Freddie Dilione’s perspective is as simple as it is loaded; he’s not overly concerned about being underrated and unknown nationally because, in the end, he’s certain that will change.
And if, by some strange twist of fate, the masses don’t catch on to the 6’5” junior point guard putting up video game numbers at Word of God Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.) this season, he’s fine with that too.
“The reality is, the right people know who I am,” Dilione said. “The college coaches know. That’s what matters, but, of course, anyone would want to be recognized for working hard and then actually producing.”
This past summer, Dilione pumped in 17 points a game running with Team Loaded (N.C.), but was overshadowed by MJ Rice, a shooting guard who is signed to Kansas and ranked No. 7 overall in the SI99.
Unfazed, Dilione set the tone for his junior season in November with a 25-point, 12-rebound, 11-assist performance in a 96-92 win over Overtime Elite and its stable full of top high school prospects turned pros.
RELATED: 2022 SI99 Basketball Rankings
Even more impressive is that Dilione has managed to maintain that level of dominance all season, averaging 24 points, eight rebounds and eight assists a game for the Holy Rams.
“He plays at an exceptional pace, and he really does it all,” Word of God coach Byron Williams said. “He’s a high major scoring guard, but he’s a pro at the point. You can’t speed him up, he’s got great instincts and he’s eager to learn. He’s really a sponge. He’s special.”
College coaches are steadily taking notice; Charlotte, VCU, St. John’s, Radford, Xavier, Houston, Wake Forest, Eastern Kentucky, NC A&T, Georgia, Georgia State and FIU are all extending the full court recruiting press.
“It feels good to get the attention from the college coaches,” Dilione said. “Of course, I want more schools to jump in because I’m just a junior and I’m wide open. I’m a confident player, so I know what I can do on the court. I definitely feel like I’m underrated. I’m not sure why.”
The confusion is understandable in a sport where the numbers tend to speak for themselves; still, when pressed, Dilione said his best guess as to why he’s flown under the national radar is that his game is less about flare and more about efficiency.
“I was the kid that was working on jump shots off to the side when other guys were working on wild dunks when we were younger,” Dilione said. “I can do that stuff too, but I’m all about getting to my spots the quickest way and the most productive way. I just get it done.”
The Holy Rams are no stranger to having highly productive stars at the point, the most well known of which is easily John Wall, who averaged 19.7 points a game when he graduated in 2009.
Wall went on to star at Kentucky before becoming the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft in 2010 and has made five NBA All-Star appearances.
There was, however, a stark contrast in Wall's path, finishing his high school career as the No. 1 player in the country; still, Dilione said merely walking the same path makes the potential more real.
“There’s a lot of history at this school,” Dilione said. “John just shows me what’s possible here. That’s why I focus on what I can control and that’s just getting better and better. I know that as long as I’m focused on that, and I keep producing it’ll all work out the way it’s supposed to.”