By Kevin McPherson
LITTLE ROCK — Highly regarded 2023 prospect Layden Blocker parlayed a great weekend into a fruitful week, using a strong showing at a top prospect camp to help land three high-major scholarship offers in the span of two mid-week days that culminated with an offer from the home-state Arkansas Razorbacks on Thursday.
Blocker (6-2 point guard, Little Rock Christian Academy) picked up offers from St. John’s and Auburn on Wednesday before Head Hog Eric Musselman extended one a day later. Blocker — he also spoke with Musselman on Monday night — additionally holds offers from TCU, Tulane, Southern Miss, UCA, and Oral Roberts with interest from Texas A&M, Baylor, Missouri, and Virginia Tech.
Blocker joins his Little Rock Christian Academy and Joe Johnson Hawks teammate, 2022 Creed Williamson, who also picked up an Arkansas offer on Thursday.
“He’s a really cool guy, really energetic,” Blocker said of Musselman following his Monday virtual meeting with the Hogs’ entire coaching staff. “He’s a good coach, he gets along with his players very well. Now I know what he looks for in a point guard like myself. He said that the point guard and the coach need to be connected, and that the point guard needs to be a coach on the floor. He also likes a scoring point guard. If you are a point guard who can score without turning the ball over, that’s good.
“They talked about the transition from high school to college, highlighting what you do well and improving on what needs to be worked on.”
Blocker said Hogs associate head coach David Patrick, assistant coaches Corey Williams and Clay Moser, director of basketball operations Anthony Ruta, and director of student-athlete development Earl Boykins were with he and Musselman on that Monday call, which was the first time he had ever spoken with Musselman. Williams attended an LRCA practice in the fall of 2019 to evaluate Blocker’s play.
Blocker — he attended the Arkansas Red-White game at Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville in October 2019 — just wrapped up a big weekend at Pangos All American freshman / sophomore camp in Dallas-Fort Worth, averaging 18 points, 4 assists, and 4 rebounds per game en route to be rewarded with a spot in the Top 30 all star game on Sunday. In that game, Blocker was 1 of only 8 players to score in double figures — he notched 10 points in a win.
Blocker drew praise from recruiting analysts who covered the event. Frank Burlison, national grassroots basketball scout for BallerTV, took to Twitter following the event to proclaim that Blocker was one of the 10 best prospects out of the reported 219 from 13 states that attended. Grassroots.net ranked Blocker the 19th-best prospect at Pangos.
“He’s a dynamic guard who can play both guard positions,” Hawks chairman Bill Ingram said of Blocker. “He’s really a point guard who can play the 2. He can distribute and score. He’s a typical high-level, power-5 guard coming out of high school. And learning the game from a technical standpoint, he knows every position and what he and everybody else is supposed to be doing.
“Of course his athleticism is off the charts. He’s really been in that weight room, and he’s a versatile guy. He can score in a variety of different ways. He’s another guy I’m confident is going to be another Top 60 player. He’s a gym rat, a student of the game, and an all-around a great young man.”
Linked below are recent highlights of Layden Blocker …