Class of 2012 shooting guard Allerik Freeman was closing in on the end of his recruitment after he narrowed his list down to two schools — Kansas and Villanova — over two months ago, but after adding schools to his list and deciding to focus on the summer circuit, the end isn’t in sight.
“I’ve been focusing on AAU lately; I just want to get through the summer,” Freeman told NRS. “Right now, I’m just taking my time with my recruitment. [However,] you can’t help what you feel in your heart and what your gut is feeling so if you feel like you should commit then you have to make that decision. That’s why I’m not putting a timetable on it.”
However, even though he’s concentrating on the summer circuit, that doesn’t mean the Charlotte native doesn’t have a good idea of what he’s looking for in a program.
“I just want somewhere that I can get better and win,” Freeman said. “They have to have a great coaching staff because you have to be able to put all your trust in them, you want to be in that family and you’ll be there for four years. I want to be somewhere that I can get better on the court and off the court and win championships. I feel like I can play slow, fast, balanced, medium, big men or guard heavy so I don’t really care what playing system I’m in.”
Because of the fact that he knows what he wants in a school, the 6’4, 195-pound combo guard has been able to narrow his list to five final schools and concentrate on the programs that he thinks fits him the best.
“My final five is Kansas, Ohio State, Duke, Villanova and UCLA,” Freeman said. “They’ve been recruiting me the hardest, all of them are good programs, I can see myself fitting in at all of those schools and those are the five schools that I can see myself playing at for all four years.”
He knows what he likes about each particular program, too. ”At UCLA, head coach Ben Howland is a great coach,” he said. “He has a long track record of combo guards. He normally keeps two point guards on the floor at the same time and it’s a great program. Academically and athletically, it’s great, and the location is great.”
Another plus for the Bruins is their spectacular class of 2012 recruiting class that features point guard Kyle Anderson, small forwards Jordan Adams and Shabazz Muhammad and power forward Tony Parker.
“That definitely helps,” Freeman added. “Those guys are winners and of course talented. They have the program on the up-and-up and every player wants to be a part of that.”
One school that isn’t on the rise and is already established is Duke, who came into his recruitment last. “No, there’s nothing negative about them coming on late,” Freeman said. “They’re also a great program. They have a great coach in [head] coach [Mike] Krzyzewski, they use ball screens, they keep the floor spaced and they drive and kick. It’s a good guard program specifically, too.”
Another good school for guards in Freeman’s mind is Villanova. “At Villanova, what they do with guards speaks for itself,” Freeman said. “[Head] coach [Jay] Wright is a great coach and I have a great relationship with all of those coaches. They’re great people and they play in one of the best basketball conferences. They develop guards and I’m trying to go somewhere where I’ll develop and get better every day.”
Another program recruiting him, Kansas, has a little extra help in the form of Freeman’s good friend and fellow class of 2013 standout, shooting guard Brannen Greene.
“Yeah, Brannen Greene is my boy. That was my dude before he committed and we took a visit their before he committed.” Freeman said. “I don’t even look at it as he’s recruiting me, that’s just my boy. He’s just telling me what he thinks about the school, how I can fit in and I just look at him as more of a friend and not a recruiter.”
However, the Jayhawks are making a pretty good pitch to Freeman without Greene’s help, too. “Kansas is a great program, they use a lot of ball screens, they get up and down, they keep a lot of their players in the program and they’re always about winning and that’s what I’m trying to do in college, win a championship,” Freeman added.
The last school Freeman is considering, Ohio State, has a lot of characteristics in common with his four other finalists.
“Ohio State is a similar situation with all of the other schools,” Freeman said. “They’re a winning program and [head coach] Thad Matta has done a great job coaching and developing players. He’s recruiting me to be a good combo guard, something he’s not use to having but I love the players, it’s a great program, I think I’ll be able to develop there and I could see myself there for four years.”
With all five of these powerhouses after him and the fact that he has only taken a couple visits, he’ll likely take more visits to help him come to a decision and learn more about each school. ”Right now, I don’t have any visits set up but I’ll probably visit Duke soon,” Freeman said. “I plan on visiting every school I’m looking at.”
One thing that is helping Freeman prepare for college isn’t just the competition he’s going up against every weekend, but it’s also the talent of the guys he’s playing with on his Boo Williams (VA) squad. Class of 2013 studs point guard Anthony Barber and small forward Troy Williams are also on his team.
“It helps my game in a lot of ways,” Freeman said. “It makes me smarter, it makes me more efficient and I’m just getting to use to what it will be like in college. When I get to college most likely, I’ll be playing with talented guys who are already better than me so it helps me for the future.”