Hoop Hogs hosting at least three recruits this weekend, including 2019 PF on official visit


By Kevin McPherson

LITTLE ROCK — It was a month ago when Arkansas hosted six visitors during homecoming weekend and the Red-White game — three national Top 100 guards with Hog offers from the 2020 class on official visits (Moses Moody, Bryce Thompson, and Matthew Murrell) and three more in-state prospects on unofficial visits (’20 Hog offer Jaylin Williams, ’21 Jalen Ricks, and ’21 Terran Williams). 

This weekend, at least three more prospects from the ’19, ’20, and ’21 classes are expected to be in Fayetteville on visits while the Razorbacks play host to the Indiana Hoosiers of the Big Ten. Read more details about all three, plus updates on several more Razorbacks recruits …

— 2019 Dericko Williams (6-8, 212, power forward, Kinston, NC, Team CP3 on the Nike EYBL circuit) is reportedly on campus taking an official visit to Arkansas this weekend. Given the Hogs’ pursuit of big men in the 2019 class, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Williams could commit and sign a letter of intent before the end of the week-long early signing period, which runs Wednesday, Nov. 14, to Wednesday, Nov. 21. That may seem unlikely, but Arkansas began offering Class of 2019 frontline players in the spring and the Hogs continued to offer senior big men throughout the summer and fall in anticipation of the early departure of sophomore center Daniel Gafford, who is expected to leave Arkansas in the spring to declare for the 2019 NBA Draft. 

Williams reportedly holds offers from Kansas State, Houston, and Virginia Military Institute with several more high-major programs showing interest, including Arkansas, Louisville, Tennessee, South Carolina, Oklahoma State, Wake Forest, and others.

In June, Williams listed Arkansas among the 15 schools that were recruiting him, and Razorbacks assistant coach Scotty Thurman was a regular at Team CP3 games during the spring and summer while evaluating both Williams and his CP3 teammate, 6-7 forward / center Brian “BJ” Mack, who at one time scheduled an official visit to Arkansas for late October but ended up committing to South Florida before ever journeying to Fayetteville. Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson joined Thurman to watch Williams play in Las Vegas in late July, at which time a source confirmed that there was mutual interest and that the Hogs were “working on it” in regards to getting Williams on campus for an official visit.

A multi-sport athlete who also excels in football, Williams is aggressive and athletic with a strong frame. He attacks the rim, glass, and shot-blocking opportunities with ferocity. He’s a plus-defender, but is limited in ball-handling and shooting skill. 

Linked below is a highlight reel of Dericko Williams with Team CP3 during the 2018 grassroots basketball season …

2019 PF Dericko Williams Summer Highlights With Team CP3!
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— 2020 Arkansas offer Davonte Davis (6-3 point guard, Jacksonville, ESPN national No. 58 / 4-star prospect) will lead his Titans team into battle against North Little Rock on Saturday in the Hoopin’ 4 Hoodies event, then he’ll take an unofficial visit to Fayetteville on Sunday for the Arkansas-Indiana game at Bud Walton Arena.

Davis took an unoffical visit to Arkansas in the fall of 2017, and he said one of his goals during Sunday’s visit is to schedule one of his junior-year official visits to come back to Arkansas. He has already taken official visits to Auburn in late September and Oklahoma State in late October. Davis is also considering taking official visits to Oregon, Florida, and Ole Miss — all three have offered him. Arkansas associate head coach Melvin Watkins was in Jacksonville in September to watch Davis practice. 

 “Just going down there and having fun, seeing the environment, see how they play with each other since they’re so young,” Davis said two weeks ago about his upcoming Arkansas visit, which was originally scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 10. 

Anderson and Watkins were regular spectators as Davis helped lead Woodz Elite 16U to national titles in July at the Nike Peach Jam and Las Vegas Fab 48. He’s a long-armed, long-legged, wiry-strong lefty who combines quickness, skill, and long strides to get into the lane and to the basket seemingly at will. He’s a plus-facilitator with great court awareness and timing, an electrifying open-court playmaker who has improved his perimeter shot out to the 3-point line, and a dangerous defender who when locked in gets a lot of deflections and steals using that length and quickness.

— 2021 Emareyon McDonald (6-1 point guard, Red River High School in Coushatta, LA, Louisiana Supreme on the Adidas Gauntlet grassroots circuit) confirmed Thursday that he would take an unofficial visit to Arkansas for the Hogs-Hoosiers game on Sunday.

“I’m excited and I’m very interested, looking forward to coming this weekend,” McDonald said.

McDonald said he holds an offer from Tulane, and he’s taken unoffical visits already to LSU, Auburn, Lafayette, and Northwestern (LA) State. He said Thurman is recruiting him, and that Thurman stays in contact with McDonald’s father.

Former LSU guard, McDonald’s All American, and NBA player Randy Livingston coaches McDonald during the spring/summer grassroots season, and McDonald said Livingston told him that “Coach Thurman played at Arkansas and can shoot good like (McDonald).”

“My game is coming along good,” McDonald said. “I can shoot the ball from deep, penetrate and finish at the goal … I really just try to do whatever my coaches ask me to do.”

2020 Arkansas offer Jaylin Williams in the house for Hogs-v-Hoosiers

2020 Arkansas offer Jaylin Williams (6-10 forward / center, Fort Smith Northside) technically is not taking another unofficial visit this weekend, but he will be in attendance for the Arkansas-Indiana game on Sunday. Williams was one of the unofficial visitors to Arkansas during the Red-White game over homecoming weekend in October, and he plans to schedule one of his junior-year official visits to Arkansas soon.

Williams, who holds offers from the Hogs, Oklahoma State, TCU, Tulsa, and Lamar, will lead his Grizzlies against Southwest Christian Academy of Little Rock on Saturday during the Hoopin’ 4 Hoodies event in North Little Rock. The game will provide a rare match-up of highly regarded in-state big men who both stand 6-10 as SCA’s 2019 Nick Ongenda (6-10 center from Toronto, ESPN national No. 59 / 4-star prospect, Western Kentucky commit) will battle inside against Williams.

A gifted face-up / mid-range shooter and high-post passer with soft hands, Williams runs the floor well and has improved his back-to-the-basket, low-post game. He was a double-double machine during 2018 spring/summer grassroots play with the Joe Johnson Hawks 15U squad before joining the Hawks’ 17U team in late July and showing well at the Las Vegas Fab 48 event.

2019 Jalyn McCreary visited by Arkansas assistant coach TJ Cleveland on Friday

It’s just a matter of time before Arkansas coaches actually get to see him play in person, but 2019 Jalyn McCreary (6-8 forward, Legacy Early College High School in South Carolina) said Hogs assistant coach T.J. Cleveland came to Legacy on Friday with intentions of watching and evaluating him until the game against Faith Assembly was cancelled.

“Coach Cleveland came to my game tonight, but it got cancelled,” said McCreary, who clarified that the cancellation was a result of the Faith Assembly team being delayed in traffic due to a vehicle accident. “He left after the (game-cancellation) announcement and after speaking with my coaches.”

McCreary, whose 17 points and 5 rebounds per game have helped Legacy to a 4-1 start, said he called Cleveland later Friday and that Cleveland indicated he would return at a later date to watch McCreary play. On Saturday, Oct. 27, McCreary was expecting Cleveland to be at Legacy to watch him during a jamboree, but McCreary had a scheduling conflict and took the ACT while missing most of the jamboree as Cleveland ended up not making the trip.

McCreary, who will sign in the spring period, has said Arkansas is among the leaders on his wish list of schools. He holds offers from Xavier, UMass, and South Florida among others with Arkansas, Georgia Tech, and a host of high-major programs showing interest.

McCreary is a bouncy lefty who has added some perimeter shooting skill to his slashing game. He had a 30-point scoring night earlier this month during Legacy’s 103-60 win over Combine Academy.

Linked below is a highlight reel of Jalyn McCreary with Game Elite Gold 17U during 2018 spring/summer grassroots play on the Adidas Gauntlet circuit …

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2020 Arkansas offer Chris Moore leads West Memphis to road win over Little Rock Mills, briefly talks recruiting afterward

With an Oklahoma State assistant coach looking on, 2020 Chris Moore (6-6 combo forward, West Memphis) got into early foul trouble and would foul out midway through the 4th quarter, but he finished with 7 points (3-of-7 field goals and 1-of-2 free throws), 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks, 2 steals, and 3 drawn charges to help lead the Blue Devils to a 71-62 road win over a talented Little Rock Mills team as the Comets opened their brand new gym Friday night. 

Moore, who holds offers from Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Memphis, Ole Miss, TCU, SMU, and others, had planned to attend Arkansas’s game Sunday against Indiana, but will instead set another date to come to Fayetteville for a game. Prior to Friday’s game against Mills, Anderson called earlier in the day to check on Moore. He took his first junior-year official visit to Arkansas in early September, followed by Anderson and Watkins watching him practice at West Memphis later in September. Moore has been on Arkansas’s campus multiple times over the years for unofficial visits and elite camp. 

A picture of power with a relentless motor, Moore is a chiseled, athletic, and versatile combo forward who has added ball-handling and perimeter skill to his blue-collar, double-double interior resume. He was a force on the Nike EYBL 16U circuit in the spring and summer, helping Woodz Elite to titles in the Nike Peach Jam and Las Vegas Fab 48, and he showed well when he played up with the 17s in May.

Linked below are four videos of Chris Moore — three are game highlights from Friday night against Mills, and the last is a post-Mills-game interview (note that Moore talks about making his college choice after his senior season in 2019-20) …

Kevin McPherson on Twitter
“’20 Hog offer Chris Moore @ChrisMo2020 (6-6 CF, West Memphis) fouled out w/7 pts, 10 rbs, 5 asts, 3 blks, 2 stls, and 3 drawn charges w/4:21 left in the 4th Q and West Memphis leading, 58-55 … this hammer was 1 of 2 for CM2 … https://t.co/ajZphCvkD0”

Kevin McPherson on Twitter
“Good illustration here of how ’20 Hog offer Chris Moore @ChrisMo2020 of West Memphis goes strong to rip down a D rebound, then takes off and pushes to create a transition opportunity the other way … https://t.co/9gy1RlfAEP”

Kevin McPherson on Twitter
“’20 Hog offer Chris Moore @ChrisMo2020 (6-6 CF, West Memphis) goes to work inside … he’s got 2 pts (1-of-3 FGs), 2 rbs, 1 ast as the Blue Devils lead the Comets, 21-13, w/2:23 left in the 1st Q … https://t.co/hdlyzspjOu”

Kevin McPherson on Twitter
“’20 Hog offer Chris Moore @ChrisMo2020 (6-6 CF, West Memphis) talks about the Blue Devils’ 71-62 road win Friday over LRMills, as well as recruiting … Oklahoma St was on hand to watch him play … https://t.co/FfIz8zFebM”

2021 Arkansas targets Jalen Ricks and Terran Williams taking unofficial visits to Oklahoma State on Sunday

2021 Arkansas recruits Jalen Ricks (6-5 combo guard, Sylvan Hills) and Terran Williams (6-4 wing, Barton by way of Marianna), along with 2021 Madison Peaster (6-1 point guard, Little Rock Mills), will take unofficial visits to Oklahoma State on Sunday to watch the Cowboys play Charleston. All three are teammates on the Joe Johnson Hawks grassroots basketball team.

Ricks, who took an unofficial visit to Arkansas for the Red-White game in October, recently named the Hogs his leader.

“Arkansas, for sure,” Ricks said two weeks ago when asked if he was currently favoring any of the schools recruiting him. “The Arkansas visit was pretty good, I liked the atmosphere. And as far as what’s up next, I’ll still be going to Arkansas later on … for another game.” 

Ricks holds a TCU offer and has attended the Horned Frogs’ elite camp. He’s drawing strong recruiting interest from Arkansas, Oklahoma State, and Auburn with Indiana, Michigan, and Texas A&M recently coming into the picture.

Through Sylvan Hills first two games played this week, Ricks had a double-double (17 points and 12 rebounds) and an 18-point game for the 2-0 Bears.

Ricks is a spindly do-it-all backcourt talent who can stuff a stat sheet. After working his way back from injuries that sidelined him for most of the spring, Ricks had a big July and emerged as the Hawks’ most prolific 3-point threat to go along with his versatile skill-set that made him a match-up nightmare at all three levels on the offensive end of the floor. Ricks, whose wingspan is at least 6-10, recently took part in the prestigious Pangos All South Frosh/Soph Camp in Dallas, where out of 260-plus invited campers he was rated the No. 31 prospect overall according to Grassrootshoops.net, and he was also named to the Top 30 all-star game at the Pangos event.

Terran Williams, who also came away impressed after his unofficial visit to Arkansas over homecoming weekend, has a TCU offer with Arkansas, Oklahoma State, and Auburn interest. Williams also made the Top 30 all-star game at Pangos, and was named among the Top 25 campers there by Grassrootshoops.net. Peaster has a TCU offer with Indiana, Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, Auburn, and others showing interest. He was named to the Top 60 all-star game at Pangos.

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