Hoop Hogs recruiting notebook: Arkansas targets blowing up as High School season starts

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LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Razorbacks currently have 7 in-state players among their 12 on scholarship for the upcoming 2020-21 season, and if the early stages of the high school season in Arkansas is a good indicator the Hogs can continue to mine gold in their own backyard for years to come.

In just a four-day span (Saturday through Tuesday), five Hog recruiting targets put up impressive performances and numbers in their opening games to the ’20-21 season. Here’s a look …

2022 Arkansas commit back in action. Junior Joseph Pinion (6-6 wing, Morrilton, composite national No. 105 / 4-star prospect) — he pledged to the Hogs last month — played only three quarters but registered a team-high 23 points (including 4 made three-pointers and 9-of-11 free throws shooting), 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks in a 95-68 home loss in a benefit game against a loaded Maumelle squad on Monday night.

For Pinion, it was his first game since a knee injury derailed his sophomore season late in ’19-20.

“I would have played in the fourth quarter had it been closer,” said Pinion, who added that he’s spent the last several months working on “improving my ball-handling, my shooting, just everything in my game.”

Pinion committed to Arkansas on Oct. 23 over offers from Kansas, Baylor, Texas Tech, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, and a host of other high-major programs with Duke showing interest.

“I am 100% committed,” Pinion said. “I love it. There’s no place I’d rather be. I’m really excited for what the future holds with the Razorbacks.”

Maumelle made 17 three-pointers in the game, including 7 by 2021 Josh Denton (6-4 wing who finished with a game-high 29 points), 5 by 2022 Carl Daughtery, Jr. (6-2 combo guard who finished with 24 points), and 2 by 2021 big man Darvis Rasberry, Jr. (he finished with 18 points). Earlier on Monday, Daughtery picked up his first Division 1 offer from UCA and could work his way into high-major consideration down the line.

Linked here are Joseph Pinion’s game highlights from Monday night as well as a video interview with him …

Little Rock Christian Acdemy duo of Hog offers off to a fast start. Arkansas offered scholarships to 2022 Creed Williamson and 2023 Layden Blocker just last month, and the inside-out pair is already making the Razorbacks coaches look smart for making those offers.

Blocker (6-2 point guard) has been a scoring phenom out of the gates, putting up 28 points to go with 6 assists, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals in a 69-64 double-overtime win over Watson Chapel in a benefit game on Saturday, followed by a 35-point outburst on Tuesday to lead a 74-50 win over Pulaski Robinson.

Williamson (6-8 forward) put up a double-double — 23 points (on 9-of-12 field goals, including a buzzer-beater in regulation to send the game to its first OT), 12 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. He followed that up with 14 points in the win over Pulaski Robinson.

Linked here are Creed Williamson’s and Layden Blocker’s game highlights from Saturday as well as video interviews with both …

Little Rock Central duo with Arkansas offers key huge come-from-behind early-November win! Arkansas offers 2023 Bryson Warren and 2024 K. Annor Boateng proved to be the catalysts in a 67-62 come-from-behind win over Jacksonville on Tuesday in a matchup of defending state champions.

Warren (6-2 point guard) actually played the part of hero, hitting what proved to be the game-winning bucket — a 17-footer on the baseline after a clever move to shake defenders as the shot clock was winding down inside a minute to play — as his Tigers erased a 16-point second-half deficit for the win.

Warren finished with a game-high 32 points in an early statement game between the 2019-20 defending co-6A state champion Tigers and co-5A state champion Titans.

Boateng (6-5 wing) — recently named co-MVP of the Pangos All American freshman / sophomore camp in Dallas-Fort Worth — finished with 9 points (4-of-6 field goals and 1-of-1 free throws), a team-high 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

Linked here are Bryson Warren’s and K. Annor Boateng’s game highlights from Tuesday as well as a video interview with Warren …

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