Dudley E. Dawson is a reporter for Hawgs Illustrated. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a voter for the Heisman Trophy.
Arkansas impresses Canadian point guard Shakwon Barrett
Arkansas coach Mike Anderson smiles after the Razorbacks' win over Georgia Saturday, March 4, 2017, in Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas' basketball recruiting profile now includes Canada.
The Razorbacks have dipped into that country more recently, including hosting Toronto-born point guard Shakwon Barrett (6-4, 170) on an unofficial visit earlier this week.
The former Grassroots Canada AAU star, who averaged 15.8 points and 4.6 assists per game this past season, came away from the visit impressed.
“Just meeting with the coaches and the players,” Barrett said. “I felt comfortable from the start, like my mother and I had been there before. The new (Arkansas Performance Center) facility is incredible.”
His mom was happy with the trip as well.
“My mom really liked it, said she felt a good vibe from all the coaches and their families,” Barrett said.
Barrett played a post-graduate year this season at The Tech Academy in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario after playing his senior season at Henderson, NV., Findley Prep.
He previously played two high school years at Oakwood C.I. in Toronto and led the team to the 2014 OFSAAA Boys AAAA Basketball Championship.
Barrett has now visited Arkansas, Tulane and Michigan - which has not offered yet - and plans to make a decision soon during the April 12-May 17 late signing period.
“As of right now, I don’t have any other visits,” Barrett said. “Plan to make a decision soon, don’t want to drag it out longer than it needs to be.”
He compares his game to Arkansas native and current Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley.
““In comparison to an NBA player, I think I play the most like a Mike Conley,” Barrett told Hoops Hype Canada. “I like playing fast tempo and I am good with finishing or finding players in transition.
“In half court, I’m good with getting paint touches, collapsing defenses and finding teammates. Also like the pick-and-roll game.”
Arkansas is also known to be recruiting a pair of other Canadians that played this season at Little Rock’s Southwest Christian Academy in senior forward Gabe Osabuohien (6-8, 210) and junior point guard Shakur Daniel (6-5, 180).
Osabuohien visited the Razorbacks unofficially on Thursday along with senior forward Mladen Armus (6-10) and senior guard Avery Benson (6-4, 180), a former Springdale Har-Ber standout.
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Arkansas signee Daniel Gafford (6-11, 223) was selected to play in the inaugural Allen Iverson All-Star game on Friday night in Portsmouth, Va., but is not playing due to a conflict.
The communication between the organizers and El Dorado head coach Gary Simmons was not good and Gafford did not know he was invited until late and had already scheduled events.
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