Basketball news broke right in the middle of Iowa Football Media Day Saturday, as shooting guard C.J. Fredrick announced his commitment to Fran McCaffery's program.
— Cj Fredrick (@cj_fredrick) August 5, 2017
Fredrick is a 6'4" wing from Covington Catholic in Park Hills, Ky. with a relatively small recruiting profile. Rivals hasn't graded him, while 247 gave him two stars. His offer list includes Nebraska (Hawkeye Nation reports he has claimed offers from Indiana, Xavier and Penn State, but none of those are confirmed by the usual offer followers like Rivals), and there was at least enough interest from Michigan to prompt a campus visit last winter. The little video there is available shows he's got solid form on his outside jumper and enough handle to get his own shot, but it's 90 seconds from a tournament in 2016.
So Fredrick's commitment is surprising for a couple of reasons. One, there hadn't been much buzz about him and Iowa since a campus visit back in November, and it's not like Iowa has made significant inroads into Kentucky under McCaffery. More importantly, there isn't exactly another scholarship available in the 2018 class. The only player certain to graduate is Dom Uhl, and his spot is already filled by Joe Weiskamp. In the meantime, Connor McCaffery is walking on for his redshirt season and is expected to join the program for the 2018-19 season, as well.
Obviously, in modern college basketball, you always need contingency plans for potential transfers, and it's certainly not out of the question that Iowa's overloaded frontcourt (or the graduation of onetime redshirt Brady Ellingson) could create the opportunity to add Fredrick. Furthermore, it's not as if the McCafferys are short on the funds to send Connor to school if a portion of Fran's paycheck is converted into an off-the-books scholarship. But for now, the scholarship chart is logjammed.
Frequent readers of this site know that we've increasingly deferred to Iowa's coaching staff regarding unknown recruits. This staff has earned the benefit of all doubt over the last seven years, pulling some of the most productive players in program history out of the proverbial woodwork. And so we'll once again expect that McCaffery did his homework here, and that Fredrick (1) will be able to join this team, and (2) has a role when he gets here. So welcome to Iowa, C.J. Fredrick. It's a Great Day to Be a Hawkeye.