Class of 2024 - PF Donnie Freeman (MD / IMG) COMMITTED & SIGNED TO SYRACUSE (5/11/23) | Page 53 | Syracusefan.com

Class of 2024 PF Donnie Freeman (MD / IMG) COMMITTED & SIGNED TO SYRACUSE (5/11/23)

There isn't a world where we need him to hit 3's next season, no matter the roster makeup. He'll have his hands full learning the physicality underneath, rebounding and defense.
Freeman looks really good for a 6'9"guy handling the ball. We had high hopes for Benny Williams, but Freeman had a couple highlights dribbling that make Williams' best dribbling moves look awkward.

If Freeman winds up guarded by a guy like NC State's Burns, we want Burns to play up on him to guard the three, so Freeman can go around him and dunk.

I know this is Freeman's upside, he might not be able to do it next year... He just keeps getting better and better, though.

EDIT: I just watched some more recent highlights. One was a whole game where IMG was beating up on a badly overmatched opponent, so quality of competition warning.

Freeman has a true jump shot out to three point range. It's slow, but he's actually getting up a bit and has a pretty high release, so he should be able to get it off when he's open.

He also did a couple nice looking Euro step drives to finish at the rim. He doesn't usually seem to try to drive in the half court yet, but will dribble in transition, all the way to the basket if you let him.

He also had a couple sweet outlet passes.
 
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Freeman looks really good for a 6'9"guy handling the ball. We had high hopes for Benny Williams, but Freeman had a couple highlights dribbling that make Williams' best dribbling moves look awkward.

If Freeman winds up guarded by a guy like NC State's Burns, we want Burns to play up on him to guard the three, so Freeman can go around him and dunk.

I know this is Freeman's upside, he might not be able to do it next year... He just keeps getting better and better, though.
His handle does look good. I'm just saying that, him learning the game inside then out, is to his benefit and ours, imo. See Benny for the latest example of bigs wanting to be Steph Curry, and not working out at all.
 
His handle does look good. I'm just saying that, him learning the game inside then out, is to his benefit and ours, imo. See Benny for the latest example of bigs wanting to be Steph Curry, and not working out at all.
Williams shooting open threes was not a problem. He hit 40% last year.

This year, who knows what he was thinking...
 
Not sure people are giving Red the full credit for how massive of a pick up Donnie is for us.

He’s a potential one and done prospect that will help day 1 and could help lead the way and show other elite hs prospects that they can come play at Cuse too.

For this to be Reds first commitment and to bring in Elijah Moore as well, is a huge first recruiting class and really puts us back squarely in the mix for top recruits, where we were accustomed to for many years.
 
Not sure people are giving Red the full credit for how massive of a pick up Donnie is for us.

He’s a potential one and done prospect that will help day 1 and could help lead the way and show other elite hs prospects that they can come play at Cuse too.

For this to be Reds first commitment and to bring in Elijah Moore as well, is a huge first recruiting class and really puts us back squarely in the mix for top recruits, where we were accustomed to for many years.

Moreover - we were 100% OUT on Donnie while JAB was still the coach.

It was literally only after he retired got shown the door, that Donnie's interest ticked up again.
Red and crew closed that.

Choppa seems like he was more committed to Syracuse than JAB or Red, but it's certainly great that we've kept him onboard. Will bring some much-needed shooting and scoring punch off the bench in year 1, and probably be a starter in year 2.
 
Not sure people are giving Red the full credit for how massive of a pick up Donnie is for us.

He’s a potential one and done prospect that will help day 1 and could help lead the way and show other elite hs prospects that they can come play at Cuse too.

For this to be Reds first commitment and to bring in Elijah Moore as well, is a huge first recruiting class and really puts us back squarely in the mix for top recruits, where we were accustomed to for many years.
This is why I'm scoping out the offseason portal. Making the tourney and having a good showing next season is the needed step to continue successful recruiting. BIG BIG offseason for Red. Keep who we need to keep, say goodbye where we need to and add the missing pieces.
 
Unfortunately I no longer have access to the private stat databases to provide more value to you guys in terms of high school stats, but fortunately, Elijah, Donnie, and Kiyan all play in leagues that official stat tracking so I can still sum it up for you.

In EYBL Scholastic, Donnie Freeman is averaging:
  • 28.3 minutes
  • 14.8 points
  • 2.1 assists
  • 7.4 rebounds
  • 1.2 steals
  • 0.8 blocks
  • 63/28/74 shooting splits (2PT/3PT/FT) for a pretty good TS% of 58.5%.
  • On the year, he's attempted 36 3 pointers compared to 64 2 pointers and 31 free throws. His 3 point attempt rate of 36.0% is close to guys like JJ Starling and Benny Williams this year. Would definitely like to see him improve his shooting if he's going to shoot 3's that much. His free throw rate of 31% is alright, a little higher than Maliq Brown this season.
  • Per 40 minutes, his points/assists/rebounds/steals/blocks jumps up to 20.9/3.0/10.5/1.7/1.1. Really nice numbers.
  • Among the 87 players with at least 100 minutes in EYBL Scholastic this season, Donnie is 13th in rebounds per 40 minutes, 22nd in points per 40, and 24th in blocks per 40. His assists and steals are both in the top half of the league as well.

Stats are stats. Here are some highlights from IMG this year. He's not just a PF.

 
Williams shooting open threes was not a problem. He hit 40% last year.

This year, who knows what he was thinking...
My point being, look at all the places he didn't develop first and foremost. I couldn't care less about him ever shooting a 3 at the 4 spot when he needed to learn and show the basics of the position first. If you can board, be physical, have one post move minimum and defend, then go ahead and shoot 3's. I'd just love for a 4 to come in and do the prerequisites for the position before wanting to play on the outside, it's a waste unless you're a total sniper, imo.
 
Moreover - we were 100% OUT on Donnie while JAB was still the coach.

It was literally only after he retired got shown the door, that Donnie's interest ticked up again.
Red and crew closed that.

Choppa seems like he was more committed to Syracuse than JAB or Red, but it's certainly great that we've kept him onboard. Will bring some much-needed shooting and scoring punch off the bench in year 1, and probably be a starter in year 2.
Along with JB retiring the biggest uptick is when he hired Brenden Straughn who had ties to Donnie. If Red doesn't make that hire Donnie doesn't come here.
 
Pete Hollis Showcase: Day 1 Top Performers

Donnie Freeman has been on an upward trajectory for the past 14 or so months. And that has continued, as he keeps showcasing new aspects of his game. Freeman has a smooth jump shot with a high release. He is able to get to his balance points off two dribbles or coming off movement. He shot comfortably in the mid-range as well as spot shooting from three. Freeman also showed some footwork and counters in the mid-range. Getting to spots and creating space to get his high-releasing shot off. The Syracuse signee is a lengthy player, he has a projectable frame, already adding good weight. He moves very well laterally with natural timing. On3 made him a five-star in the latest 2024 On3 150 update, it will be interesting to see where he ends up in the next, and final ranking. He finished this one with 14 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and two blocks, going 2-of-4 from three.”
 
Pete Hollis Showcase: Day 1 Top Performers

Donnie Freeman has been on an upward trajectory for the past 14 or so months. And that has continued, as he keeps showcasing new aspects of his game. Freeman has a smooth jump shot with a high release. He is able to get to his balance points off two dribbles or coming off movement. He shot comfortably in the mid-range as well as spot shooting from three. Freeman also showed some footwork and counters in the mid-range. Getting to spots and creating space to get his high-releasing shot off. The Syracuse signee is a lengthy player, he has a projectable frame, already adding good weight. He moves very well laterally with natural timing. On3 made him a five-star in the latest 2024 On3 150 update, it will be interesting to see where he ends up in the next, and final ranking. He finished this one with 14 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and two blocks, going 2-of-4 from three.”

I'm telling you, his game reminds me of a young Kevin Durant. Nice shooting stroke, obviously high release point, has a nice midrange game, good at 2 dribble moves to get open. Skinny ass legs, too, just like Durant.
 
La Lu's starting center didn't play in the game but Donnie took advantage in a big way nonetheless.
 
Yeah, Freeman will start. Looking to regain SU's toughness down low, Freeman and Maliq will be a heck of a duo on the boards. Will be interesting to see how Red schemes a lineup with both once the portal chips fall.

Freeman could just be the chip that turns the program back to notoriety.
 

Anyone with ESPN+ I highly encourage you to go rewatch the IMG La Lumiere game from today. Donnie had the most impressive NIBC game that I have seen of anyone to this point in the year. Truly dominant performance.
That was an extremely impressive performance and get me super excited for next year!
 

Anyone with ESPN+ I highly encourage you to go rewatch the IMG La Lumiere game from today. Donnie had the most impressive NIBC game that I have seen of anyone to this point in the year. Truly dominant performance.
Just rewatched it. No doubt he will start next year.
I was very impressed with Jerry Easter too.
 
Just rewatched it. No doubt he will start next year.
I was very impressed with Jerry Easter too.
Yeah Easter was really good as well. One of the most impressive plays for me from Donnie was when he took Easter off the dribble and got to the rack somewhere in the 4th quarter. He missed the shot(might have been fouled but no call) but it’s really impressive for someone his size to get by an athletic guard like that. One small negative that I’ve noticed is he’s very right hand dominant with the dribble. Probably not a big deal since people his size normally can’t dribble much at all at this stage of development but it is something I’ve noticed after watching 10-15 games now. Can’t recall many left handed drives to the hoop.
 
Just finished watching as well. Good as advertised on O and the boards (even with the other team missing their 7' center). I'd like to see him tighten up the D end of things, but you can probably say that about most kids in hs. He does have a post move though, and really good footwork. Very coordinated for 6'10. Can't wait
 
Just finished watching as well. Good as advertised on O and the boards (even with the other team missing their 7' center). I'd like to see him tighten up the D end of things, but you can probably say that about most kids in hs. He does have a post move though, and really good footwork. Very coordinated for 6'10. Can't wait

He has gotten a lot better since the summer. Stronger, more directly attacks the basket. Turning into a real presence inside. He's looking more like Kevin Garnett in that video than he is like Kevin Durant, which is what you would have said last summer in his AAU clips.
 

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