Austin Freeman: Five in Front

DeMatha guard Austin Freeman always seems to play with great players. It's Nigel Munson and Jeff Allen in high school and Michael Beasley, Nolan Smith and Julian Vaughn in the summer. Well, the well-built junior shooting guard isn't upset that he doesn't get as much publicity as he probably deserves.

Playing on a team with Michael Beasley, Nolan Smith and Julian Vaughn, it wouldn't be all that surprising for Austin Freeman to get a little lost in the shuffle.

However, the well-built 6-foot-4 DeMatha (Md.) rising junior shooting guard isn't overlooked when it comes to the college coaches.

Freeman started the AAU season with a bang, winning MVP honors at April's Spring Fling – and he continued to sizzle throughout much of the spring and summer – knocking down shots from the perimeter as is his trademark – and also taking the ball to the basket more frequently than he had in the past.

``I don't think playing with those guys hurts me," Freeman said. "I get just as many shots up as I do in high school at DeMatha. Teams focus on Mike and Nolan, so it opens things up for me."

Freeman averaged 13.7 points for DeMatha last year and he may be the key cog for a Stags team that could regain its spot among national prominence this season. When Freeman came into the program, the Zags were rebuilding and finished a disappointing 19-11.

Freeman isn't without his deficiencies. He still needs to work on his ballhandling skills and being able to guard quicker guards. But his marksmanship from the perimeter is unquestionably among the best in the Class of 2007.

He said that Maryland, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Virginia and Syracuse constitute the five schools that are the most aggressive in recruiting him while his top five are Syracuse, Georgetown (offer), N.C. State, Miami (offer) and Maryland (offer).

``I'll probably commit around this time next year," he said. "The coaching staff will be important to me and so will how I get along with the players."


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