Syracuse Basketball: 4-star commit Donnie Freeman on Naismith watch list

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

Syracuse basketball 2024 commit Donnie Freeman is on the watch list for the top national honor during the 2023-24 season, the Naismith player of the year award.

The 50-person watch list recently came out, and the 6-foot-9 Freeman made the cut, along with numerous former Orange recruiting targets.

Donnie Freeman, a four-star power forward who recently vaulted to No. 20 across the country in the senior class per On3, signed his national letter of intent (“NLI”) to play for Syracuse basketball not too long ago.

The Washington, D.C., native, a long-time recruiting target of the ‘Cuse coaching staff, verbally committed to the Orange in May over other finalists Alabama, Iowa, Texas and Georgia Tech. Freeman went on official visits to the Hill in early April as well as toward the end of September.

Syracuse basketball pledge Donnie Freeman is a contender for this season’s Naismith award.

Freeman earned All-America honors as a junior in helping lead St. John’s College High School in D.C. to a 32-4 record, a top-25 national ranking, and the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (“WCAC”) tournament title.

In early July, Donnie Freeman scored more honors from recruiting experts as he played a key role in the Washington-based Team Takeover winning the 17U Peach Jam championship on Nike’s EYBL circuit.

As a senior in the 2023-24 term that is just getting underway, Freeman is suiting up at the powerhouse IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., which competes in the loaded 10-member National Interscholastic Basketball Conference (“NIBC”).

While at IMG, during NIBC games and at other showcases, Freeman is expected to compete in some encounters on national broadcasts. By extension, several national analysts have told me in recent months that Donnie Freeman, over the course of the 2023-24 stanza, could vie for five-star status in his class.

Freeman is joined in the Orange’s excellent 2024 cycle by four-star shooting guard Elijah Moore. The 6-foot-4 Moore, a top-60 overall player in this class, recently signed his NLI as well to play for the ‘Cuse.

Moore, who is off to a hot start in 2023-24 for the Our Saviour Lutheran School in the Bronx, N.Y., which is a part of the Atlanta-based professional league Overtime Elite, didn’t make the initial watch list for the Naismith award, but hopefully, he can play his way into consideration for this top high school hoops honor throughout the present campaign.

Obviously, a huge congratulations is in order to Donnie Freeman for being in the running for the 2023-24 Naismith award. Here are several former Syracuse basketball targets who also made the Naismith watch list:
•Jalil Bethea, a 2024 five-star guard who is committed to Miami

•Tyler Betsey, a 2024 four-star forward who is committed to Cincinnati

•Ian Jackson, a 2024 five-star guard who is committed to North Carolina

•Patrick Ngongba II, a 2024 five-star center who is committed to Duke

•Darryn Peterson, a 2025 five-star shooting guard

•Derik Queen, a 2024 five-star power forward/center

•Robert Wright III, a 2024 four-star point guard who is committed to Baylor

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