Syracuse Basketball: Adrian Autry keeps it real with 4-star big on SU visit

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

Four-star junior big man Donnie Freeman from Washington, D.C., who is a top-30 national prospect in the 2024 class, just wrapped up an official visit to Syracuse basketball. That visit went well, the 6-foot-9 power forward told SyracuseOnSI publisher Mike McAllister in an interview.

At this juncture in his recruiting process, Freeman has taken official visits to the Hill, Alabama, Texas and Iowa. He said to McAllister that he’s not sure if he will take a fifth official visit as part of his junior year, and he also doesn’t have a decision timetable at this juncture.

On his recent official visit to the ‘Cuse, new Syracuse basketball head coach Adrian Autry and his assistants told Freeman in a candid, honest way how they view him as part of the Orange’s 2024 cycle, which at this point includes one commit, four-star shooting guard Elijah Moore out of Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, N.Y.

Might Freeman ultimately join Moore in the ‘Cuse 2024 class? That remains to be seen, although the ‘Cuse does appear to have solid recruiting momentum with Freeman, who is a standout junior for St. John’s College High School in D.C. as well as the Washington-based Team Takeover in Nike’s EYBL league.

Donnie Freeman, a 2024 four-star big man, says he enjoyed his recent official visit to Syracuse basketball.

Freeman put forth a fabulous 2022-23 season for St. John’s College High School, which was nationally ranked for much of this past term. For his junior-year efforts, he has picked up a boatload of awards and honors.

In helping lead St. John’s College High School to the 2023 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (“WCAC”) tournament title, Freeman was named to the WCAC All-League first team and The Washington Post’s All-Met first squad. Freeman also received a honorable-mention nod for the MaxPreps 2022-23 All-America teams for the 2024 class.

It’s reasonable to think that the Orange could have a good shot at landing a commitment from Freeman.

While he has picked up nearly 20 offers from a range of high-major programs, Syracuse basketball has been pursuing Freeman since early on in his recruiting process. The ‘Cuse offered a scholarship to him in August of 2021, when Freeman competed in the team’s annual Elite Camp.

That was the Orange’s first offer to a 2024 prospect. Also, both Autry and new Syracuse basketball assistant coach Brenden Straughn were previously coaches for the Team Takeover program.

On Freeman’s official visit, his host player was sophomore forward Benny Williams, who is also from the D.C. market and played for Team Takeover.

"Freeman said in part to McAllister, “My family is a (DMV) family so we’re big on being real with you. Being 100. Syracuse did just that. My mom and dad were already close with Autry and coach B. Just getting a better feel for them. This was my mom and sister’s first time on campus. They got to see everything and were kind of wowed by it.”"

He added, “I definitely could see myself there. I mean I could see myself there before (the visit). I really liked the visit.”

It’s certainly no guarantee that Freeman is going to choose the ‘Cuse when he makes his commitment announcement. But I do get the sense that his official visit only helped the Orange’s chances to prevail for Freeman, who per the industry-generated 247Sports Composite is No. 28 overall, No. 4 at power forward and No. 1 in D.C. within the junior cycle.

Next. 5-star PG wants to see how new Syracuse basketball staff does in 2023-24. dark