By Kevin McPherson
LITTLE ROCK — 2022 Arkansas interest Joseph Pinion is riding the wave of some recent recruiting momentum.
The 6-foot-6 combo guard from Morrilton and the Joe Johnson Hawks picked up another Division 1 scholarship offer on Thursday from Tulsa of the respected American Athletic Conference, and just last week it was Big 12 powerhouse Kansas that extended him an offer.
“I am extremely excited, it’s a great feeling,” Pinion said of his mounting recruiting interest.
Pinion now holds offers from Kansas, DePaul, Tulsa, South Alabama, UCA, and Oral Roberts with Arkansas, Baylor, Vanderbilt, and others showing interest.
Pinion took an unofficial visit to Arkansas on Nov. 2, just three days before Eric Musselman made his Razorbacks head coaching debut when Arkansas hosted Rice at Bud Walton Arena in Fayeteville in the 2019-20 season-opener.
“Really enjoyed the visit, really excited whenever I found out I was gonna visit and got my pictures with Muss,” Pinion said. “The staff was great, the program is amazing, and Muss is a really good coach.
“They had a great offense and very high energy practice. I liked the energy everyone on the court had, they were all unselfish.”
Pinion and Arkansas have recently been in touch as Razorbacks assistant coach Corey Williams spoke with him last week.
Despite the current recruiting dead period being extended through the end of May by the NCAA on Wednesday — that means no on- or off-campus visits — and with no guarantee that live recruiting periods will be back open in June or beyond due to covid-19 concerns, Pinion still has a visit wish list for the near future.
“I want to visit Arkansas, Baylor, Oklahoma, and Kansas soon if I can,” Pinion said.
Named last week to the @ARHoopScoop All Arkansas second team, Pinion also picked up all-state and all-conference honors after leading his Morrilton team in scoring (18.1 points per game), rebounds (7.9), and blocks (1.6) to go with 1.5 steals per game on a team that finished the ’19-20 season with a conference title and a 21-11 overall record.
As you can see in the Pinion’s hudl highlight reel linked below, he’s a fearless and effective shooter from deep three-point range and he has craft in his dribble-drive game to go with being a handful in transition. His court awareness and ability to set others up for easy scoring makes him a playmaker beyond who is own offense. Pinion not only grew a couple of inches in the past 12-18 months, but he added strength and bulk that allows him to combine his ball skill with physicality that often made him a matchup nightmare for opponents during his sophomore season.