Syracuse Basketball: Top scouts evaluate 4-star commit Donnie Freeman

Syracuse basketball, Donnie Freeman (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball, Donnie Freeman (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports) /

Donnie Freeman, a 2024 four-star power forward from Washington, D.C., who verbally committed to Syracuse basketball in May, put forth a strong string of performances in recent months on the AAU circuit, boosting his national stock in the rising-senior class.

The 6-foot-9 Freeman, who picked the Orange over Alabama, Iowa, Texas and Georgia Tech, recently moved to No. 18 across the country, per MADE Hoops. When On3 updated its 2024 national ratings in recent days, Donnie Freeman was placed at No. 31 overall.

The primary recruiting services (247Sports, ESPN, On3 and all have him inside the top 45, with Freeman nearing the top 30 in some places. He’s also the consensus No. 1 player in our nation’s capital within the 2024 cycle, along with a top five to a top 10 power forward in this class.

As a junior in the 2022-23 season, Donnie Freeman won various local and national awards as he helped lead St. John’s College High School in D.C. to a top-25 national ranking. In 2023-24, as a senior, he will contend for All-America honors, and he should be a candidate for the McDonald’s All-American game as well, I believe.

In recent days, Donnie Freeman announced on social media that he would transfer for his senior year to the powerhouse IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., which is part of the loaded 10-member National Interscholastic Basketball Conference (“NIBC”).

In July, Freeman helped lead the Washington-based Team Takeover in Nike EYBL’s league to the 17U title at the annual Peach Jam tournament in North Augusta, S.C. At Peach Jam, part of which was held during an NCAA live period with the Orange coaching staff in attendance, he averaged 12.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per contest, landing on The Circuit’s All-Peach Jam first team.

Top scouts weigh in on the skill set of Syracuse basketball 2024 four-star commit Donnie Freeman.

In recent weeks, I came across new evaluations on Freeman from a pair of experts, 247Sports director of scouting Adam Finkelstein and MADE Hoops scouting analyst Tony McNiff.

"Finkelstein writes that this Syracuse basketball commit “has a wealth of tools with good size, soft hands, touch, mobility, and athleticism, that give him the potential to be a versatile two-way player.”"

Finkelstein notes that Freeman, these days, is turning his potential into more consistent production, although the top scout adds that Freeman has to get physically stronger and continue to up his impact on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor.

Freeman is a “solid” rebounder, but can be more aggressive there, and he has to work on slimming down his turnovers and being more “of a creator off the bounce,” Finkelstein says. Even at 6-foot-9, the 247Sports scout says that Freeman can score at all three levels, that is, from beyond the arc, in the mid-range and in the interior.

McNiff echoes Finkelstein’s assessment when he writes that Donnie Freeman “oozes with long-term upside due to his abundance of physical tools.”

Both scouts agree that Freeman is an athletic and bouncy finisher around the hoop, and he has intriguing scoring versatility for a player of his height and length, along with soft hands and good mobility.

McNiff and Finkelstein, along with other analysts and scouts, have praised Freeman for his keen ability to convert shots in the paint after hitting the offensive glass. He’s also excellent at handling lobs and throwing down electric dunks, the latter of which he displayed on ESPNU last month in the championship game of the Peach Jam’s 17U tournament.

"Here’s a bit more from McNiff, who adds that Donnie Freeman is a “smooth face-up scorer with a high release point & comfortability inside the arc. Also has flashed some impressive grab & go ability while showcasing his advanced ball skills.”"

I think that Freeman, assuming he has a great senior year at IMG, will contend for five-star status in the 2024 class. Even if that doesn’t end up transpiring, it’s safe to say that I and other ‘Cuse fans out there are going to love seeing him don a Syracuse basketball uniform down the line.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: If 5-star commits, 2024 class may be No. 1 nationally. dark