Richard Freudenberg, the 6’9” wing from Germany, is leaving St. John’s after a season to pursue professional opportunities in Europe.
“I am grateful to my teammates and coaches at St. John’s for making this experience a good one,” said Freudenberg in a press release. “It has always been a goal of mine to play basketball professionally and I believe I am ready to take the next step in my career back in Europe.”
Now we know why Marcus LoVett is getting to wear the #20 next season.
Freudenberg, who was playing for Bayern Munich’s youth team, had the choice of signing a professional contract in Europe or going to college last season. But he was dazzled by the idea of playing for Chris Mullin and had an urge to get an education in the US; he was also looking at attending Vanderbilt and Boston College.
He chose St. John’s.
But outside of a dazzling first-half performance against the Syracuse Orange, Freudenberg had a poor year on the court. Let’s not minimize what he did against the Orange, of course, up in Syracuse. His burst of nine points came squarely in the backbreaking 14-0 run that crushed the Orange spirit and quieted the Syracuse crowd.
Nine points was a season high; in fact, he scored 10 points for the rest of the season, 20 games (he played in 13 of those). Freudenberg shot 38% inside the arc and 20% outside the arc for the season, struggled with defense and positioning, and often played tentatively.
Still, it is my feeling that this is a long-term loss.
Freudenberg was a young freshman, coming to college at 17 years of age; he is 18 until the end of the summer. His physical gifts are still growing, he is in need of strength and confidence, and he has naturally fluid athleticism and a solid-looking stroke.
It’s hard not to see him becoming a far better player than what he showed, the embodiment of what seems to be a plan to have a team filled with athletic, floor-spacing players. And on a team that looked to have two new players logging a lot of time in Justin Simon and Marvin Clark, Jr., a player like Freudenberg would have time to develop and emerge in his junior season.
St. John’s has seem three players leave (Freudenberg along with Darien Williams and Malik Ellison, who transferred last week), so the team has four scholarship spots to use.
Where will St. John’s go to help develop the team?