Syracuse Basketball: 5-star priority big man has pro potential, analysts say

Syracuse basketball (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

When June 15 comes, Syracuse basketball coaches and their peers around the country will be able to start making direct contact with high-school prospects in the 2024 class.

As that deadline passes, it seems that the Orange coaching staff is going to ramp up its recruitment of 2024 five-star big man Donnie Freeman, an extremely talented 6-foot-9 power forward from Washington, D.C.

Even though ‘Cuse coaches haven’t been able to initiate direct contact with Freeman, I’m getting the sense that Syracuse basketball has been recruiting him hard regardless, likely communicating with the top-flight sophomore through his high-school and AAU coaches, and perhaps Freeman’s family members.

We’ve noted on many occasions that the Orange offered a scholarship to Freeman last August at the team’s annual Elite Camp. It was the first offer made by the ‘Cuse to a 2024 player, which Freeman called “mind blowing to me” in a recent interview with SyracuseOnSI publisher Mike McAllister.

Syracuse basketball should get an official visit from five-star Donnie Freeman in the future.

Freeman, a sophomore who had a strong 2021-22 campaign for St. John’s College High School in D.C., is a member of the Washington-based Team Takeover in Nike’s EYBL league on the grassroots basketball circuit.

In recent recruiting cycles, several players with ‘Cuse connections have ties to either Team Takeover or the Washington hoops market as a whole, including freshman forward Benny Williams, 2022 four-star commits Judah Mintz and Justin Taylor, as well as 2022 three-star signee Maliq Brown.

Freeman is a five-star prospect according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite. Most recruiting services place him within the top-25 nationally in his class.

He told McAllister and basketball recruiting director Rob Cassidy that when he’s able to make campus trips, Freeman plans to take an official visit to the Hill, which is a great sign for the Orange’s chances in his recruitment.

At the recent Mayhem in Maryland event, where AAU squads battled each other in Baltimore, Freeman earned some nice praise from a couple of national analysts and scouts for his performance there.

Cassidy, in a separate piece, watched Freeman play at Mayhem in Maryland. The analyst says that Freeman “has long-term pro potential,” noting that the Syracuse basketball recruit “showed off elite athleticism in stretches and has the skill set to take over games as he learns to play hard for longer stretches.”

At this AAU event, 247Sports director of scouting Adam Finkelstein wrote in part that Freeman “made a handful of extremely high-level plays that screamed of his long-term potential.”

At this juncture, his other offers include from Alabama, Maryland, Georgetown, Virginia Tech, Xavier, George Mason and Old Dominion. Louisville is also showing interest in Freeman, McAllister noted.

Freeman told McAllister, “I really like Syracuse and they recruit DMV players hard. That’s really where it’s at right now.”

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