CJ Fredrick made official on Monday what was swirling on twitter late Sunday night, that he is transferring from the Iowa basketball program
— Cj Fredrick (@cj_fredrick) April 19, 2021
The ‘statement’ from Fran McCaffery was referring to was shirt and to the point
Roster update pic.twitter.com/lKwCQxdD3Z
— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) April 19, 2021
Yeah, it doesn’t get much more curt than that. Normally, when a player leaves the program, like what we saw from Jack Nunge a few weeks back, Iowa emails out a longer release with comments from the player and coach. That didn’t happen here.
Just last week, in a press conference, McCaffery was talking about how Fredrick was recovering and the injuries that plagued him will not require surgery. While this is guessing, I think it’s safe to say that Fredrick’s departures came as a surprise to McCaffery.
In late March, there were rumors swirling on Kentucky message boards and Kentucky twitter that Fredrick might somehow be available. There have been some screenshots of facebook posts believed to be CJ’s uncle that have come into the light in the past 24 hours, some posts from weeks ago, that hinted that CJ might be leaving, replying to a Kentucky fan that ‘help (is) coming’ after a Kentucky loss to Mississippi State in March.
I can’t say with 100% certainty that such comments are a smoking gun that Fredrick and his family had made up their minds for CJ to leave Iowa at that time. IF they had come to that decision as far back as six weeks ago, then I could see why there was a curt reply from Iowa.
Marc Morehouse and I spoke about these rumors a bit on our March 26th podcast. The video below is cued up to the point where we discuss the rumors. While I didn’t think he would leave, I did have one caveat that I left open:
That makes two players that have left the team in recent weeks, two players I had penciled in as starters for next year when I wrote this 2022-2022 item a few weeks back.
While CJ is a bit of a ‘dependent guard’, meaning his ultimate success is dependent on spacing and other players doing their thing, he was probably the second least dependent guard on the team last year, behind Joe Wieskamp. He is also an above average defender, a dead eye shooter and showed a knack for being able to get to the lane and hit the midrange floaters.
His loss is definitely a blow to next year’s team, and McCaffery will really need to work the transfer portal, something he doesn’t seem all that fond of, but something he must do, in order to try and put a decent team on the floor next year. It’s not that Iowa doesn’t have some nice pieces its bringing back, it’s that they have some glaring issues, with big man depth and three-point shooting among them…just to name a couple of areas.
However, there are well over 1,000 players in the transfer portal so there is still time.