Hoop notebook: New 2020 offer, Oklahoma recruits talk Crutchfield hire, Gafford’s NBA team workouts

Sports
cameron matthews_1558625018920.png.jpg
By Kevin McPherson
 
LITTLE ROCK — 2020 Cameron Matthews (6-6, 220, combo forward, Olive Branch, MS, 17U Team Thad, 3-star prospect) announced an Arkansas offer via Twitter on Wednesday. 
 
Matthews reportedly also holds offers from Memphis, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi State.
 
“Cameron is a dog, he’s down to do the dirty work,” said Marion guard Detrick Reeves, who’s teammates with Matthews on Team Thad and whose Patriots faced Olive Branch twice in 2018-19. “He can also get a bucket in transition or in the post. He has a high motor, he’s always on the boards tough. He never worries about scoring, he’ll sacrifice his body and do whatever for us to win. 
 
“I’ve enjoyed every bit of playing with him! Great kid.”
 
Linked just below is a highlight reel of Cameron Matthews from the recent Memphis in May Invitational …
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFroWZoGMNc
 
It didn’t take long for two highly rated Arkansas recruits from Oklahoma to react to Head Hog Eric Musselman’s hiring Friday ofChris Crutchfield as new associate head coach, the same position he held with the Sooners for the past three seasons.
 
“It’s a big deal,” said Rod Thompson, father of 2020 star guard Bryce Thompson of Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa. “Bryce was excited.”
 
Bryce Thompson (6-4 shooting guard, Booker T. Washington High School, 17U OK Run PWP on the Under Armour circuit, ESPN national No. 57 / 4-star prospect) recently had his Arkansas offer that was made by the previous coaching staff reaffirmed.
 
And with Crutchfield now on board, the Hogs are in line to get a visit.
 
We’ll take a visit to Arkansas probably in the fall,” Rod Thompson said.
 
Bryce Thompson has been one of the best players in the country so far in the spring playing on the Under Armour Association circuit, and he recently picked up offers from North Carolina, Michigan State, and Texas to go along with offers from Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Colorado, and others.
 
Thompson has visited Arkansas unofficially numerous times, and he took his junior-year official visit to Arkansas in October when the previous coaching staff was still in Fayetteville. He has also taken junior-year official visits to Colorado (in 2018), Texas A&M (In 2018), Michigan State (last week), and Oklahoma (just two days ago).
 
Arkansas offer Trey Alexander (6-5 combo guard, Heritage Hall in Oklahoma, Team Griffen 16U, composite national No. 32 / 4-star) became the Razorbacks’ first Class of 2021 target to receive an offer on April 16.
 
Alexander holds Crutchfield in high regard.
 
“Coach Crutch is the first person I met at my recruitment at OU, very down-to-earth guy,” Alexander said. “He loves to see people doing good and he cares for his guys … And having a guy like Coach Crutch recruiting you makes you feel welcome to a university. He is a very easy guy to talk to.”
 
Alexander — he holds offers from the Hogs, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, SMU, Tulsa, and others — is related to former Arkansas track-and-field Hall of Famer and Olympic gold medalist Mike Conley, Sr., and his son and Memphis Grizzlies star guard Mike Conley, Jr.
 
 
* A source confirmed Wednesday that Arkansas’s basketball team — that’s returning players and newcomers alike — will report to Fayetteville at the end of Memorial Day weekend (Monday, May 27). Summer school session one is set to start on Tuesday, May 28. 
 
As the roster stands now, Arkansas has 10 scholarship returnees (senior Adrio Bailey, junior Gabe Osabuohien, junior Jalen Harris, junior Mason Jones, redshirt-sophomore Khalil Garland, sophomore Isaiah Joe, sophomore Desi Sills, sophomore Ethan Henderson, sophomore Reggie Chaney, and freshman Justice Hill) plus 4 scholarship transfer-newcomers (senior Jeantal Cylla, senior Isaiah Moss, junior JD Notae, and sophomore Connor Vanover). The maximum allowed on scholarship per season is 13.
 
* Former Arkansas big man Daniel Gafford is following his participation in last week’s NBA Draft Combine with visits and workouts with with at least least 3 NBA teams: Detroit, Charlotte, and Orlando.
 
Gafford worked out for the Pistons on Tuesday, and he’s expected to do the same with the Hornets and Magic before the end of May. Gafford battled head-to-head against former Maryland center Bruno Fernando during 3-on-3 drill work at Detroit as both players look to solidify first-round draft selections. 
 
The NBA Draft is June 20 at the Barclays Center in New York. 
 
At the NBA Draft Combine last week in Chicago, Gafford measured: 6-9.25 in height without shoes, 6-10.5 in height with shoes, 7-2.5 wingspan, and his standing vertical reach (combines standing reach with standing vertical leap) of 142.5 inches was second-best at the 76-player combine.

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