C.J. Fredrick’s departure a factor in Jordan Bohannon’s return
Marion native also wants to provide leadership to young players
By Tyler Devine
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Many factors impacted Jordan Bohannon’s decision to return for a sixth year with the Iowa men’s basketball team.
One of those factors was the surprise departure of shooting guard C.J. Fredrick, who when healthy was one of Iowa’s best shooters.
Iowa announced April 19 that Fredrick had submitted his name to the NCAA transfer portal.
Bohannon, who is using the extra year of eligibility granted to 2020-21 athletes by the NCAA due to the COVID-19 pandemic, announced his intention to return Monday on Twitter.
“C.J.’s decision to decide to transfer allowed me to reopen that gate,” Bohannon said. “And coach McCaffery to re-recruit me to kind of be more of a combo guard this year. That definitely played a role. With C.J.’s decision, I’m a huge coach McCaffery guy, he’s been backing me since day one, and I’m a huge college athlete guy. I believe if someone wants to leave somewhere they deserve to. That’s as far as I’ll get into that. I love C.J., I love coach McCaffery and I’m hoping for the best for C.J.”
Rumors had been swirling for some time about Fredrick’s desire to leave and Bohannon’s desire to return.
Some rumors surrounding Fredrick’s departure were perpetuated while Iowa’s season was still going on.
Despite that, the 6-foot-1 Bohannon – who is the school’s all-time leader in assists, made 3-pointers and games played – spoke highly of Fredrick during a press conference on Tuesday.
“It’s hard seeing C.J. go because he’s a great friend of myself and a fantastic teammate,” Bohannon said. “His teammate mentality never faltered when people said he was transferring. He was always a great guy to be on the court with, a great guy to be on the court with. The locker room was never impacted by it.”
Another factor in Bohannon’s decision to return was to use his experience to provide leadership to Iowa’s corps on young players.
Bohannon, a native of Marion, needs to play 15 games to break the all-time NCAA record currently held by Ohio State’s David Lighty, and currently sits ninth on Iowa’s all-time scoring list with 1,638 points.
Bohannon also said that he originally did not want to return because he did not want to inhibit junior guard Joe Toussaint’s development.
Toussaint started 20 games during the 2019-20 season in place of Bohannon, who had season-ending hip surgery, but was Bohannon’s backup during the entire 2020-21 season.
Now, Bohannon will take on more of a shooting guard role while Toussaint will likely step into the role of Iowa’s starting point guard.
“Coach McCaffery got me in his office a couple times and re-recruited me and laid down the framework of what he wanted this year from me,” Bohannon said. “One of them was to be able to provide my leadership to the young guys that played last year and are going to experience arenas are going to, hopefully, be full with fans. It’s a totally different game with that happened. He wants someone to be that guy to continue to provide leadership for what’s about to happen in this incredible journey that we’re on.”