We suspected Iowa football's big game with Penn State last weekend would pay big dividends in recruiting -- but we didn't expect the sports that have benefited the most so far. Fresh off the wave of several wrestling commitments, Iowa men's basketball got into the action, too, getting a verbal commitment from Class of 2023 center Owen Freeman on Monday.
Freeman, listed at 6'10", 215 lbs, is a native of Bradley, IL and is rated a 3* prospect by Rivals (247 Sports has not yet rated him). What he may lack in star ratings, though, he make up for with his offer sheet, which includes offers from Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Marquette, Wake Forest, and more. That's a pretty credible set of offers for Iowa's latest big man recruit.
As a sophomore, Freeman averaged 17 points per game, 12 rebounds per game, and 5 assists per game, on his way to earning All-Southwest Suburban Conference honors last year. He's the first member of Iowa's 2023 recruiting class.
What led him to choose Iowa after making a visit this weekend and taking in the Iowa-Penn State game? As he told Rob Howe at Hawkeye Nation:
"I loved the campus and the feel," Freeman told HN. "I can definitely see myself playing there and playing for (Iowa coach Fran McCaffery). I loved the fans and the electricity they bring into the games and around campus."
Freeman (6-10, 215) bought into McCaffery's vision for him.
“He said he wants me to make an impact right away and that I’d be able to push the floor and really show all of my skills in games,” Freeman said.
At 247 Sports, Eric Bossi outlined on the strengths of Freeman's game:
What immediately jumps out about Freeman is the way in which he runs the court. He covers the ground with long, graceful strides and never labors to keep up with the pace of the game. Not only can he run, he has excellent hands and does a great job of catching, gathering and making his way into a move while on the run. Freeman has a nice looking jump shot and is going to be a guy who is capable of stretching defenses from deep and he has good footwork in the post making him comfortable as a scorer with his back to the basket. The inside/out offense is there and maybe the most impressive thing about Freeman is his ability to handle the ball and pass for a big man.
That certainly sound like a Fran-type player -- good at running the floor, strong offensive skill set, good shooter, solid passer. Those are all skills we know Fran prioritizes so it seems like Freeman will be bringing a potent set of tools to Iowa City. There are certainly things for him to work on over the next few years -- adding size and strength, increased defensive toughness, rebounding consistency -- but there's plenty of time for Freeman to do the work on those aspects of his game. For now, we're looking forward to seeing him at Iowa in a few years. Welcome to Iowa City, Owen.