Indiana landed its first piece in the 2024 recruiting class today in five-star Liam McNeeley from Monteverde Academy. The 6’7” small forward is the no. 13 recruit in his class, per the 247 composite rankings.
This is now Mike Woodson’s third recruit from Monteverde Academy and should help Woodson and company in their recruitment of his teammate, five-star center Derik Queen. McNeeley used his TV announcement time to call to Queen and fellow elite recruit Boogie Fland to join him at Indiana.
This might be the first step towards a big offseason for Indiana.
Before we get too carried away with what may occur on the recruiting trail, let’s take a look at who McNeeley is as a player. Landing him is a huge prize in and of itself.
McNeeley is known primarily for his outside shooting ability as a wing. On the Nike EYBL circuit this past season, he shot 37.5% from deep on over 5 attempts per game.
Like many Monteverde players, he plays against elite competition year round in AAU, high school, and even Team USA. He was part of a 2021 16U squad that won a FIBA Gold Medal, averaging 5.1 points in 14.7 minutes per game.
McNeeley is far from being just a 3-point sharpshooter. In last night’s Monteverde game, aired on ESPN+, he had 25 points on 4-11 3-point shooting, seven boards, four steals, and two assists.
His high basketball IQ combined with his size and passing ability allows him to make plays for teammates on offense and play heads-up defense on the other end of the floor.
McNeeley can create for himself off the dribble from the wing, both on drives and from behind the 3-point line. His shooting form also translates to a nice midrange jump shot, a staple of fellow Montverde athlete Jalen Hood-Schifino.
Maybe the best thing for Hoosier fans is that he could potentially be a multi-year college player. He, like many recent recruits, committed to Indiana trusting Woodson to get him to the NBA. That could take one year or two, as ended up happening with Trayce Jackson-Davis.
Either scenario is a win for the Hoosiers. They either get the services of an elite shooter during his brief stint in college - something McNeeley is very capable of achieving - or they get a guy who will likely average double digit scoring per game for a two years of college hoops.
If he struggles to adjust to college 3-point range, look for Mike Woodson to develop his already above-average passing and court vision and his defense, before sending him off to the pros.
McNeeley is the fourth-highest rated recruit in program history behind only Romeo Langford, Mackenzie Mgbako and Noah Vonleh and you can expect him to produce like it on the offensive end of the floor next year. He has all the tools and has demonstrated his ability to play well against elite talent for the last two years.
This is a big get for Indiana.