St. John's has a new international recruit today - the 6'8" wing/ forward Richard Freudenberg, who has been a budding star in Germany on the Under-18 level.
Freudenberg joins a recruiting class that has top-40 Brooklyn guard Shamorie Ponds, top JUCO wing Bashir Ahmed, with a slot for at least one more player; St. John's has one open scholarship and three graduating seniors in Ron Mvouika, Durand Johnson and Felix Balamou.
This is big news for the Johnnies. Mired in mediocrity this season, the coaching staff has put together one of the best classes in the Big East already, with Rawle Alkins still a realistic possibility for Chris Mullin.
How does Freudenberg fit next year?
A long and slim wing with a shooting stroke (more on that below), Richard Freudenberg should add some scoring and passing punch, stretching the floor in the halfcourt and able to run the floor in transition. Defensively, it's said that he needs to build strength, but he could be an immediate starter on a retooled Red Storm team next to players like Yankuba Sima, Marcus LoVett, Ponds, and Ahmed.
Or he could back up the more physical Christian Jones or the jumping jack Kassoum Yakwe as he gets acclimated to the US game - a luxury this year's players and coaching staff did not have.
Who made this magic happen?
According to Scout.com, Matt Abdelmassih was the lead recruiter, though Freudenberg was impressed with Chris Mullin and the staff.
"In the recruiting period I wanted to pick out one college and choose between staying here in Munich and sign a pro contract or go to college, so I decided for St. John’s," Freudenberg told Scout. "Obviously the coaching staff is huge. Playing for Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond is amazing."
Freudenberg visited with St. John's for an official visit in August (and on Twitter he claimed to have bested Chris Mullin in a shooting contest, which none of the current players had as of the beginning of the season?)
Richard Freudenberg with Chris Mullin (St.John's Head Coach). Will he join Federico Mussini and Yankuba Sima? pic.twitter.com/RCbJKgxlk8— Eurohopes (@Eurohopes) August 10, 2015
What kind of player is Richard Freudenberg/ Scouting
The links below have a lot of information on Freudenberg, who needs to be more consistent with his stroke and a bit stronger, but has been playing for Bayern Munich's second team.
From European Prospects at the end of his league's play last year:
Improving athletic abilities, better decisions on defense and a growing leadership are some of the characteristics that could be seen....Freudenberg has developed one of the most beautiful jump shots which he can knock down from everywhere on the court. He likes to create his own shots out of the dribble but still rarely goes all the way to the hoop for the finish.
From EuroHopes, just a few weeks ago:
His ability to put the ball in the basket, paired with an awfully high basketball IQ for his age, should bode well for him, as he is still growing into his body and has Therefore, his main focus, in terms of development needs to be his body, as he has to become stronger, which would help him in every facet of the game. Though struggling this season for his standards and even disappears over stretches of the game, Freudenberg is an exceptional prospect with the potential to become one of the best players the German basketball scene has seen thus far.
Read the link; there's a lot more about his game, and how he's the übertalent of his generation. No pressure.
From Draft Express:
Possessing great size for the wing, a strong feel for the game and excellent shooting mechanics, Freudenberg is a streaky shooter with all the tools to emerge as a high-level prospect down the road as he continues to add strength and improves his defense and all-around versatility.
More from Jonathan Givony, since Freudenberg comes with some excitement internationally:
Watching German national team and NCAA recruit Richard Freudenberg. 6'9 SF, pretty athletic and can really stroke it pic.twitter.com/Jds74nLXNT— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) January 31, 2016
An exciting addition to the Red Storm, who return developing talents in Federico Mussini, Kassoum Yakwe, and Malik Ellison, along with Amar Alibegovic, Christian Jones and Darien Williams, who seems to be out for the season with a shoulder injury.