After stockpiling athleticism and size at the guard and wing positions over the last few recruiting classes, Xavier is prioritizing skilled shooters in the 2018 class. For that reason, local guard CJ Fredrick from Covington Catholic High School is a name to keep an eye on during this high school season.
Fredrick was one of the several recruits that visited campus for Musketeer Madness on Oct. 22.
"It was great," Fredrick said. "I thought it was a great environment to see all the support they had and I had a real fun time."
Fredrick is known for his shooting ability, but he's a good scorer with length and a well-rounded skill-set. He averaged 10.7 points per game as a sophomore and shot 51.7 percent from the field including 40.2 percent from 3-point range. While evaluating him at a practice on Thursday, his vision and feel for passing stood out more than anything.
CovCath coach Scott Ruthsatz said the following when asked about what parts of Fredrick's game will translate best at the college level: "I think his unselfishness. He's a willing passer. I think the one thing he's done a lot better is getting stronger. He's a lot more aggressive going to the rim, won't get bumped off as easily on drives. That's just going to help him because we know he can shoot. Now, you have to play the drive and he's really unselfish so then you have to defend against all three. What he continues to need to work on is his strength and his explosiveness around the rim. I think the sky is the limit for him."
Ruthsatz made the visit to Musketeer Madness with Fredrick and mentioned that he is really familiar with the Xavier program. His brother-in-law went to Xavier and graduated from there in the 70s.
"I grew up going to Schmidt Fieldhouse," Ruthsatz said. "I go way back. I remember seeing Anthony Hicks and all those different guys. Chris (Mack) has done a great job there. It's a tremendous place. They fill it. The atmosphere (at Musketeer Madness) was tremendous."
Fredrick had been on campus once earlier in the summer to see some of the facilities, but this time he saw the Cintas Center in action with over 6,000 fans.
"It's nice," he said. "It's open, bright. It's a good place to play in."
He also had the opportunity to check out the newly-opened weight room after the event was over.
"I liked it a lot," Fredrick said. "It's big, it's open. It's all right there on campus, basketball-only… I thought that was cool."
Xavier has yet to pull the trigger on offering Fredrick, but they've been recruiting him like a serious target. Chris Mack and Travis Steele have stopped by CovCath multiple times this fall. From his perspective, Fredrick sees the Musketeers' roster as a good fit for him, especially with their 2017 class consisting of top 40 prospects Paul Scruggs and Naji Marshall.
"They like my versatility, being able to play point guard or shooting guard, my length, and just my ability to shoot and make shots," he said of his conversations with Xavier's coaches. "They have a lot of big athletes that can score, but they also need shooters. I think I'd be a nice fit with my ability to shoot the ball."
Iowa, Miami (OH), Ball State, Wright State, and Winthrop have extended offers so far, according to Fredrick. Iowa had an assistant at CovCath for practice on Thursday.
He's also receiving serious interest from one of the Musketeers' biggest conference rivals. He recently visited Butler.
"I really liked it," Fredrick said of his visit to Butler. "Their campus was nice. Hinkle was spectacular. It was neat to see how they brought in the new and the old and kept it together."
He plans to visit Iowa on Nov. 12 in addition to Minnesota and Nebraska in the future.