Eaton has played just six games thus far this season. He missed the first 13 games because he was playing quarterback for the Lincoln football team which advanced to the state championship game and he didn't join the basketball team until mid-December. In six games, Eaton is averaging 16.5 points and 8.0 assists.
"Byron has played well, although he hasn't shot the ball well yet," Lincoln head coach Leonard Bishop said. "He's going to get better. He's working on getting in basketball condition, and we're working on the chemistry aspect. What people have to remember is we just have two starters back from last year's team, and we're working on the chemistry aspect."
Eaton will play an important role as the team develops that chemistry as the team's point guard.
"What we need Byron to do is just play hard, just play his game. Just be Byron," said Bishop, whose team is 13-6 following Monday's 57-52 loss to St. Anthony High School (ranked fourth in the nation in the latest USA Today poll) of Jersey City, N.J., in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame High School Invitational this past Monday in Springfield, Mass.
"We're going to need him to shoot the ball. We really don't have a pure shooter, a pure shooting guard, so we'll be needing him to step in and be a shooter for us the rest of the season."
Is that a role Eaton can handle? "There's no doubt in my mind he'll do great," Bishop said.
Eaton had just 11 points in the loss to St. Anthony on Monday, but scored 22 points in Lincoln's win over Spruce on Jan. 14.
"The thing that Bryon gives us is the leadership capabilities, and you can always use the play of a good point guard," Bishop said. "We have got two really good inside players and having a good point guard to go with them makes a big difference. Or, I should say having a good, experienced point guard.
"Byron is probably as good as on-the-ball defender as there is. He's not afraid to get in his man's face and play that tough man-to-man defense. Plus, he does an excellent job of picking up charges."
Next: Kenneth Cooper, 6-10 center from Richwood High School in Monroe, La.
Catching up with future Cowboy Byron Eaton
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