Xavier University’s 2019 men’s basketball recruiting class received another big boost Tuesday with a verbal commitment from Zach Freemantle, a 6-foot-9 post player out of Bergen Catholic, N.J., who’s rated as a four-star recruit by 247Sports.
Freemantle, who also had offers from schools like Boston College, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Georgia Tech, Penn State and Northwestern, announced he would be heading to Victory Parkway in a Twitter post.
Freemantle, who took an official visit to Xavier on Sunday and Monday before he committed, told The Enquirer Tuesday that he’s known it was Xavier for a while.
“I knew coming in (for the visit) I just didn’t tell anybody,” said Freemantle, whose primary recruiter was Xavier assistant coach Ben Johnson. “When we sat down and talked about the minutes that are available for me as a freshman and how much I could play – I’ve yet to earn it but it’s all there so it was a fit and I really liked all the coaches there.”
Bergen Catholic head basketball coach Billy Armstrong told The Enquirer: “The stuff that jumps out to coaches and to me right away is his toughness. He doesn’t like to back down from anybody he’s competing against. That paired with his athleticism – he’s extremely athletic. Sometimes you look at him and he doesn’t look it but he’s as athletic as they come so we play teams with 7-footers and he’s jumping over the top getting rebounds. He runs the floor very well. I think the combination of his athleticism and his toughness makes him really special.”
Freemantle also checks the academic box.
“He’s a high academic kid,” said Armstrong. “That plays a part on the court as well. He’s a high-IQ basketball player so you put all those pieces together … honestly, I think he has a chance to be a pro. People might think I’m crazy.”
Armstrong said when Freemantle started his recruiting he attracted the attention of Ivy League and Patriot League schools, but this July he excelled in the summer league and high major schools started calling.
“His game has evolved from last year as a junior to this year as a senior,” Armstrong said. “He was a straight rim-runner, a post guy in front of the rim, athletic, strong, could finish over both shoulders.
“Now, he’s more of a power forward where he plays the stretch and trail position for us. His shooting’s gotten much better. He can make threes. He’s pretty good on ball screens and hand-offs. He just keeps getting better and evolving.”