Posted On: 01/16/21 12:12 AM
The class of 2024 has been stealing all of the shine from their fellow upperclassmen this season. This Freshman class is truly something special, the group consists of prospects that are extremely skilled, highly athletic, gifted with size, and already have a good understanding of the game. Most, if not all of these Freshmen athletes, will become the most talked about, most-watched, and most recruited players in North Texas over the next three years. This will be a series of articles that breakdown each prospect and their best skills from the 2024 Dallas/Fort Worth Rankings Watch List.
Jaxson Ford – Power Forward – Prosper HS
Jaxson Ford is one of, if not the, most dynamic rebounding and shot-blocking power forward of his class in the state of Texas. Ford has excellent timing and reach, he swats shots away at a high rate, it seems like he never goes a game without picking up at least 2 or 3 blocks, he’s one of those rare breeds that can get a triple-double with blocks. Right now, 6-foot-7-inch Jaxson Ford is practically averaging a double-double as a freshman, putting up 9 points, 9 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks per game through the first half of the season. With an incredible start like this to his high school career, it’s safe to say that Jaxson is going to be a prominent name in the state for years to come.
Liam McNeely – Forward – J.J. Pearce HS
This 6’6 versatile combo-forward has one of the biggest upsides and some of the most potential in the country. Liam McNeely is a complete forward with several dimensions to his game, he can be extremely effective inside and outside the post, with and without the ball, contains an automatic mid-range jump shot, elite post moves, and an elusive handle, giving him the ability to get to any spot on the floor in transition and in the half-court. McNeely is a flat out pure basketball player with a nice feel for the game and good basketball IQ. He continues to develop at a rapid pace, showing solid point-forward instincts and ball skills. Liam McNeely is a major reason for his team’s success this season. He attends J.J. Pearce in Richardson Texas, the same high school as current Gonzaga University star Drew Timme and at the moment he looks as if he could do more than just fill Timme’s shoes, McNeely could quite possibly exceed all expectations.
Isayah Pankey – Point Guard – Woodrow Wilson HS
Isayah Pankey is a 6’2 point guard with smooth handles and a top-notch ability to penetrate the lane. Terrific feel for getting to the basket, extremely creative and crafty, and has multiple ways of maneuvering through traffic before finishing at the hoop. Pankey has some of the best footwork you will find from a freshman, that along with his ball skills and speed allows him to get to the basket at will and also to his spots anytime he desires. Isayah Pankey is off to a solid start in his first year of high school varsity competition, averaging over 7 points, 2 assists, a steal, and about 5 rebounds per game for a very talented Woodrow Wilson team.
Byron Eaton Jr. – Combo Guard – Dallas Lincoln HS
Byron Eaton Jr., son of Lincoln High School and Oklahoma State University basketball legend Byron Eaton, is a 2 sport athlete that brings his football speed and aggression to the basketball court. Eaton Jr. shows potential as a scorer or as a 3-and-D prospect. The young man can spot-up from deep and get the ball out of his hands in a hurry, while also giving you tough hard-nosed on-ball defense with quick hands and reflexes on the other side of the ball. Byron Eaton Jr. will likely become yet another high-level athlete to come out of Lincoln High School.
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