Syracuse may be closing in on a big time recruit in the class of 2024. The Orange already have a commitment from guard Elijah Moore, the 85th ranked high school junior according to 247Sports’ composite rankings.
Now, 247 has crystal balled Donnie Freeman, a 6’8 forward from Washington, D.C. to SU. Freeman is the 27th ranked player in the composite rankings, and number four power forward in his class and visited Syracuse in early April. He also has offers from Alabama, a one seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament, and Texas, who went to the Elite Eight.
Freeman’s versatility and athleticism make him desirable as a prospect. At 6’8 190, he’s listed as a power forward, but not in a traditional sense. His self-described focuses are shooting and ball handling. Essentially, he wants to play more like Benny Williams than Maliq Brown.
If this comes to fruition, Freeman’s commitment would be a major validation for Adrian Autry. Freeman plays for Team Takeover, based in the DMV. Brenden Straughn, Syracuse’s new assistant coach who was hired as the fourth member of the staff after Jim Boeheim retired and every other staff member moved up a seat on the bench, used to coach Team Takeover and is still well connected in the DMV AAU scene.
That seems to be a major reason why Autry, who is well-connected within the area himself, hired Straughn. Williams and Judah Mintz are both from that area and were recruited to SU by Autry. Those are two of Syracuse’s most highly touted prospects in the last decade.
The hope for the Orange is to make the DMV a pipeline to Syracuse similar to what New York City once was. Whether they can find sustained success in this department is obviously to be seen, but the fact that they have a clear strategy is at least a good start. There are results to point to as well, with Williams and Mintz. Freeman would be the next on a growing list.
Recruiting can often be like dominos: when one drops others follow. That’s the case within a singular class, and in a specific era. Getting a top-30 prospect in for 2024 along with Moore, a top-100 prospect, opens doors for more highly touted recruits. That’s, of course, if Freeman actually decides to commit to Syracuse.