The Recruiting Guy:

Arkansans impress at Dallas basketball camp

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Jalen Ricks
Jalen Ricks

Seven Arkansans made the top 60 of the Pangos All-South Frosh/Soph Camp in Dallas on Saturday and Sunday.

Basketball Channel analyst Van Coleman is in his 40th year of scouting high school prospects on the national level. He purposely doesn't look at the roster of names, but instead goes by the numbers of each athlete so he doesn't have a bias toward prospects with reputations.

"They're all numbers to me. I don't want reps," Coleman said.

Sophomore guard Terran Williams, 6-5, 175 pounds, of Barton and forward Jalen Ricks, 6-6, 170, of Sylvan Hills made the top 30 of the event that featured 260 participants from the region.

Both played for the 15-under Joe Johnson Arkansas Hawks during the spring and summer, and they have scholarship offers from TCU while drawing interest from the University of Arkansas and others.

Coleman liked what he saw out of Williams.

"He can really stroke the three," Coleman said. "He has a good handle to create. He finishes in traffic. Makes good passes. He's a solid wing. He'a a kid that big-time schools should pay attention to because shooting is a premium."

Ricks has the physical tools to play on the high Division I level.

"Athletically, he's that level," Coleman said.

Coleman likes Ricks ability to get to the basket and hit the jumper.

"He's a long and athletic combo forward, great bounce, he finishes at the rim and can hit the midrange jumper," Coleman said. "He needs to add consistency to his jump shot to enhance his athletic skills."

Guard Nick Smith, 6-3, 150, of Sylvan Hills played for the 14- and 15-under Joe Johnson Arkansas Hawks in the summer. He was one of 12 freshmen that made the top 30.

A slasher-driver type, Smith struggled a bit Saturday but came back strong the next day.

"He lit up the scoreboard in the game he had Sunday morning," Coleman said. "I think someone told me he had 30. He really made a jump. He wasn't on anybody's radar after the first day. It was all the second morning."

Williams, Ricks and Smith are expected to visit the Hogs for the Red-White intersquad game Friday.

Sophomore guard Madison Peaster was one of the top freshmen in the state and helped lead Mills to a 29-3 record and a Class 5A runner-up finish. He also played with the 15-under Joe Johnson Arkansas Hawks.

Peaster, 6-3, 170, has an offer from TCU and is drawing interest from Arkansas, Kansas, Florida State and others. He's expected to visit Oklahoma State on Nov. 17.

He made the cut for the top 60 of the Pangos camp, but Coleman was looking for him to make the top 30.

"Madison Peaster didn't play the way Madison Peaster is capable of playing," Coleman said. "He's got excellent skills. He's got range, he can finish off the dribble, but he was inconsistent. Even though most of us knew he was a first game talent."

Coleman believes North Little Rock sophomore Tracy Steele, 6-1, 150, has the tools to play both guard spots.

"He has solid range, he can push it in transition," Coleman said. "He tends to get a little carried away sometimes trying to go 1-on-1, but that can be fixed. I thought when he did look for the pass, he was very good at it."

Steele played for the 15-under Woodz Elite.

Jonesboro freshman guard Jesse Washington, 6-0, 160, was close to making the top 30, Coleman said.

"He has excellent hops, so when he makes that drive he can get to the rim and finish," Coleman said. "I did not see his shot much so that was the one question I had on him. Maybe that's the difference with him maybe being able to sneak into the top 30."

Sylvan Hills guard Jalen Nettles, 6-3, 155, created a buzz at the camp with his play, and some thought he should've been in the top 30.

"One guy came over and asked why isn't he in the first game," Coleman said. "He's young with a big upside. He's one the bigger schools should go out and take a look at. Athletically and skill wise, he really impressed."

Washington and Nettles played summer and spring basketball for the 14-under Joe Johnson Arkansas Hawks.

Email Richard Davenport at

Sports on 10/16/2018


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