By Kevin McPherson

LITTLE ROCK — The 15th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks will have their first home matchup of nationally Top 15-ranked teams since January 1995 when they host No. 4 Alabama on Wednesday at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, and just like they’ve done in recent seasons Head Hog Eric Musselman and his coaching staff will roll out the red carpet for 5-star visitors who will attend a high-profile game as part of their on-campus visits.

Junior guards Ian Jackson and Dink Pate — both 5-star recruits in the Class of 2024 with Hog scholarship offers — will be at Arkansas this week and will attend Wednesday’s game, according to multiple sources.

Jackson (6-4 guard, Cardinal Hayes High School, Bronx, N.Y., composite national No. 2 / 5-star prospect) just took an official visit to North Carolina over the weekend, and his next stop is Fayetteville for an official visit (he arrived Tuesday night).

Arkansas coaches have made Jackson a recruiting priority, with Musselman and assistant coach Keith Smart among the staffers to make multiple visits to Cardinal Hayes since September to see him. Hog coaches also got to see Jackson compete multiple times on the Adidas 3SSB circuit in spring and summer grassroots play, and assistant coach Anthony Ruta was in Spain in June to watch Jackson help Team USA win the U17 World Championships.

Jackson has an impressive list of scholarship offers that includes the Hogs, Tar Heels, Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA, UConn, Oregon, LSU, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, St. John’s, Pitt, Seton Hall, and Nebraska among others. He’s also taken OVs to Kentucky, LSU, and Oregon as he considers re-classifying to 2023.

Pate (6-8 guard, Dallas Pinkston High School, Rivals national No. 18 / 5-star prospect) has told Hogville.net for months that he planned to visit Arkansas, and that time has finally come.

“I’m very excited, a dream come true,” Pate said on Monday. He arrived on campus around noon on Wednesday.

Arkansas coaches have made Pate a recruiting priority, with Musselman and multiple Hog staffers making multiple visits to Pinkston since September to see him. Razorbacks coaches also got to see Pate compete multiple times on the Adidas 3SSB circuit in spring and summer grassroots play.

Pate’s offer list includes the Hogs, Kansas, Arizona, Alabama, Auburn, Houston, Indiana, Memphis, Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, LSU, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Ole MIss, West Virginia, Arizona State, Georgetown, Cincinnati, and Rutgers among others.

Linked is my Hogville.net article from July 2022 that focused on Arkansas’ recruiting efforts in Texas, including specifics on Pate who went on the record at the time to discuss his interest in visiting Arkansas: https://forums.hogville.net/index.php?topic=744237.0

* 2024 Hog target & national Top 25 / 5-star prospect Trentyn Flowers (6-8 guard, Combine Academy in N.C.) named Arkansas among his Top 5 schools on Wednesday. His list includes the Hogs, Alabama, North Carolina, Louisville, and Creighton. Arkansas coaches have been out to see him for months, suring spring and summer grassroots play followed by visits to Combine starting with the fall recruiting period.

* 2024 Hog target and national Top 75 / 4-star prospect Elijah Moore (6-4 guard, Cardinal Hayes High School, Bronx, N.Y.) told Hogville on Wednesday that he’s narrowed his list down to 5 schools: Arkansas, Alabama, Miami, Syracuse, and Oklahoma State. The Hogs recently extended a scholarship offer to Moore, who is the high school teammate of 2024 5-star Ian Jackson.

* 2024 Hog target & national No. 36 / 4-star prospect Labaron Philon (6-3 guard, Baker High School in Mobile, Ala.) cut his list from 8 schools down to 6 on Wednesday: Arkansas, Kansas, Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, and Ole Miss. Philon, who averages just over 42 points per game, is the cousin of former Football Hog and and NFL star Darius Philon.

* 2024 Hog offer K. Annor Boateng (6-6 wing, Little Rock Central, Arkansas Hawks) has moved up eight spots to No. 8 / a 5-star prospect according to On3.com‘s updated national recruting rankings for the Class of 2024. Boateng — he’s rated No. 13 / a 5-star prospect by Rivals.com — was on a visit to Auburn over the weekend and attended the Hoop Hogs-Tigers tilt on Saturday. A source told Hogville on Monday that Boateng and his family “hope to go (back to Arkansas for another visit) on a weekend” in the near future.

* 2024 Karter Knox (6-5 guard, Tampa, Fla., composite national No. 5 / 5-star prospect) 
reported a scholarship offer from Arkansas on Dec. 28. His older brother and former Kentucky Wildcat Kevin Knox II was a member of the New York Knicks team when current Hogs assistant Keith Smart was part of the NYK coaching staff in 2018

* 2024 5-star Arkansas offer Isaiah Elohim (6-5 guard, Sierra Canyon in Calif.) had this to say about his friend and fellow 2024 5-star Arkansas offer Amier Ali (6-8 guard, IMG Academy in Fla.): “That’s one of my closest friends, that’s (visiting Arkansas together) a possibility. I haven’t discussed visits and stuff with my family or coaches yet, though, I’ve been focused on the season.” Both players have expressed intentions to visit Arkansas after the current 2022-23 season, and linked is my recent Hogville.net article detailing Ali’s Razorbacks recruitment: https://forums.hogville.net/index.php?topic=751146.0