The Iowa Hawkeyes football team is the talk of the town in Iowa City, and rightfully so as the Hawkeyes are ranked #2 in the nation for the first time since 1985.
But the success of the football team, coupled with the success we saw on the hardwood last season as Iowa reached the top-5 nationally there as well, has created a significant recruiting opportunity for Fran McCaffery and company. While the Iowa football team hosted nearly 80 prospects for their historic win of #4 Penn State on Saturday, other athletics programs took advantage of the stellar environment to host their own visitors.
For Iowa hoops, that included Illinois big man Owen Freeman, who has seen his recruiting take off in recent weeks. That’s included a recent in-home visit from Tom Izzo and an offer from the Spartans, among a slew of others.
Freeman was set to check out Michigan State in person later this month, as well as take visits to Notre Dame and Illinois. But those plans changed on Monday as the weekend visit to Iowa City sealed the deal for Freeman who committed to the Hawkeyes Monday afternoon.
As noted, Freeman has seen his recruiting stock skyrocket in recent weeks as the big man has reportedly grown more than two inches since the early evaluation period. He now stands at 6’10” and may not be done growing.
That’s a tremendous frame for a player who shows an ability to put the ball on the floor and take his man off the dribble from the perimeter, as well as play with his back to the basket in the low post. He will continue to develop and add strength to his 215 pound frame as a junior this year, but he boasts better athleticism in the post than former Hawkeye Luka Garza.
2023 6’10 Owen Freeman has committed to Iowa! Highlights with @MidProAcademy on @ny2lasports Circuit @_OwenFreeman @IsaacDennis_2 @414BClay @ChadELewis2 @MHS_Boys_ @G_SullivanMPA @IowaHoops pic.twitter.com/4xY8fowB8s— NY2LASPORTS.TV (@NY2LASPORTSTV) October 11, 2021
Freeman is a great shot blocker and shows an ability to sky over defenders for dunks in traffic. He has solid form on his jump shot with demonstrated range beyond 17 feet. He’ll likely continue to work on his perimeter shooting, as well as footwork in the post as he progresses through his junior and senior seasons at Bradley-Bourbonnais.
We’re still relatively early in the recruiting cycle for the class of 2023, but Freeman has a 3-star rating from Rivals at this point. That’s likely to climb given his growth and very strong showing on the AAU circuit this summer. Expect him to climb into the top-150 nationally as we get into the next evaluation period.
That seems to be the consensus college coaches reached late this summer. Despite the mid-tier ranking at Rivals and none from 247 Sports, Freeman boasts an impressive offer list. That includes the likes of Illinois, Indiana, Marquette, Michigan State, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin.
Freeman becomes the first commitment for McCaffery and company in the class of 2023. That class is likely to be between 2-3 total commitments. Iowa is set to lose Joe Toussaint and grad transfer Filip Rebraca to graduation after the 2022-2023 season. It’s possible we see additional early departures or Fran continue to dip into the portal to fill scholarships.
Welcome aboard Owen Freeman!