01/22/2010 11:18 AM ET
Freeman leading young Hoyas
Junior guard stepping up for Georgetown this season
By Mike Waters / Special to SNY.tv
Junior guard Austin Freeman is leading the charge for the hungry Hoyas. (AP)

What can you learn about somebody in 140 characters or less?

On his Twitter page, Georgetown junior Austin Freeman, aka IAMFREE15, offers a glimpse into his world.

He loves movies and is quick to offer a critique. While watching "Valkyrie'', he tweeted, "At the beginning the people oath was to give all they got (to) one man Adolf Hitler ... like this dude was god.''

His guilty pleasure is a little daytime drama.

"This dude on Maury should hav jus went for the Century mark lol.''

He's a big fan of the Georgetown women's team.

"Come check out our women today 2 pm vs Louisville. Top 25 battle.''

And he takes defeat hard. After the Hoyas rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit only to lose, 82-77, to Villanova on Jan. 17, Freeman told his followers, "This has jus been a real tough afternoon.''

"I mostly follow my friends," Freeman said of his Twitter habits. "I keep up with Kevin Durant and Jeff (Green) and a bunch of other friends."

Freeman's tweets have generally been much more upbeat this season. The loss to Villanova was just the third of the season for Georgetown, which is 14-3 overall and 5-2 in the Big East. And Freeman is one of the main reasons for the Hoyas' success.

On a team with no senior starters, Freeman and fellow junior Chris Wright are the elder statesmen on a Georgetown team that's on the cusp of the top 10 in the national polls.

"Coach made me a captain and being a captain you have a lot of responsibilities," Freeman said. "You have to lead the team and that's something I wanted to do this year."

The 6-foot-4 swingman leads Georgetown in scoring with 15.7 points per game. He's been a model of consistency. His team-high scoring average comes despite only leading the Hoyas in scoring in two of their 17 games.

Freeman did bust out a 33-point game against Connecticut on Jan. 9. The Hoyas trailed by as many as 19 points, but with Freeman scoring 28 of his points in the second half, Georgetown rallied for a 72-69 victory.

After the game, UConn coach Jim Calhoun praised Freeman and tried to sum up the Georgetown system that doesn't feature stars as much as it nurtures them.

"They run a five-man system and nobody is the star," UConn coach Jim Calhoun said after the game. "Austin Freeman was the star today, I'll tell you that. Green was a star here. They've had stars here. (Greg) Monroe doesn't get quite the accolades he deserves; nor did (Roy) Hibbert. He's having a good pro career. What I'm saying to you, simply, is it's a well-coached team and they have four or five ways to find shooters."

If it's shooting the Hoyas need, Freeman's the one to provide it.

He's knocking down 52.5 percent of his field-goal attempts this season. He ranks fourth in the Big East in 3-point shooting at 47.6 percent. And he's a 90 percent free throw shooter.

But this season Freeman's focus is on the less tangible aspects of his role as a team leader.

"On the court, I'm just trying to be a leader," he said. "I'm doing what I have to do to make me better and make my team better. I wanted to be real aggressive this season and try to make winning plays."

Freeman's really just stepping into the role that he was expected to fill back when he chose Georgetown. He was something of a breakthrough recruit, becoming the first player from prep powerhouse DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Md., just outside the D.C. line to play for Georgetown. He had been a two-time All-Met selection by The Washington Post, the 2007 Met Player of the Year and a McDonald's All-American.

He started 23 games as a freshman and was named to the Big East's All-Rookie team. He started every game as a sophomore. But after deferring to veterans such as Hibbert, Jonathan Wallace, Jessie Sapp and DaJuan Summers over the past two years, Freeman's really fulfilling all of his promise this season.

"It's something I had to learn," Freeman said of his role. "But also I had to grow up and be more mature. I'm comfortable with it.

"If it's scoring, I'll do that," he said. "But if it means trying to make plays on the defensive end or on the boards or setting up one of my teammates, I can do that, too."

Mike Waters is a contributor to SNY.tv.
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