The Recruiting Guy:

Guard interested in Arkansas, but options open

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Sunday, January 8, 2017
Arkansas assistant coaches Scotty Thurman, left, and TJ Cleveland watch practice Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016, at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.
Photo by Jason Ivester
Arkansas assistant coaches Scotty Thurman, left, and TJ Cleveland watch practice Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016, at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.

Arkansas assistant Scotty Thurman has been in steady contact with highly regarded junior guard Sharone Wright and recently attended one of his games.

"I talk to Coach Thurman, I mean a lot," Wright said. "He recently came to see me play. Before that he always texts me and called me to see how I'm doing and how my grades are."

Wright, 6-5, 177 pounds of Florence (S.C.) West Florence, has scholarship offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Memphis, Georgia Tech and others.

He has a good vibe with Thurman.

"He's a good dude," said Wright, who received his Arkansas offer Sept. 2. "He has a positive attitude. A lot of coaches will try and put on a front just because.... but he's just himself when I talk to him."

Thurman attended Wright's game against Hemingway in Florence on Dec. 30 and saw him score 27 points and have 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and a block shot to help West Florence win their third consecutive Pepsi Carolina Classic.

Wright said Thurman's visit emphasized Arkansas' interest.

"I think it did, I guess," said Wright, who was named the tournament MVP. "He told me he was looking forward to coming a couple weeks ago."

After the Hemingway game, he was averaging 17.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.9 steals this season. The player-coach relationship is important to Wright.

"It's very important," Wright said. "You always want to feel comfortable around the coach someone who's trying to teach you."

ESPN rates Wright a 4-star prospect and the No. 20 shooting guard in the nation.

"I like to say I'm a combo guard because I have another point guard that plays right next to me," Wright said. "Sometimes we're interchangeable."

His father, Sharone, played center at Clemson and was the sixth overall pick of the 1994 NBA Draft. The elder Wright is 6-11 while his mother is 5-11.

"I don't think I've had all my growth spurts yet," he said. "I think I'll get to 6-7 or 6-8."

Wright said he's interested in the Razorbacks, but no visits have been planned to Fayetteville or anyone else.

"It's definitely a school I'll consider going to," he said. "I really haven't assigned any visits to any schools yet, but I'm planning on it."

Thurman going to see Wright in action is a plus for Arkansas' efforts to get him on campus.

"The coach coming to see me must mean they really want me," Wright said. "I would strongly consider going on a visit and see what the campus is like."

Coach Mike Anderson calls the Hogs' style of play the fastest 40 minutes in basketball.

"Yeah, that's cool, I was kind of brought up to dictate the pace of the game," Wright said. "I want to pace the whole time, but I'm there to do whatever coach tells me to do to try to win. If that means running up and down fast break type stuff, I'm fine with it."

During the spring and summer, Wright plays for the Karolina Khaos on the Adidas circuit. He's heard the talk about him being a Clemson lock because of his father's ties to the program.

"A lot of people think that because I'm from South Carolina and my dad went to Clemson," he said. "That's like two and half hours away. When people ask me about Clemson I just say it's just a another school that's recruiting me, but I do love Clemson.

"I've been there several times not just basketball wise. I've been to football games when I was younger. I've always been around it, but Clemson is a school I'll consider going to, but it really doesn't mean anything that my dad went there."

E-mail Richard Davenport at

rdavenport@arkansasonline.com

Sports on 01/08/2017

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