By Kevin McPherson
LITTLE ROCK — A foursome of Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting targets have been invited to take part in what is being billed as an evaluation platform for the 2020 McDonald’s All American game.
2021s Chance Moore, Trey Alexander, Alex Fudge, and 2022 Nick Smith, Jr. — all priority Hog targets — are among the 150 players who were selected for the Coach Wootten’s Top 150 Boys event set for Oct. 24-25 in Mansfield, Texas. The 150 invitees are reportedly based on ESPN’s Top 100 prospect rankings for 2021 plus its Top 50 for 2022.
Although the event is not officially tied to the McDonald’s All American game, it is being billed as a proving ground as talent evaluators will reportedly be using it for future McDonald’s All American voting considerations.
Moore (6-5 wing, McEachern School in Georgia, ESPN national No. 44 / 4-star prospect) has already committed to the Razorbacks — he did so in August — and spanning the past couple of weekends he averaged 24.5 points per game while leading his team to a 4-0 record in the Georgia Elite Fall League.
Alexander (6-4 combo guard, Heritage Hall in Oklahoma, ESPN national No. 57 / 4-star prospect) recently named Arkansas among his Top 7 schools, a list that includes Auburn, Oklahoma, Kansas, Ole Miss, Georgia, and Grambling State.
Fudge (6-8 combo forward, Jacksonville, Fla., composite national No. 45 / 4-star prospect) recently named Arkansas among his Top 10 schools, a list that includes LSU, Florida, Texas A&M, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Southern Cal, Georgia Tech, and Central Florida.
Smith (6-4 combo guard, Sylvan Hills, ESPN national No. 52 / 4-star prospect) has a long list of high-major offers, and against 5- and 4-star talent at the Brad Beal Elite camp (Nike EYBL program) in the summer he led all scorers during the event.
* Arkansas coaches have five offers out and interest in several more in-state Class of 2022 prospects, and the latest to hear from the Hogs’ staff is junior Isaiah Jackson of Pocahontas. A source confirmed Arkansas’ staff reached out to Pocahontas head coach Anthony Brewington on Tuesday to inquire about Jackson (6-6 wing, 200 pounds, reported 79-inch wingspan, 33.7-inch vertical leap, 225-pound max bench, 385-pound squat and dead lift).
Coaches from Texas A&M also recently reached out and have set up a phone call with Jackson for Thursday. Former Fresno State and NBA player Bernard Thompson has been working with Jackson on his game. According to the source, Thompson lives in northeast Arkansas and had ties with Arkansas coach Eric Musselman’s college-and-NBA coaching father, the late Bill Musselman.
Jackson had a strong showing last weekend at the Arkansas Select Combine in Conway. Linked here are Jackson’s hudl highlights from last season …https://www.hudl.com/video/3/12322056/5ed0787cf55f8a0c18ef1c39).
* 2022 Arkansas interest Creed Williamson (6-8 forward, Little Rock Christian Academy) said he spoke with Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman on Tuesday. Williamson has had multiple phone calls with Arkansas coaches in recent months, including a face-time meeting with Musselman and assistant coach Corey Williams. He holds Division 1 offers from Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Oral Roberts with the Hogs, Kansas, Missouri, St. John’s, Southern Miss among schools showing interest.
* 2022 Arkansas offer Joseph Pinion (6-6 wing, Morrilton, composite national No. 102 / 4-star prospect) on Thursday, Sept. 24, confirmed he spoke for the second time with Duke associate head coach Jon Scheyer, who told Pinion he is one of only 13 players from the 2022 class that the Blue Devils have contacted with recruiting interest. Duke has yet to offer a scholarship to a 2022 prospect. Pinion holds offers from the Hogs, Kansas, Baylor, and many more high-major programs.
* 2022 Arkansas interests Creed Williamson (6-8 forward, Little Rock Christian Academy) and Jabari West, Jr. (6-8 forward, Hot Springs) are slated to have a Zoom meeting tonight (Wednesday, Sept. 30) with Missouri head coach Cuonzo Martin, according to a source within the Arkansas-based and Adidas-circuit-member Joe Johnson Hawks grassroots basketball program. The Hogs’ coaching staff has been inquiring about West of late and have shown interest in Williamson for months. Both big men have Divisions 1 offers.
* 2022 Arkansas offer Jayden Epps (6-1 point guard, Kings Fork High School in Virginia, national No. 53 / 4-star prospect according to Rivals.com) is set to have a Zoom virtual meeting with Arkansas coaches today (Wednesday, Sept. 30), according to former Hog guard Stefan Welsh who is familiar with Epps’ recruitment. Arkansas offer Epps a scholarship back in May.
* 2022 Arkansas offer Aidan Shaw (6-8 small forward / wing, Blue Valley High School in Kansas, national No. 48 / 4-star prospect in Kansas) will take part this weekend in Kansas City in his second Mokan Elite camp (Nike EYBL program) in recent months.
* 2023 Arkansas offer Bryson Warren (6-2 combo guard, Little Rock Central) is now getting recruiting interest from Kansas. Warren — he already holds high-major offers from the Hogs, Auburn, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Oklahoma State, and Georgetown with interest from Memphis — will take part this weekend in Kansas City in his second Mokan Elite camp (Nike EYBL program) in recent months.
* 2023 Arkansas interest Layden Blocker (6-1 point guard, Little Rock Christian Academy) and 2024 Annor Boateng (6-5 wing, Little Rock Central) — both play with Joe Johnson Hawks — will participate in the prestigious Pangos All American freshman / sophomore camp this weekend in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Blocker holds offers from TCU, Tulane, and others with interest from several high-major programs. Boateng is arguably the top in-state prospect in the class of 2024.