We're still several months out from basketball season, but Iowa's 2018 recruits are on campus and putting in the work this summer to try and help Iowa erase the bad memories of last year's miserable results. Iowa Hoops put out a pair of introduction videos for Joe Wieskamp and C.J. Fredrick this week and while they're hardly revelatory, it's nice to get a taste of their abilities as we move through the doldrums of summer.
Meet the Freshman: Joe Wieskamp pic.twitter.com/ETDhNfF8AR
— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) June 24, 2018
SLAM IT HOME, JOE. It was a little surprising that Wieskamp takes few (if any) outside shots in that video, but hey -- we know from his Muscatine days that he can absolutely set fire to the nets from deep. Hopefully we get to see him do that in a few months in an Iowa uniform, too.
Meet the Freshman: CJ Fredrick pic.twitter.com/PkadMN60ZR
— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) June 27, 2018
The Fredrick video is interesting because, comparatively speaking, we know so much less about him. Wieskamp's every move has been chronicled pretty exhaustively by in-state sources since he was a high school freshman, but Fredrick emerged out of (relative) nowhere to join Iowa's 2018 recruiting class and provide some much-needed backcourt depth.
In a nice bit of synchronicity, Fredrick was also featured in a very good profile by Hawk Central's Mark Emmert this week, which you should definitely go read:
Fredrick’s profile rose throughout the winter, when he averaged 23.1 points and 3.9 assists and led Covington Catholic to a state title at storied Rupp Arena. Kentucky crowns only one state champion, so it was a big moment on a big stage for Fredrick and his teammates. Fredrick scored 32 points in the final game and finished with a school-record 900 for the season.
Fredrick can definitely get buckets and he can definitely fill it up, which is always good. Although Iowa didn't need all that much help scoring last season; it was stopping teams from scoring that was the biggest problem. Could Fredrick help there?
Iowa assistant coach Sherman Dillard has been impressed by Fredrick so far.
“He’s a gym rat, basically, and you can tell he works at his craft. He’s fundamentally sound in every aspect. A lot of time we get caught up in mechanics, and his shot is just pure,” Dillard said.
“He’s a ‘2’ that can play ‘1,’ that’s how I see it. We see him being able to help us with just playmaking and sometimes running the team.”
“Just really getting my feet working, getting quicker laterally, being able to stay in front of quick guards,” Fredrick said of his strength and conditioning sessions at a local gym. “I’ve noticed that it’s definitely working. I can hang with them. I just need to get stronger, but my feet have gotten a lot quicker. I’m going to pride myself on defense and do whatever I can to get better at it.”
It's a lot to ask a true freshman to come in and be a difference-maker on defense, but... lord knows Iowa needs all the help they can get on that end. If Fredrick is able to spell Bohannon or Moss, play decent defense, and make a few buckets, that will be a very welcome contribution. Bohannon and Moss had to play heavy minutes last year after Christian Williams departed before the season and the depth, but there should be a few more options to give them some rest this year between Wieskamp, Fredrick, Maishe Dailey, and a finally healthy Connor McCaffery.