Moss’ absence, and Fredrick — who started at Moss’ old shooting guard spot — did just that.

“I don’t think anyone’s more excited for him than I am,” said sophomore forward Joe Wieskamp, who scored a game-high 19 points. “Right when we got in, we were roommates since the beginning. You could tell that last year coming home, he wanted to be out there. He worked really hard last season and really took full advantage of that redshirt.”

Ahead of Monday’s exhibition, Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery called Fredrick the Hawkeyes’ best perimeter defender.

Against Lindsey Wilson, Fredrick was quick on his feet, hesitant to let any opposing player get by him, as Iowa held the Blue Raiders to just 35 percent shooting.

If that level of play continues on the defensive end of the floor when the regular season comes around, the Hawkeyes could see a boost in their scoring defense, which ranked 13th in the Big Ten last season at 73.9 points per game.

Despite finishing second on the team in points, Fredrick said he was happiest with his defense.

“I take pride in stopping whoever I’m guarding and having that competitive edge being back out on the court, I was really pleased with my defense,” Fredrick said. “As a whole, as a team, I was really pleased with all of our defense.”

Fredrick put together a complete game in his first game as a Hawkeye, just as the entire team did.

It turned out to be a clean game for Iowa, as it only committed seven turnovers and shot 56 percent from the floor, including a 44 percent mark from 3-point land.

Things will get increasingly difficult as the season progresses, however. The Hawkeyes open the season against SIUE on Friday before participating in the Gavitt Games against DePaul on Nov. 11 and traveling to Las Vegas to face defending national runner-up Texas Tech.

But if Fredrick and the Hawkeyes can continue what they showed in the exhibition victory, a hot streak could be approaching.

It all starts with doing everything correctly, which is what Fredrick displayed Monday.

“I saw exactly what I was expecting to see — a guy that has a complete game,” McCaffery said. “I thought he was terrific. He shot it, drove it, moved without it, defended it. He’s a terrific player.”

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