Nearly four months after the Indiana basketball program extended a scholarship offer to Liam McNeeley, a five-star forward that will be attending Montverde Academy for his senior season, he finally scheduled his official visit to Bloomington from September 23 – 25.
As the 2023 recruiting class are nailing down their finalists and making their choices, the Indiana basketball program is turning its focus onto the 2024 class as they evaluate the current situation and prioritize a lengthy forward in the 2024 class that ranks in the top 20 across the nation, according to 247Sports. The Hoosiers have not had any commitments yet from the 2024 class, and top prospects that have shown interest include McNeeley (#18), James Brown (#31), Asa Newell (#34), and Jaeden Mustaf (#55). All but Mustaf are forwards, which makes sense as Mike Woodson and Indiana basketball prepare for the departure of Trayce Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson, who are the two heads of the dragon for the Hoosiers.
When assessing a talent like McNeeley, many scouts see the length and shooting ability as his positive, while strength and athleticism is considered his “weakness”, which is absolutely correct. But strength will come once he gets to any college program the summer before his freshman year, and as he becomes stronger, his athleticism and agility will only improve as he’s working with college-level player development guys. The big thing that’s apparent from his highlights is his swagger and confidence, which are off the charts. He knows he isn’t the fastest, strongest, or most athletic guy on the court. But he knows that his confidence is through the roof, and he can show his talent in many other ways that don’t have to do with his body alone.
The 6-foot-8 shooter has quite the experience as a 16 year old and played for one of the best AAU teams in the nation (Drive Nation), along with getting an invite to play with the U16 USA National team in Mexico in 2021. McNeeley won a gold medal with the U16 team and led his Drive Nation team this past summer to an undefeated 7-0 record on the best AAU circuit in the country, the EYBL. Along with leading his team to a perfect record in the PIT, McNeeley led all players in the E16 league in scoring at 21.7 points per game, and scored 20+ points in four of the seven games.
Whether he lands in Bloomington or not, McNeeley is working his way up the leaderboards and will most likely be in the top 10 of the 2024 recruiting class by the end of his junior season at Montverde Academy. If Indiana basketball can land the forward, the Hoosiers would finally be getting themselves a consistent shooter that they’ve been eyeing for the last 5-10 seasons.