Freeman focused on season

Kansas head coach Bill Self and his staff have targeted some big fish in the Class of 2013, and their efforts are already paying dividends. One prospect still firmly on their radar from the junior class is Charlotte (N.C.) Olympic guard Allerik Freeman, and caught up with his head coach, Ty Baumgardner, to get the latest.

Such is the nature of basketball's popularity that the media attention surrounding the top prospects in the country can get a little, well…overwhelming at times.

Ty Baumgardner knows this. As the head coach of the Charlotte (N.C.) Olympic High Trojans, he has several future Division One athletes under his watchful gaze. As a result, he's made things simple.

During the the season, his players don't do interviews. They aren't on Facebook and Twitter. They're focused on the current season and a state championship, and recruiting takes a back seat - a policy which seems to fit his star junior combo guard Allerik Freeman just fine.

A five-star prospect in the Class of 2013, the 6-foot-4, 185-pound Freeman is being pursued by many of the biggest names in the sport, including the Kansas Jayhawks.

"I talk with Coach (Joe) Dooley probably once a week," Baumgardner said. "Obviously, they were out here in the fall multiple times, Coach Dooley himself and then Coach Self came one time."

In October, Freeman was part of a seriously talented group of visitors to the Lawrence, Kan. campus for the program's season-opening "Late Night in the Phog" celebration. He left the visit flying high on the Jayhawks - the coaches, players and fans.

"They are all great guys and care about their players," Freeman said, of the coaching staff, in a post-visit interview. "And yeah, I feel I would fit right in."

Those positive feelings haven't changed, Baumgardner said. Freeman is still high on Kansas, but he's considering a number of other programs as well.

With the season well under way and the Trojans a perfect 14-0, his focus isn't on the future, bur rather what's taking place in the present.

"The thing he does a real good job of, and I've tried to help with this as well, he has put recruiting on the back burner and not worried about it at all," Baumgardner said. "We hardly talk about it. His main focus is trying to get better as a player and helping this team get better, and the goals we're trying to accomplish."

No visits had been scheduled, Baumgardner said, and it was unlikely any of his players would take them until after the season, barring something close geographically.

"If it's something that's close here, where (Allerik) and I or he and his parents can zip to a game one weekend, that's perfectly fine," he explained. "He's good at not worrying about that stuff right now."

Freeman is currently rated the No. 4 point guard in the Class of 2013 by He holds offers from Arizona, Georgetown, Kansas, North Carolina State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia and Xavier as well as others. Top Stories