Musketeers land four-star recruit

Newswire photo by Sydney Sanders | Xavier added to its 2019 recruiting class with the commitment of Zach Freemantle, a forward from Bergen Catholic in New Jersey. He is the eighth commitment since Travis Steele took over as the head coach.

Notice: Prior to publication of this article, Elias King has withdrawn his commitment to Xavier.

On Tuesday, Xavier men’s basketball head coach Travis Steele landed his eighth commit since he was hired on March 31: 6-9 power forward Zach Freemantle from Bergen Catholic in New Jersey.

Freemantle is rated as a composite four-star talent by 247 Sports.

According to his scouting report, Freemantle is “a tough forward with a high level motor on both ends of the floor. His second jump is elite, which can be a difference maker down when battling for rebounds around the rim.”

Four of the commits — big man Zach Hankins, forward Ryan Welage and guards Kyle Castlin and Keonte Kennedy — will be on this year’s team.

However, Kennedy is the only player of the bunch who has more than one year of eligibility remaining after the upcoming season.

Meanwhile, Freemantle, big man Daniel Ramsey and wing Elias King will not be on campus until next year, as they are part of the 2019 class. Guard Dwon Odom, another four-star recruit, is currently a part of the 2020 class.

Steele’s recruiting success isn’t new. As an assistant coach, he was the lead recruiter for several current and former Xavier players, including Trevon Bluiett, Quentin Goodin and Dontarius James.

Another big part of Steele’s success since taking over as head coach has been his assistant coaches. Jonas Hayes, known for his development of big men and strong recruiting while coaching at the University of Georgia, has been the primary recruiter for King, Ramsey and Odom, who are all natives of Georgia.

Ben Johnson, who was known for his development and recruiting skills while coaching at the University of Minnesota, was the primary recruiter for Freemantle.

Though Dante Jackson has yet to be the primary recruiter for a commit, he has still made a noticeable impact, as both Ramsey and Freemantle commented to 247Sports on how comfortable they were with the entire staff before visiting Xavier.

“I’ve built a strong relationship with them through July and August,” Freemantle said. “It was just them texting or calling with at least one of the coaches every day. I spoke with every assistant before the visit even happened.”

Ramsey echoed a similar sentiment when he committed on August 6, telling 247, “It’s the only school where every coach before the summer was over, got in contact with me and talked to me on the phone at least four or five times. That was great for me getting to know all the coaches.”

It appears the staff will be looking for at least two more commits in this 2019 recruiting cycle and possibly a third too. This could mean as many as six players in the 2019 class.

With the progress that has been made so far, it’s hard to not feel good about Xavier’s chances to get the players it wants the most.

By: Donnie Menke | Staff Writer