By Otis Kirk
Arkansas coach Mike Neighbors has signed a recruiting class ranked No. 15 in the nation by All Star Girls Report.
In the SEC, the class is No. 4 behind only South Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi State. The staff’s second recruiting class includes Frederick (Md.) point guard Makayla Daniels, Springdale forward Marquesha Davis, Burnsville (Minn.) center Destinee Oberg and Lawton (Okla.) Eisenhower guard Ginger Reece. Neighbors also adds the services of Amber Ramirez who is redshirting the 2018-19 season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Neighbors is obviously elated to add talent next season to the current team.
“Signing day is a special day for every student-athlete and ‘the village’ who helped them achieve what it takes to earn a Division I scholarship,” Neighbors said. “We welcome these four freshmen, one transfer and their villages to our Razorback family. Each student-athlete was selected for her unique basketball talents on the court and specific character qualities off the court.”
Here’s a closer look at each of the girls.
The 5-8 point guard is the all-time leading scorer (boy or girl) for the Cadets and earned Maryland Basketball Coaches Association All-State First-Team honors as a junior. Daniels paced the Cadets to the Class 3A state titles as a sophomore and junior going 26-2 last season. Daniels scored 47 points in the championship game as a sophomore and dropped in 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the final game in 2018. Daniels chose Arkansas over Iowa, Iowa State, Texas Tech, Marshall, Delaware, Richmond and Saint Joseph.
Born in McGehee, Arkansas, Davis was named to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette All-Arkansas Preps second team and the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette first team after averaging 21 points, 10.2 rebounds and three steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field. She eclipsed 1,000 career points as a junior and broke Springdale High’s single-season scoring and rebounding records in 2017-18. She averaged 15 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.6 steals as a sophomore. Davis was also named an Adidas Uprising All-American Camp selection in 2017-18. Davis chose Arkansas over Kentucky, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Houston and Georgia Tech.
Oberg returns to the court as a senior after a year away due to an injury. Despite missing a season, Prospects Nation rates Oberg a 4.5-star prospect, the No. 6 post player and No. 38 overall recruit in the nation for the 2019 class. As a sophomore, Oberg and the Academy of Holy Angels played to a third-place finish at the state tournament. She averaged 16.6 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.1 steals per game that season. Oberg chose Arkansas over Florida State, Kansas State, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, North Dakota, Purdue, Rutgers, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin among others.
Reece is considered a versatile perimeter prospect with a quick first step at Eisenhower High School in Lawton, Oklahoma. Rated the No. 59 prospect in the nation when she committed, Reece was an honorable mention all-district selection as a sophomore and a second-team pick as a junior. She has guided the Eagles to back-to-back state tournament appearances and averaged 14 points per game last season. Reece chose Arkansas over Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas Tech.
Ramirez transferred to Arkansas after two seasons at TCU. She will redshirt the 2018-19 season due to NCAA transfer rules. At TCU, Ramirez was third on the team with 10.4 points per game and she led the team from distance. She scored in double figures in 18 games as a sophomore and broke the TCU and Big 12 single game records with 11 made 3-point shots last season. The five-star McDonald’s All-American won two medals with USA Basketball in the summer of 2016 and gold with the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship. Ramirez was the No. 10-ranked prospect as a senior in high school and had a 4.5-star rating. Ramirez chose Arkansas over Washington and TCU.
Arkansas is 1-0 on the season heading into tonight’s game at UT-Arlington with tip at 7 p.m.