Hoop Hogs notebook: ’21 Aug visitors, UA coaches hit road, new 5 offers, Zai/NBA

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LITTLE ROCK — With on-campus visits limited to only 5 days in July (1-5) for all NCAA Division 1 schools, look for the Arkansas Razorbacks to host multiple recruiting prospects in August.

Arkansas had three recruits in this week for unofficial visits — 2020 guard Bryce Thompson on Tuesday, 2020 big man Jaylin Williams on Wednesday, and 2021 Jalen Ricks on Thursday — and at least five 2021 prospects appear to be headed to Fayetteville in August.

2021 Arkansas interest Terran Williams (6-4 wing, Barton, 16U Joe Johnson Hawks) confirmed Wednesday he plans to be on campus for an unofficial visit.

“I will visit Arkansas in early August,” said Williams, whose Hawks teammate — the aforementioned Ricks — received a scholarship offer from the Hogs during his visit on Thursday.

An active, athletic slasher from the wing who is also a solid defender, Williams recently picked up an offer from Auburn during his unofficial visit with the Tigers earlier this month. He also has offers from Oklahoma State and TCU.

Williams has taken unofficial visits to Arkansas in the past, but this will be his first since Eric Musselman was hired as head coach. His first direct contact with Hog coaches was on Saturday, June 15, when assistant coach Corey Williams reached out to him.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to get closer with the coaching staff and see how they coach and train with the players,” Williams said of his upcoming August visit.

Another Arkansas target — 2021 Kennedy Chandler (6-1 point guard, Briarcrest Christian in Memphis, 17U Mokan Elite, composite national No. 30  / 4-star prospect) — is also looking to take an unofficial visit to Fayetteville.

“It will be August,” said Chandler’s father, Kylan Chandler.

A trio of 2021 Hog offers and 16U Team Griffin teammates — Jaxson Robinson (6-6 wing, Ada, OK, ESPN national No. 48 / 4-star prospect), Trey Alexander (6-5 combo guard, Heritage Hall in Oklahoma, ESPN national No. 51 / 4-star prospect), and Daimion Collins (6-9 forward / center, Atlanta, TX, composite national No. 83 / 4-star prospect) — also appear to be headed for unofficial visits to Arkansas in August, according to a source.

Arkansas has an available scholarship to give for the class of 2019, and Razorbacks coaches have reportedly “reached out” to another college transfer.

Deleware freshman guard Ithiel Horton (6-3, 200, Vauxhall, NJ native) entered the transfer portal earlier this week, and Adam Zagoria of New York Times Sports reported on Thursday that Arkansas, Marquette, Pitt, Minnesota, Virginia Tech, UCLA, and Miami had “reached out” to Horton.

Horton averaged 32.6 minutes, 13.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.0 steals while shooting 43.3% field goals (including 40.9% from 3) and 78.6% free throws for the Blue Hens in 33 games in 2018-19.

2020 Dawson Garcia (6-11 center, Prior Lake High School in Minnesota, 17U D1 Minnesota on the Adidas Gauntlet circuit, national No. 23 / 5-star prospect according to 247Sports) reported an Arkansas offer via Twitter on Thursday. 

Garcia reportely also holds offers from Kansas, North Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Maryland, Oregon, Minnesota, Marquette, Baylor, and others.

Garcia played in the Addias Gauntlet session in Dallas in late April when Musselman, Williams, and special assistant Hays Myers were on hand evaluating prospects. And more recently (June 13-14) Musselman, Williams, associate head coach Chris Crutchfield, and assistant coach Clay Moser all were in attendance to evaluate him at the NBPA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, VA, as Garcia averaged 10.0 points and 6.6 rebounds while shooting 36.4% on 3-point field goal attempts.

Arkansas coaches have been on the road the last two weekends — NBPA Top 100 Camp (June 13-14) and NFHSA scholastic events (June 21-23) — and this weekend will make it three consecutive as college coaches can evaluate prospects (starting at 6 p.m. today and concluding at 4 p.m. on Sunday) at numerous NCAA sanctioned scholastic events around the country.

Crutchfield and Williams were in the Atlanta area last weekend to see prospects at the GHSA team camp, and among other stops, Hog coaches are likely headed back this weekend for the GHSA Top 100 camp. Two recent Arkansas offers registered to play at the event are 6-1 point guard Deivon Smith (composite national No. 98 / 4-star prospect) and 6-3 shooting guard Caleb Murphy, both of Grayson High Schoool in Loganville, GA. 

* According to a source, the Charlotte Hornets made inquiries Thursday about Arkansas sophomore-to-be Isaiah Joe as part of their player research for the 2020 NBA Draft, which is nearly a year away. 

And several “way-too-early” 2020 NBA mock drafts project Joe to get drafted should he leave Arkansas after the 2019-20 season: No. 37 in the second round to the Philadelphia 76ers (ESPN.com), No. 21 in the first round to the Golden State Warriors (Tankathon.com), and late first round to mid second round (NBAdraftroom.com).

Joe was named to the SEC All-Freshman team after averaging 13.9 points (second on the team), 2.8 rebounds, and 1.5 steals (led the team) last season. He finished the regular season as the SEC’s leader in 3-pointers made and 3-point field goal percentage, and his 113 made triples set the single-season school record and tied the SEC mark for the most made by a freshman in a single season. Joe was the first Arkansas freshman to start every game since Bobby Portis in ’13-14.

Arkansas fans can get their first glimpse of former Razorbacks big man Daniel Gafford as an NBA player next Friday (July 5) when the Chicago Bulls face the Los Angeles Lakers at 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN during the first day of action at the Las Vegas NBA Summer League, which runs July 5-15.

Gafford was selected 38th overall in the second round by the Bulls on June 20th during the 2019 NBA Draft in New York. As a sophomore at Arkansas in 2018-19, Gafford was top 5 in the SEC in scoring (16. points), rebounds (8.7), blocks (2.0, and field goal percentage (66.0%) en route to being named consensus first-team All SEC and SEC All Defensive team.

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