Rutgers assistant Greg "Shoes" Vetrone called it a fight worthy of Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier for junior college All-American DeShawn Freeman, and it was just as stressful on Freeman's end of the spectrum.
Freeman decided late that Rutgers was the best fit, and his first two months in the program reaffirmed his belief.
"It got really stressful, but I just made the choice," Freeman said. "I'm not going to do something I don't want to do. I think coming here was a pretty good choice."
Freeman averaged 19.2 points and 9.6 rebounds as a junior college sophomore. He sees himself as a power forward and wing contributor for Rutgers.
"When I first got here, it was pretty tough," Freeman said. "It was something new. Now, I adjusted to it. Defense and attacking the guys out there, ... Hopefully I'll play the four. I don't have to touch the ball all of the time. After a while, [I want] to basically try to create scoring for my other teammates."
Head coach Eddie Jordan's relationship was a strong one in recruiting. Freeman said the two remain close within a student and teacher paradigm.
"He's the same guy I used to watch on TV," Freeman said. "Whenever one of the guys makes a mistake, he isn't one of the coaches that goes crazy. He was relaxed. To see it now, he is a relaxed guy overall. Sometimes he gets a little loud, but it's unusual. He's human too."