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Kentucky Basketball Player Preview: CJ Fredrick

Covington’s own has already proved himself as one of the best shooters in the country.

Syndication: The Courier-Journal Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Last season, Kentucky had two of the best shooters in the country on the roster in Kellan Grady and CJ Fredrick.

Unfortunately, Fredrick was unable to play due to a foot injury that required surgery and then a hamstring injury.

Thankfully, he’s fully recovered and is set for a major role for the 2022-23 Kentucky Wildcats.

CJ Fredrick

  • Height: 6-foot-3
  • Weight: 185 lbs.
  • Class: Redshirt Senior
  • Position: Guard
  • Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
  • High School: Covington Catholic
  • Recruit Rankings: 4-star recruit ranked No. 242 overall and No. 53 among shooting guards in the class of 2018 via 247 Sports Composite.

If you look at the numbers, Fredrick is a world-class shooter. With a career 46.6% three-point average, Fredrick would have led the nation last season and would rank third all-time in Kentucky basketball history.

After an entire season of rehab and conditioning, Fredrick looks ready to contribute and bring that elite shooting to this roster.

As a senior in high school, Fredrick led Covington Catholic to a state title and won five different Kentucky Player of the Year awards, averaging 27.8 points per game.

Following high school, Fredrick committed to play for the Iowa Hawkeyes but redshirted after a rib injury in practice. As a redshirt freshman, Fredrick averaged 10.2 points and 2.8 assists per game with an impressive 46.1% clip from three, which was good enough for an All-Big Ten Freshman Team selection.

Fredrick’s numbers took a slight hit in 2020-21, averaging 7.5 points and 1.9 assists per game, but his three-point percentage did improve to 47.4%. With that said, he did start all 26 games he appeared in and was named All-Big Ten Honorable Mention.

The Big Blue Nation got the chance to see CJ Fredrick in three games back in August during the team’s Bahamas trip. However, it is important to note that he was on a minute restriction as a part of his recovery.

In his three appearances, Fredrick averaged just 12 minutes per game. While his 4 points per game and 20% shooting from three was underwhelming, he did show good vision and passing ability, tallying six assists.

In Kentucky’s recent 56-38 exhibition win over Missouri Western State, Fredrick recorded 15 points on 5/8 shooting (4/6 from deep) with three boards and an assist.

“It felt awesome,” Fredrick said of finally playing in front of a Rupp Arena crowd. “Not playing in a year and a half, I put a lot of hard work into this moment. So, many thanks to all the trainers that have helped me this past year. It was a long year, but being able to get out there and compete again with this group, it was awesome. It was a blessing.”

“He (Fredrick) moves his team, he plays so hard, he talks on defense,” John Calipari said following the game. “Did you see him push Jacob to a man and then he went and guarded the other man? I mean, it’s nice when you have older guys that really know what they’re doing out there.

“He’s special.”

With his shooting and underrated passing ability, Fredrick will be valuable on the offensive end. That value increases even more when you consider the fact that Fredrick doesn’t turn the ball over. At Iowa, Fredrick had the seventh-best turnover rate (5.6) in the country in 2020-21.

If Fredrick can stay injury free, expect him to be a key piece for this Kentucky team.

Here is a video of Fredrick’s 50 best plays of his college career thus far.

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