IOWA CITY — Iowa men’s basketball signed two to its class of 2018 on Wednesday — one of which was committed a long time ago and the other came a little out of nowhere over the summer.
The Hawkeyes made official their signing of Muscatine’s Joe Wieskamp and Alexandria, Ky., product C.J. Fredrick (Covington Catholic), and sealed up the nation’s 45th-ranked recruiting class.
Wieskamp signed his national letter of intent Wednesday morning at the Muscatine High School auditorium, while Fredrick sent his NLI in midafternoon. The pair of them will help boost an Iowa backcourt that lost Christian Williams to transfer and Peter Jok to graduation last year.
Fredrick was a bit of a surprise verbal commit back in August, considering there wasn’t an open scholarship for next year at the time, but he should be in line for that now with Williams’ departure. Regardless, head coach Fran McCaffery said via news release the connection he had to Fredrick’s family and knowing his versatility sealed the Hawkeyes’ interest.
“I’ve been impressed with C.J. going back to when we first started watching him play,” McCaffery said in the release. “He’s equally adept at making plays for himself and his teammates that help you win. C.J. is fiercely competitive and can play multiple positions. He felt comfortable here during the recruiting process, watched us on TV, and really studied our program. I coached his uncle and have known his father for a long time. There was that comfort level with me. C.J. likes our style of play and was willing to commit to us even when there was not a scholarship available immediately.”
Fredrick averaged 19.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals while shooting 54.5 percent overall and 40.4 percent from 3-point range in 19 games as a junior at Covington. He helped guide his team to a district title and regional runner-up, helping them to a No. 6 ranking in the state.
As for Wieskamp, the 2017 Gatorade Player of the Year in Iowa was certainly no secret and one of the highest-ranked recruits McCaffery has ever signed. He’s got all the bona fides: school record-holder in career points (1,573), points in a game (50), 3-pointerrs in a single season (62), career rebounds and scoring average (30.4 last year).
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Wieskamp said Wednesday at his signing the two years from which he verbally committed to now has allowed him to get a head start on getting to know those in the program.
“I’ve been committed for a while, so to make it official feels great,” Wieskamp said. “That’s probably the best part about it, being committed so early. I was able to build relationships with the coaches and a lot of current and former players.”
McCaffery’s statement in Iowa’s release on the recruits reflected that relationship-building, too.
“We could not be more thrilled because he epitomizes everything you look for,” McCaffery said in the release. “Joe can help you win in a lot of different ways. He has one of the best 3-point shooting strokes I have ever seen. He is also a terrific rebounder, can attack the rim, is unselfish, and can affect the game defensively, which for good offensive players is not always the case. He understands how to win and does what it takes to win.”
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