Syracuse Basketball: 4-star big man Donnie Freeman commits to Orange

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

Syracuse basketball head coach Adrian Autry landed the first high-school recruit of his tenure as the Orange’s boss on Thursday afternoon, as 2024 four-star big man Donnie Freeman from Washington, D.C., gave a verbal commitment to the ‘Cuse, a massive recruiting win for the team.

Via the 247Sports YouTube page, the 6-foot-9 power forward said that he would commit to Syracuse basketball over other finalists Alabama, Iowa, Texas and Georgia Tech.

According to most recruiting services, Donnie Freeman is rated as a top-40 national prospect, a top-seven power forward and the No. 1 player in our nation’s capital within the junior cycle.

Leading up to Freeman’s commitment announcement, Syracuse basketball had received a lot of analyst buzz in his recruitment on the 247Sports Web site, and the On3 Web site. So it was not a surprise to me that, on Thursday afternoon, Freeman verbally committed to the ‘Cuse.

Syracuse basketball has earned a tremendous commitment in 2024 four-star big man Donnie Freeman.

Freeman has gotten nearly 20 offers throughout his recruiting process. The Orange coaching staff was one of his early suitors, offering Freeman a scholarship back in August of 2021. Of his five finalists, he took official visits to all of them, except for Georgia Tech, which only offered him a scholarship more recently.

Since Autry took over as the ‘Cuse head coach from the Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim, he and his staff, including new assistant coach Brenden Straughn, have clearly shown Donnie Freeman that he is a top priority for the Orange in its 2024 class.

Freeman went on an official visit to the Hill in early April, at which time Syracuse basketball coaches, led by Autry, kept it real with him as to how much they wanted him and how they envision Freeman fitting into the program down the line.

Lately, ‘Cuse coaches traveled to D.C. at least twice to meet with Freeman in person. The Orange coaching staff also watched him in late April amid NCAA live periods on the AAU circuit.

In the 2022-23 season, Donnie Freeman was a standout junior for the nationally-ranked St. John’s College High School in D.C., which captured the 2023 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (“WCAC”) tournament title. High-school hoops analysts project St. John’s College High School as a preseason top-25 squad ahead of the 2023-24 stanza, when Freeman will be a senior.

In grassroots basketball, Freeman is a star for the Washington-based Team Takeover in Nike’s EYBL league, a program where both Autry and Straughn served as assistants in the past. Four-star junior wing Caleb Williams and four-star junior center Patrick Ngongba II, both of whom play alongside Freeman with Team Takeover, recently picked up scholarship offers from Syracuse basketball.

In the Orange’s 2024 cycle, Freeman joins four-star shooting guard Elijah Moore from New York City. The 6-foot-4 Moore verbally committed to the ‘Cuse in late January. He is a top-70 overall player and a top-20 shooting guard in the junior class.

A huge welcome from Orange Nation to Donnie Freeman. He and Moore are a stellar start to the team’s 2024 cycle.

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