New IU basketball commit Liam McNeeley plays the game like a young man with a sophisticated basketball pedigree.
And there’s a good reason for that.
Several of McNeeley’s family members played college basketball including his mother Ashley Elsey (Rice, 1994-96); uncles Chad Elsey (SMU and Baylor, 1997-2001) and John Inde (SMU, 1998-2001); grandfather Chuck Elsey (TCU, 1971-73); and great-grandfather Gordon Elsey (Tulsa, 1949).
Here’s a sampling of what some of the national analysts who cover college basketball recruiting have written about McNeeley’s basketball skillset:
JAMIE SHAW – On3
“Liam McNeeley can shoot the basketball. That is probably his feature tool, but he is more than just a shooter. With good positional size, 6-foot-7, he can straight line drive a sloppy close-out, knock down a one, and two-dribble pull-up, and is a smart off-ball cutter. McNeeley is a good team defender; he understands footwork and angles well. He also rotates properly and is not afraid to step in and take a charge. While there will be on-the-ball questions, he is good with deflections and defending off the ball. His hips appear a little stiff, which comes into play with some change of direction situations. Mom played D-1 basketball, and so did two uncles and grandfather.”
ADAM FINKLESTEIN – 247Sports
“Liam McNeeley has one of the best combinations of skill and basketball acumen in the national class. He came up the ranks known as a shooter – and for good reason as he has clean mechanics, a compact release, and shot over 40% from behind the three-point line in both the NIBC and EYBL seasons – but he’s far more versatile than just a specialist. He’s particularly adept at coming off screens, making instinctual reads, and then attacking defenders while they are on the move. That can mean movement threes, but it can also mean curls, dribble penetration, and an ability to get downhill at times.
“McNeeley has a high natural feel for the game and is a good passer who can also facilitate for others around him. In fact, Montverde frequently made him the featured player of their half-court offense during his junior season and relied on his ability to make decisions with the ball in his hands, not necessarily as a primary ball-handler, but as the first domino in many of their actions. Physically, he’s not especially long or athletic, but he has legit size at over 6-foot-7 with his shoes on, a sturdy base, and increasingly strong and cut upper body. He’s made strides being able to stay in front of more athletic wings on the defensive end, in large part because he’s aware enough to be in the right spots and take the right angles. Overall, McNeeley may not have the ideal physical measurables of a prototypical five-star prospect, but he is one of the most consistently productive and reliable basketball players in the class.”
BRANDON JENKINS – 247Sports
“McNeeley is as versatile as they come in the 2024 class. He has the handle and feel to run an offense and with his textbook shooting stroke, he has the capability to be a knockdown three-point shooter. The best area of his game is his passing as his vision is above average and he is willing to find the open man. He is unselfish to a fault, but he plays the game the right way. A high IQ prospect who can bring something to the table at either forward position, McNeeley should excel as a reliable complimentary option at the collegiate level.”
ROB CASSIDY – Rivals
“Versatility is king in modern basketball, and McNeeley encapsulates it. The 6-foot-7 forward has the size and athleticism to guard multiple positions. His offensive game is just as diverse, but the 41% he shot from behind the arc in 13 EYBL games this year is particularly encouraging for a 6-foot-8 forward, even if his jumper remains a bit streaky at times. He’s not to be looked at as a primary ball-handler but has a solid handle and is able to get downhill and take defenders to the basket depending on the matchup. As a passer, he makes solid reads and rarely throws the ball into the stands.
The Montverde Academy standout has taken strides as a defender this year and improved his effort on that end of the floor, terrorizing passing lanes and diving for loose balls. Overall, McNeeley is best described as steady and well-rounded, as there aren’t many players that impact winning in as many ways as the Texas-based wing. He averaged 15.8 PPG and 4.2 RPG during the EYBL season. He recorded 12 steals and just six turnovers in 13 outings.”
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