By Kevin McPherson
LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Razorbacks men’s basketball program will welcome in two 2023 uber-talented cousins for official visits on the weekend of Sept. 16-18 in 5-star Baye Fall and 4-star Assane Diop, according to a source.
Fall (6-11 forward / center, Accelerated Schools in Denver, Colo, composite national No. 11 / 5-star prospect) and Diop (6-10 3/4-combo forward, Accelerated Schools in Denver, Colo, ESPN national No. 46 / 4-star prospect) have been priority recruiting targets for Arkansas for more than a year, and the pair took an unofficial visit to Fayetteville to attend the Arkansas-Kentucky game in February before meeting with coaches at the basketball performance center following the Hogs’ win.
They were considering taking their OV’s to Arkansas the weekend of Sept. 30-Oct. 2 when the Football Hogs host Alabama, according to sources, and that date remains available if anything were to change with their current plans. The duo has also visited Seton Hall and Auburn. Fall has upcoming OVs planned to Rutgers (Sept. 1), Texas (Sept. 10), and Seton Hall (Sept. 28).
Fall and Diop will become the Hoop Hogs’ third and fourth official visitors from the class of 2023, joining Arkansas commit Layden Blocker (6-2 point guard, Little Rock native, Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita, Kan., ESPN national No. 28 / 5-star prospect) who OV’ed on June 6-8 and Arkansas priority target Ron Holland (6-8 combo forward, Duncanville, Texas, ESPN national No. 4 / 5-star prospect) who OV’ed on June 9-11.
Fall released his Final 7 schools list on Friday: Arkansas, Colorado, Auburn, Texas, Seton Hall, Rutgers, and Kansas State. Diop recently named Arkansas among his top 8 college choices, a list that includes Auburn, Ohio State, Arizona State, Colorado, Seton Hall, Kansas State, and BYU.
Roughly two months following their OV to Arkansas, Fall and Diop will be back in the state as high school seniors when their Accelerated Schools team takes part in the Big Show Tip Off Showcase on Saturday, Nov. 19, at the new Fort Smith Northside basketball arena. A field of 10 teams will each play a single game as Accelerated Schools will take on 2021-22 national high school runner-up Link Academy (Mo.) at 8 p.m. CT as the nightcap of five games scheduled for that day.
Fall and Diop excelled competing on the Adidas 3SSB circuit was well as at Pangos All American, NBPA Top 100, and Adidas 3SSB All American camps in the spring and summer of 2022 as Arkansas coaches fanned out across the country to watch them compete. Head Hog Eric Musselman saw both compete multiple times in late July at the Adidas 3SSB Open Championships in Seal Beach, Calif.
Fall — he just competed a week ago in the Under Armour Next Elite 24 all star game in Chicago — made the Pangos All American Camp Top 30 all-star game in early June as well as being named 1 of 10 all star honorees from the NBPA Top 100 camp in early July, two events wrapped around Fall’s consistently superior play on the Adidas 3SSB circuit. During NBPA Top 100 Camp, Fall was the only player to average a double-double in championship tournament bracket play. He was also honored with an invite to the Adidas 3SSB All American Camp.
Long and athletic with a big motor and freakishly quick lift and long strides to rebound and block shots out of his area, Fall is a crafty interior scorer using footwork, quickness, elevation, and length to finish over defenders.
Diop also took part in Pangos, NBPA, and Adidas 3SSB All Americans camps as he consistently put up scoring and rebounding production in those events as well as Adidas 3SSB circuit events throughout the spring and summer. A versatile, face-up talent with perimeter skills, Diop might be one of the most underrated players in the country.