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Georgetown leading scorer Austin Freeman, diagnosed with diabetes, is 'day-to-day'

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By Liz Clarke
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 5, 2010

Asked how he'd characterize Austin Freeman's status for Georgetown's regular season finale against Cincinnati, Coach John Thompson III hesitated.

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"He has had enough labels thrown on him already this week," Thompson said, referring to the diagnosis, delivered 72 hours earlier at Georgetown University Hospital, that Freeman has developed diabetes. "I wasn't going to put another label on him."

But with Georgetown seeking to halt a late-season slide, and a potential first-round bye in the Big East tournament at stake Saturday at Verizon Center, Thompson conceded that a status report was in order.

"Day-to-day," he finally replied.

"Day-to-day" is what it has been for everyone associated with Georgetown basketball since Freeman, the team's leading scorer, received the life-changing news.

With Freeman sitting beside him, Thompson said Thursday that he was "100 percent" sure that the junior guard would rejoin the team before the season was over. He didn't rule out the possibility of him playing Saturday.

Everything depends on Freeman's ability to manage his blood sugar, which currently is under control, through the rigors of practice in the coming days.

"I don't know what the time frame is going to [be]," Thompson said, "but we will get to that point. With all the support we have and all the expertise we have, I don't anticipate it being long."

Freeman, 20, can be difficult to read. During interviews, he keeps his answers brief and to the point. He's much the same on court; not the sort of player who wears his emotions on his jersey, like his fellow junior guard Chris Wright or Maryland's fiery Greivis Vasquez.

But there were two moments Thursday when Freeman seemed to pull his words from his heart. First, when he spoke about the countless supportive phone calls, texts and messages he has received since he disclosed the diagnosis.

"My phone's been going on all day, pretty much," Freeman said.

"Everybody's been telling me to stay positive. [They're] keeping me in their prayers. I'm happy that everybody is texting me and letting me know I have their support."

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