Richard Davenport has been a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007. He also hosts Recruiting Thursday each Thursday from 7 to 8 p.m. statewide.
Hog commit Beard on point
North Little Rock point guard Anton Beard is one of the three Arkansas commitments and was the first to take an official visit to Fayetteville over the weekend.
Forrest City forward Trey Thompson, 6-9, 250 pounds will officially visit the Hogs Oct. 11-13 and guard Nick Babb, 6-4, 180 of Arlington, Texas, Martin will visit in November.
“He can post up, score buckets, get rebounds and run,” said Beard of Thompson. “I think he is going to be a great player for us.”
He likes his future backcourt teammate.
“He is a big guard that can play D, knock down open shots and do what needs to be done,” Beard said of Babb.
Beard, 6-1,180 spent part of his visit watching Coach Mike Anderson put the Razorbacks through about an hour and half workout in Barnhill Arena because the floor at Bud Walton Arena is being repaired after suffering from water damage. He appreciates Anderson’s uptempo style of play
“I can't wait to play for him next year,” Beard said.
Beard played both guard spots while at Little Rock Parkview but focused more on playing the two spot while Mississippi State point guard I.J. Ready was the floor general for the Patriots.
He improved his skills at point guard and national ranking among national analysts with his showing during the spring and summer while playing for Memphis based Team Penny.
“I was just so use to doing everything for the team and not just focusing on being the point guard,” said Beard, who was committed to Missouri but reopened his recruitment in February. “But it made me so much better. I got to work on my point guard skills with one of the best in Penny Hardaway and one of the best scorers in Todd Day.”
Beard, who’s rated by ESPN the No. 19 point guard and No. 92 prospect in nation, was invited and participated in the Deron Williams Nike Point Guard and LeBron James Skills Camps. He enjoyed learning from both NBA stars.
“We were in class a lot and those guys talked about how to handle things both on and off the court,” Beard said. “It was cool being around them. They’ve been where I am trying to go.”
Beard is one of four transfers joining the Charging Wildcats and highly regarded guard Kevaughn Allen for the upcoming season. Sophomore guard Adrian Moore, junior guard K.J. Hill and junior Sam Dunkum played last season at Conway, Bryant and Little Rock Christian.
“We want to win a state championship,” Beard said. “We are really working on our chemistry now and adjusting to each other and our roles because we were all the leading scorers for our school.”