It's Still Wait-And-See On Fredrick
CJ Fredrick’s status is still in wait-and-see mode.
The Iowa redshirt freshman guard, who has missed the last two games with a sprained right ankle, is questionable for Tuesday’s game at Michigan State.
Asked about Fredrick’s status during Monday’s teleconference, Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said, “Still not sure. Still working on it.”
McCaffery said he won’t rush to get Fredrick back on the court. Iowa has four regular-season games remaining, plus the Big Ten tournament and then the postseason.
“You’ve got to balance his eagerness with sensibility,” McCaffery said. “For him, what I told him was we would love to have him play Tuesday, and Saturday (at home against Penn State), and every game after that. But we’re not going to run him out there until he’s 100 percent.”
Fredrick injured his ankle in the 89-77 loss to Indiana on Feb. 13. He missed the Feb. 16 game at Minnesota, and then last Thursday’s home game against Ohio State. Iowa won both games.
“He’s a lot further along than he was a couple of days ago.” McCaffery said. “We kind of thought maybe for Ohio State, but once we got closer it was clear that it was not the time. We’re going to go today, see what he does today, and then we’ll do some things tomorrow and make a decision.
“I just tell him, ‘Look, we know you’re anxious to get out there. But we’re not going to run you out there until you’re ready. So don’t feel like there’s any pressure on you.’”
Fredrick, who missed two games earlier this season with a stress reaction in his left foot, averages 10.7 points per game. He has started 22 games this season, and is second on the team in three-pointers with 42.
Forward Ryan Kriener has moved into Fredrick’s starting spot the last two games. The Hawkeyes have also gotten strong play from reserve guard Bakari Evelyn, a graduate transfer who has scored 22 points in the last two games, playing 29 minutes in both.
Asked what it means to have an experienced guard like Evelyn available, especially this late in the season, McCaffery said, “It’s definitely critical. He’s a guy who really understands the game, really a thinker. Even though he’s a new guy, he’s a veteran guy. He’s been through the wars.
“I think our system is perfectly suited for him. His teammates love him and respect him and encourage him. All of that stuff is good for his confidence as he gets better. When you have a veteran guy with versatility, as you come down the stretch and you’re dealing with any kind of injury, he’s an incredibly valuable guy to have.”