Kentucky recorded its worst 3-point shooting percentage as a team in seven years during its dreadful 2020-21 season, but coach John Calipari and his staff took a big step towards resolving that problem on Wednesday with the addition of Iowa transfer CJ Fredrick.
Fredrick redshirted upon his arrival with the Hawkeyes in 2018-19, but in the last two seasons shot 46.6% from 3-point range while consistently proving to be reliable as a decision-maker. In 52 career games and 52 starts, he committed 42 turnovers to 121 assists.
"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 in a release announcing the addition. "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."
Fredrick is immediately eligible to play for UK next season thanks to the NCAA's new one-time transfer rule, giving the program a significant and immediate boost to its backcourt. He's part of a three-man incoming transfer class led by West Virginia big man Oscar Tshiebwe and Davidson guard Kellan Grady, who is set to reshape the team after a 9-16 campaign.
It's a full-circle moment for Fredrick as he returns to the Bluegrass State where he once earned Gatorade Player of the Year honors while leading his high school team to a state title with a 35-4 record. He was rated as the No. 242 player coming out of high school in the 247Sports Composite and signed with Iowa as a three-star recruit over listed offers from Ball State, Indiana, Miami (Oh.), Penn State and Xavier.
"I am very excited for this new opportunity in my basketball career," Fredrick said. "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."