The 2025 class in Wake County is loaded. Here are five names that have seriously improved their stock this season.
Hayes Oxendine – Guard – Leesville Road
One of the more productive players in the 2025 class across the state, Hayes Oxendine is already known as one of the best shooters in his class. Oxendine has taken another step in his game and a big part of that was due to his improved scoring arsenal. He’s a very crafty finisher around the rim and has good body control in the paint, not to mention that he’s a very underrated finisher through contact. He has an array of floaters and awkward layups and is great at manipulating his timing to avoid the rim protector. He’s also made strides with his consistency shooting off the dribble, making him much harder to stop in transition and scramble situations. His strength and functional movement also seem to have improved, allowing for the finishing improvements mentioned above.
Will James Jr – Guard – Holly Springs
James has improved as the season has gone on, maturing as an on-ball creator and as a defender. James has a very balanced skill set that allows him to play whatever role Holly Springs needs him in. His instincts with the ball have improved, making him a plus-level passer in transition and when attacking downhill. His ability to pass when attacking the rim makes him hard to stop whenever he attacks closeouts as he is a consistent finisher through contact. Rim protectors need to commit hard to keep him from scoring at the rim and that’s when his passing shines, constantly hitting the open man and not forcing a tough layup. He’s also a serviceable shooter who excels in spot-up situations and can punish defenses that choose to help off him. Defensively, he has great on-ball instincts and athleticism, making him a difficult matchup for most of the guards and wings in the SWAC. His off-ball positioning continues to improve as well. Right now, his calling card is a versatile two-way combo guard that can do a little bit of everything. He projects to be one of the best all-around players in the area.
Zaelyn White – Guard – Apex
White has improved his ball skills this year, thriving in the combo guard role for Apex. White has only modestly improved his production this year, increasing slightly in most stat categories and showing improved efficiency across the board. He’s emerged as a steady and consistent offensive option, scoring eight or more in 18 straight games while shooting 46% from the field and 76% from the free throw line. What’s so intriguing about his game is that he’s already found his role and is excelling inside of it. Too often young players will play outside of their role or “do too much”, leading to inconsistencies in their production, development, and efficiency. Zaelyn is a combo guard that is better at scoring than he is at creating but his ability to make reads is consistently improving. As a scorer, Zaelyn uses his strong frame and plus athleticism to get downhill and initiate contact. His 0.38 FTR (Free Throw Rate) is consistent with last year while his FT% has gone up considerably. He still doesn’t attempt many threes and that isn’t due to a lack of shooting touch (see his 76% FT%) but more so due to him knowing his role. Given his increased production and efficiency within his role and the indicators (improved FT% and improved APG) that there’s more room for him to grow, don’t be surprised to see White end up as one of the highest-floor guys in the 2025 class.
Israel Eatman – Guard – Green Level
Eatman has one of the more polished scoring arsenals in the county, regardless of class. As we mentioned above, it’s rare for players this young to be so well-defined in their roles. Eatman thrives in his off-guard scorer role for Green Level and is doing so with more and more confidence every week. He’s scoring over 12 PPG on 49/42 shooting splits on 10 FGA/game and 4 3PA/game. That type of efficiency and volume is obviously intriguing. He has a deep bag of awkward floaters, runners, and layups that mess with a defender’s timing and allows him to get off a lot of looks close to the rim while not having to deal with contact or rim contests. He’s comfortable shooting the ball in a handful of situations, but it’s particularly impressive to see how well he can shoot it off the dribble. His ability to manipulate timing, angles, and footwork to get his finishes off are the same traits that make his pull-up jumper so dangerous. Usually, sophomores with this kind of production are seen coming, due to a solid freshman season or a big 15U summer, but in this case, neither happened. This big of jump in development is a good indicator of future development as he grows into a real college prospect.
Cash McSweeney – Forward – Cardinal Gibbons
McSweeney has been on a tear over the second half of the season, averaging 14.6 PPG and 10.3 RPG since Christmas Day. In that same time frame, he’s shooting over 53% from two on just under 9 attempts per game, 47% from deep on over 1.5 3PA per game, and 69% from the free throw line on over 4 attempts per game. The combination of production and efficiency from a sophomore is astounding and something that has kind of flown under the radar as far as statewide recognition goes. McSweeney is already a nightly double-double threat which indicates a strong motor, something that most young and skilled big men must grow into overtime. His shooting projects well to higher usage and by the time he graduates he should be a consistent high-volume deep threat. He could improve on his defensive efficiency, collecting more fouls than steals and blocks combined, but that specific area is something that a lot of bigs grow out of as they get more game reps and mature.
Other Names to Watch
Stone Holcombe – Wing – Cary
Kazim Oladipo – Wing – Rolesville
Greyson Land – Wing – Middle Creek
Ben Fox – Guard – East Wake
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