By Kevin McPherson
LITTLE ROCK — Mike Anderson and his Arkansas coaching staff have not been bashful in their pursuit of size, length, and versatility in the 2019 recruiting class, and Dischon Thomas (6-9 forward, Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix) is one of the prospects the Razorbacks are currently in the process of evaluating.
“Arkansas is recruiting me, and I’m definitely interested in the Razorbacks,” Thomas said. “I’ve talked to assistant coach (Scotty) Thurman on the phone and I’m very interested and looking forward to seeing coach Thurman at one of my games soon.”
Thomas indicated that Thurman will watch him play next week.
“He is coming out for the Tarkanian Classic in (Las) Vegas, which is the 18th-21st of this month,” Thomas said.
Thomas had pledged to Nevada but decommitted from the Wolfpack in August. He holds offers from UNLV, St. Louis, Southern Illinois, and others with Arkansas, St. Mary’s, and Hawaii among the programs showing recent interest. Thomas is averaging 17 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 blocks for Hillcrest Prep (15-2).
“I have not,” Thomas said when asked if he had discussed setting up a visit to Fayetteville. “But in the future, I definitely would be interested in visiting Arkansas.”
Thomas, who plans to sign in the spring period that begins in mid-April 2019, said his versatility is among his playing virtues on the court.
“My strength as a player is my versatility,” Thomas said. “I’m able to guard multiple positions on the floor. Offensively, my biggest strength is my jump shot and my ability to take advantage of mismatches. So, if a guard is on me I can go to the post, and if a bigger guy is on me I can use my ball-handling and jump shot to take advantage.
“I’m working to improve my defense. I’m solid, but I can be a lot better with my size and length. Also, I’m working on getting stronger and better conditioning.”
With the expected departure of sophomore center Daniel Gafford to the 2019 NBA Draft after the current ’18-19 season, Arkansas has been aggressively recruiting versatile frontline players in the ’19 class since the spring.
Arkansas has an offer out to ’19 Doudou Gueye (6-9, 220, sophomore forward, Daytona State College juco in Florida) — a player that Hog coaches have watched play in person at least a couple of times. The Razorbacks also have an offer out to ’19 Javon Franklin (6-7 combo forward, Holmes, MS, Community College via Little Rock Parkview), who is redshirting with a broken leg and will have three years of playing eligibility at the NCAA Division 1 level beginning in ’19-20. Franklin intends to take an official visit to Arkansas in January or February.
Arkansas has also begun evaluating two more 6-9 forwards in the ’19 class — Demontay Dixon (a freshman qualifier at Walters State Community College in Tennessee) and Jalyn McCreary (a senior at Legacy Early College High School in South Carolina). Arkansas assistant coach T.J. Cleveland has traveled to watch both players in recent weeks.
Arkansas signed one player during the mid-November early period — Justice Hill (5-11 point guard, Little Rock Christian Academy), who will join the Razorbacks in about a week as an early enrollee.