Daniel Freitag, a 6-foot-3 sophomore guard from Bloomington (MN) Jefferson, is one of the state’s top athletes and two-sports talents in the Class of 2024. He has already received scholarship offers from Minnesota, Wisconsin and most recently, Iowa State.
Freitag shined at the Wisconsin team camp last June, earning him a scholarship offer from the Badgers. Minnesota followed by offering the Jaguar standout in July.
Freitag averaged 26.7 points per game this season as the Jaguars finished 20-7, losing to Park of Cottage Grove 72-68 in the Section 3AAAA semifinals. He scored in double figures in all 24 contests. Freitag scored 20 or more points in 20 of 24 games with two games with more than 40 points and five more above 30. He had a career-best 41 points versus Orono.
Freitag averaged 10.2 points per game as a freshman as the Jaguars finished 11-9, losing to Shakopee 48-40 in the Section 2AAAA semifinals. He scored in double figures in 11 of 18 contests, including nine of his final ten games. Freitag had a season-best 21 points versus Chaska.
GopherHole recently caught up with Freitag at the Howard Pulley AAU program tryouts Sunday to learn the latest on his recruitment and upcoming AAU season.
GopherHole: You had an outstanding season this year. How pleased were you with your individual play this year?
Daniel Freitag: My individual play, I was impressed. I knew what I could do and I think I showed it a lot more this year than I did last year, so I’m proud of that. I’m hoping the scoring leads over to AAU and how little I scored last year.
GopherHole: How about the team’s play? You had a heartbreaking loss to Park of Cottage Grove, but you played very well and got better throughout the season.
Daniel Freitag: I was proud of them. We played really well. We played much better than I think what other people thought we could. I think we were 20-7 on the year and we won our conference. We played Pharrel (Payne) and Park to the end, so I was proud of those guys for what we did and I think we can accomplish the same, if not more next year.
GopherHole: I think a lot of people always thought that you could get to the hoop, but they maybe questioned your outside shooting, but you had some good games in terms of three-point shooting. Is that something that you took a little more pride in this year?
Daniel Freitag: I’ve been working on it. I was proud of how I shot last year. I was shooting 41% and I was hitting three a game, so I was proud of that. I’m just hoping that it leads over to AAU and definitely help me.
GopherHole: Do you think that makes you a little tougher to guard because if people think you can’t shoot, they can going to guard you a certain way and make it tougher to get to the hoop, but if you make some threes, they are going to guard you a little closer and you can get by them a little easier to make it to the basket?
Daniel Freitag: No doubt. There were teams that didn’t think that I could shoot, so it would be nice to just rise up over them and shoot it and teams that knew I could, it would be a little easier just getting to the basket on them. It definitely helps.
GopherHole: You are up to three offers with the latest one, being from Iowa State. What had you been hearing from Iowa State?
Daniel Freitag: Iowa State is cool. I talk with Kyle Green, the assistant, probably on a weekly basis. He’s a cool dude. I like the organization. The coaching staff. Everything about it is really cool. I enjoyed my visit down there and getting the offer.
GopherHole: I know that Kyle was at your game at Hamline?
Daniel Freitag: He was there. He’s been to two other games outside of that one, so I really appreciate how much effort he has put into recruiting me.
GopherHole: Are you liking the recruiting process so far?
Daniel Freitag: Yeah. I enjoy it a bunch. I’m not overly recruited, so it’s not like overwhelming or anything. It’s nice with it being such close schools. I can always go out and do a little visit.
GopherHole: What other schools are you hearing from besides those three?
Daniel Freitag: At the moment, just Oklahoma State and Xavier.
GopherHole: You are obviously hoping that will pick up with a good AAU season. How important is to, not only have a good season individually AAU-wise, but I always feel that if you win, players stand out more?
Daniel Freitag: Oh, yeah. No one’s going to the games that don’t mean anything. We have our goal, of the Peach Jam and winning that. If we can complete that, I don’t see our team offer-less, so that’s definitely the goal.
GopherHole: What things are you really going to work on this spring and summer to continue to improve yourself as a player?
Daniel Freitag: Keeping my jump shot consistent. I know that’s what I’m dealing with right now; it being a shaky shot at the moment, but if I can just get it consistent, that would be really nice.
GopherHole: What’s the latest on football? I know that, unfortunately, you got hurt in the season opener, but you were getting some football looks early on.
Daniel Freitag: We are coming to a decision to probably quit. Focus on basketball. Focus on my jump shot.
GopherHole: Is that going to be hard because you have been playing both sports for awhile?
Daniel Freitag: Yeah, very hard, I’m going to the Minnesota camp to hopefully grab an offer there. If I grab an offer, I’ll probably play, but if I don’t, I’m probably end up quitting.
GopherHole: Is that going to be tough, to not play?
Daniel Freitag: Oh, yeah. It’s definitely going to be tough, knowing how much I meant to the team. We have been having talks, like above a .500 team and they are saying that they are hoping to win a game, if I quit. It’s heartbreaking to quit, but I’m trying to make the league, so got to do what you got to do.
GopherHole: Are you watching the NCAA Tournament a lot?
Daniel Freitag: Yes. It’s the most I’ve ever watched. I don’t watch too much college basketball, but this tournament, I’ve been tuning in. Some major upsets have happened.
GopherHole: What would it mean to maybe have a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament?
Daniel Freitag: That would be huge. That’s definitely a goal of mine, of course, to win it all. Just getting there is really cool though, too. It’s unreal. I’d love to play in that.
GopherHole: Do you find yourself watching it more because you realize this could be you in a couple of years?
Daniel Freitag: 100%. I used to watch, just like as a fan and now you kind of watch and see how the guards are scoring. See how they are operating there and how they are playing on a big stage like that.
GopherHole: Are there certain individual players that you look at in the tournament?
Daniel Freitag: There’s not. I was enjoying watching Chuckie Hepburn over at Wisconsin until they got knocked off along with Johnny Davis. I also watch Tyrese Hunter. I like how he plays the game. He was fun to watch, but other than that, no.
GopherHole: Do you have a new team now that those two teams got knocked out?
Daniel Freitag: No, I don’t got a new team. I’m rocking with the ones that have offered. If they haven’t, then I guess I’m waiting on it.