Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is the host of Recruiting Thursday, a weekly radio show that airs from 7 to 8 p.m. on 92.1 FM in Fayetteville; 93.7 FM in Little Rock; 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home; and 106.9 FM in Arkadelphia.
THE RECRUITING GUY:
Razorback coaches show interest that’s fit for King
Arkansas coach Mike Anderson watches as his Razorbacks defeat UT Martin during the second half of the basketball game in Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville on Thursday December 19, 2013.
Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson’s style of play relies heavily on great guard play, and highly-recruited junior shooting guard King McClure is a major target of the Razorbacks.
Anderson and associate head coach Melvin Watkinsare keeping in close contact with McClure in hopes he continues his career in Fayetteville.
“Coach Anderson and Coach Watkins call me all the time,” McClure said. “We talk like on a weekly basis or, if not weekly, every other week.”
McClure, 6-3½ , 208 pounds, plays for Triple A Academy in Dallas and is a consensus top 25 national prospect. Van Coleman, who has more than 30 years of experience as a national recruiting analyst, said McClure can play either guard position and creates major problems for opposing defenses.
“He’s a physical driver and slasher who can explode to the rim and finish versus contact from bigs,” said Coleman, national director of basketball scouting for Hot100Hoops.com. “He has range to the three but is at his best off the dribble with a pull-up or pass.”
Just about every school in the nation has extended a scholarship offer, with North Carolina State being among the latest. Arkansas, Texas, Baylor, Florida, Kansas and Indiana are among just a few of his other offers, and Duke and North Carolina are showing interest as well.
“We’ve already discussed how they’re going to use me and certain things like that,” McClure said of Anderson and Watkins. “When they call me now it’s just to check up on me to see how I’m doing. They’ve already made it clear they’ve wanted me. Now they just check up and see how I’m doing and which team I’m playing and when I’m playing.”
McClure lists Arkansas, Baylor, UCLA, Texas, Kansas and Duke as his top six schools, in no particular order.
“I’m just looking for a school that can play to my style of basketball and make me a better basketball player overall on the court and off the court,” said McClure, whose high school plays an up-tempo style. “Someplace where I can go in and make an impact immediately.”
Arkansas recently broke ground for a $25 million practice facility that is expected to be completed by the summer of 2015. The Razorbacks are the lone SEC school without such a facility.
While a practice facility isn’t a deal breaker for McClure, he admits it is a plus.
“I won’t say it’s pretty big, but facilities do matter because that’s where you’re going to be at most of the time and that’s where we’re going to get better and where you’re going to put most of your work in.
“It’s kind of a big deal, but I really won’t base my decision off of a school’s facilities.”
McClure’s father, LeRoy, a Conway native, was a member of the 1976 Wampus Cats basketball team that went 36-0 and won a state title. He is the founder, chief executive officer and superintendent of FOCUS Academy, which consists of charter schools, Focus Learning, pre-kindergarten to sixth grade, and Triple A Academy, seventh through 12th grades.
Family members back in Arkansas are vocal about where they would like to see McClure end up in college.
“Most of my family from Arkansas are telling me to go to Arkansas,” he said. “That’s pretty much all I hear when I go down there. ‘King, come to Arkansas. King, come to Arkansas.’ ”
McClure said he is confident Anderson can help him with his development on and off the court.
“Coach Anderson is a good man,” McClure said. “He has good morals and good ethics, and he’s a hard worker. I think he could instill those character traits in me and make me better on and off the court.”
E-mail Richard Davenport at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sports, Pages 21 on 12/27/2013