The last time we checked in on Austin Freeman he was fresh off an exceptionally efficient freshman year that he struggled to duplicate as a sophomore. The former consensus top-15 recruit got his act together last season despite missing some practice time after being diagnosed with diabetes mid-season, and while Georgetown ended the year with a disappointing upset loss in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Armon Bassett and the Ohio Bobcats, Freeman found his stroke and enters this season as the preseason Big East Player of the Year. A strong candidate to assume many of the possessions left behind by Greg Monroe, Freeman should have an excellent senior season, but he has some work to do to earn a spot in next summer's draft.
Despite his ability to score in bunches and put up gaudy efficiency numbers as a second-option on the college level, Freeman is undersized for a shooting guard and lacks the wingspan that would make his height less concerning. Built more like a fullback than a shooting guard, Freeman is able to bully his way to the basket at the college level and uses his strength exceptionally well once he clears his man's hip. He is deceptively quick for a player of his build, but he plays below the rim, lacks lateral quickness, and doesn't have ideal physical tools for a NBA shooting guard, limiting his upside.
As it stands, Freeman's lack of ideal athleticism is the biggest obstacle hindering him from being an intriguing prospect. He brings plenty to the table offensively. His value on that end the floor starts with his jump shooting ability. After seeing his three point percentage dip from the 40% he shot as a freshman to 30% as a sophomore, Freeman bounced back in a big way as a junior to the tune of a 44.4% mark from distance. Ranking highly in both three point percentage and true shooting amongst players in our database, the Dematha HS was at his best last season when he could set his feet on the perimeter and using his mechanically sound shooting form and quick release to make opposing defenses pay from beyond the arc.
Capable of putting up big scoring numbers on any given night, Freeman has developed some offensive tools that complement his shooting very well at the college level. His exceptional basketball IQ and physical strength make him a threat off the dribble as well. Adept at taking what a defender gives him, Freeman is a decent shooter off the dribble, and is fairly prolific taking one-dribble pull ups from inside the arc, but struggles to convert short range jumpers when he can't get to the rim. Using simple straight line drives and not attempting to get fancy, Freeman got to the basket at a good rate last season, and while he doesn't get to the line at a good rate, he shot a very respectable 63.6% as a finisher.
Defensively, Freeman uses his strength well to deny penetration, but struggles against quicker players and doesn't change directions well enough to keep up with dynamic ball-handlers. He competes and has solid fundamentals, which gets him by for the most part at the college level, but doesn't add much against quicker high-major guards and doesn't project well to the next level.
Freeman's value as a NBA player resides in his ability to knock down shots from the perimeter and play low-mistake basketball. As we've noted in the past, he simply isn't a high upside player. A sound passer who can work off of screens and stretch the floor, Freeman is very much a known commodity at this point. Scouts are familiar with his game and his limitations, but width a big season, he could earn some buzz. A potential Portsmouth Invitational invitee, Freeman might not be an elite prospect, but he's poised to be a key player for one of Big East's best teams.