On the 20th anniversary of Syracuse’s first and only national championship, the Orange are hard at work trying to assemble a roster to go win a second, and with most of its players from last season returning along with bringing in some talented newcomers, SU has the potential to bounce back from two tough seasons and get back to the NCAA Tournament, and national relevancy.
Syracuse already has one player committed in the class of 2024, guard/wing Elijah Moore from New York City, and now the Orange are after another highly-touted east coast player, Donnie Freeman, of Washington, D.C. According to sources on the ground, Adrian Autry was showing Freeman around campus on Thursday, and he’s scheduled to visit through the weekend. Here’s what his AAU coach said about Syracuse through syracuse.com:
“Adrian has done a great job of recruiting Donnie, helping him to see the vision he has as the leader of the program,” said Keith Stevens, who runs powerhouse EYBL program Team Takeover. “Syracuse has done great with guys like Donnie. I think Donnie has a chance if he keeps working to be an NBA player one day. And I think Donnie feels like what Adrian did with guys like Jerami Grant and Oshae Brissett, if nothing else he has to look at it to make sense.”
That’s high praise, and if the Orange can get a player who calls back to some of the better forwards the program has had over the past decade, then that would be a huge get. A recruiting class that has Moore and Freeman, who is the 28th-ranked player in the class according to the 247 Sports Composite. Looking at the rest of SU’s roster, almost every player outside of Jesse Edwards will have the opportunity to return next season, creating a perfect fusion for experienced players and young talent to mesh. Freeman could fit that perfectly according to Stevens.
“He’s a combo forward,” Stevens said. “He’s 6-foot-9 and some change. Really long. Has really, really great touch. He has yet to reach his ceiling. I think right now he’s probably ranked in the 30s, but his trajectory is going up. He’ll more than likely have the ability to be a McDonald’s All-American next year.”
If Freeman joined the Orange, Syracuse would have the six-best recruiting class in the nation for the class of 2024, a major potential addition. It would also signify SU’s focus on getting back in the DMV area, which Autry and new assistant coach Brenden Starughn are trying to focus on. If Syracuse can start to prove to other programs and recruits that players from DC, Maryland, and Virginia want to play for the Orange, then the nation will take notice.
Freeman is a very important recruit from a talent standpoint, and geographically because of what he could establish for Autry for years to come in the DMV area. Syracuse has a chance to make its mark in the 2024 class, so it better take advantage.