Posted by: bobcatbasketball | February 3, 2010

Freeman sees new role

Even back in Muncie, Indiana, Tommy Freeman never thought he would end up being a mentor to his team, but after being thrown into leadership role this season, he has learned to embrace it.

“I’d say that I had to take on a more mature role and become a leader this season. It’s been weird, but I accept it now,” said Freeman.

The junior forward said he has learned from the veteran leaders of teams past. Players like Leon Williams, Bubba Walther and Jerome Tillman played important parts in molding the practiced Bobcat.

“Bubba definitely took me under his wing and made sure I had whatever I needed to succeed. He was my mentor the entire time he was here and I owe him a lot,” said Freeman.

Freeman’s play reflects Walther’s influence. Last year Freeman was the first Bobcat in the 75-year history of the program to lead the Mid-American Conference in three-point percentage. Walther, a sharpshooter himself, had said in 2007 that Freeman had the potential to be a better marksman than himself and that he respects Freeman’s “passion for the game”. It’s that same passion that Freeman hopes to pass onto the young Bobcat squad.

“They have a lot of growing up to do, but they’re more mature than most freshman. It makes my job a lot easier,” said Freeman.

He even believes the ‘Cats have an outside shot a winning the tournament. Freeman said that though the team may have their poor performances, but they “put a scare into the best teams in the conference”. Picked to finish last in the MAC eastern division, Freeman has led the team to a 11-10 overall mark.

“People may have counted us out, but we knew we could do well and that we didn’t need to listen to them,” said Freeman. “We knew the talent we had here.”

That talent has allowed Freeman to fit into a more comfortable role this season. Although his 9.3 points per game are less than the 7.4 per game he scored last season, he has stopped trying to do too much out on the court. Freeman was called on to be a big time scorer and create his own shots last season, and struggled with the increased role. This season Freeman lets his talented guards run the show and punishes the defense from the perimeter.

“I’ve definitely relaxed and I feel like I’m at home in the Convo.”

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