Fredrick Glad To Be Back After Injury
EVANSTON, Ill. — CJ Fredrick didn't mind cheering on his Iowa teammates from the bench.
He would have rather done it while in uniform.
Instead, the Iowa redshirt freshman guard spent two games out with a stress reaction in his left foot.
That, he said, wasn't a lot of fun.
"I hate not playing," Fredrick said.
Fredrick was back on the court, and back in the starting lineup, in Tuesday's 75-62 win over Northwestern.
Fredrick played almost 31 minutes, finishing with 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting. He missed his first two 3-point attempts, then hit three of his last five.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said on Monday that Fredrick was still "day-to-day" with the injury, which led to Fredrick wearing a walking boot while on the sidelines for last Tuesday's game at Nebraska and Friday's home game against Maryland.
But Fredrick was able to get some work in on Sunday and Monday, and was cleared to play.
"He was cleared to do some things on Sunday," McCaffery said. "He shot around a little bit. Rode the bike. Yesterday he shot around a little more.
"They said he was good to go. He was good to go, he’s going to be in the starting lineup. We put him back in there, and he really produced."
Fredrick admitted frustration in not being able to play.
"It’s not being able to do anything," he said. "Just sitting in a boot, watching practice. Not being out there with them, it’s definitely a low.
"I tried to stay positive. Everybody kept saying be optimistic, stay positive."
Fredrick missed two 3-point attempt in the first three minutes. His third attempt, a 3-pointer with 7:10 left in the first half, started a streak of three consecutive made threes for him.
"I really haven’t been able to get a lot of (shots) up," Fredrick said. "A week and a half in the boot, so I knew I would come out a little rusty. I got the first two out. That third one felt good."
Fredrick, who came into the game hitting 50 percent of his 3-point attempts, helped soften Northwestern's defense. Iowa's interior game had seen packed defenses from Nebraska and Maryland.
"It helps having another sniper out there on the perimeter," forward Ryan Kriener said.
“You miss him out there, especially with the double-teams,” center Luka Garza said. “When the double-teams came around, we swung it around to him. When CJ is hitting threes, it’s a nice feeling having him back in the lineup.”
Fredrick matched a career high with five assists.
"He gives you another 3-point shooter," McCaffery said. "But it’s so much more than that. You look at the five assists — he’s a post feeder, he moves the ball. He’s just got a great feel. He’s just a guy who understands what we want, processes the game plan.
"He’s a baller."
"Just to be back on the court again, playing the game I love, it’s a lot of fun," Fredrick said.
Fredrick said there was some pain in the foot after the game. The key, he said, would be how he would feel on Wednesday morning.
"I tried to keep the faith, stay positive," he said. "And here we are."