It came down to coaching for Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College forward DeShawn Freeman and his verbal commitment to Rutgers. Freeman received aggressive recruitment from many big-time programs but none were more persistent than the Scarlet Knights.
Freeman announced his Rutgers commitment Monday, and will finalize plans to sign this week.
“Coach Eddie Jordan and coach Shoes [Greg Vetrone] did the best job recruiting me,” Freeman said. “I’m not saying other schools didn’t do a good job, but they communicated with my mother. They came to my practices, my games. I just felt like me and the head coach had something.”
Freeman followed the Washington Wizards when he grew up, which made him a Jordan fan dating back to 2004.
“He used to coach the Washington Wizards, which was my favorite team at the time,” Freeman said. “We sat around and joked about things about the Washington Wizards. He told me stories about his players at the time and things like that.
“… Here at Hutchinson, the head coach Steve Eck is a laid back guy just like coach Eddie Jordan when I went to watch them play. I checked out how he coached and he was a pretty laid back guy. I look forward to being with a really cool coach. We’ll get along great.”
Averaging 19.2 points and 9.6 rebounds per game this season, Freeman can fill either role.
“Coming out of JUCO, you only have two years left so I’m trying to make the best out of that,” Freeman said. “I want to go somewhere that I can play right away and not somewhere to sit behind someone. I’m not saying that’s a problem, but I only have two years left, so I’m going to make the best out of them.”
Freeman and Vetrone are slated to talk Monday evening about his National Letter of Intent, which likely makes him the final piece in Jordan’s 2015 recruiting class.
“They’ve told me a lot about [Sanders],” Freeman said. “I know he’s a great kid basketball wise. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve played with a few good guards, and I know he’s really good.”