July AAU evaluation periods underway:

Arkansas hoops staff watching plenty of prospects

By: Dudley E. Dawson
Published: Friday, July 8, 2016
Arkansas assistant basketball coach T.J. Cleveland sits next to his cousin and current NBA player DeMarre Carroll while watching Carroll's AAU Team Friday at the Adidas Gauntlet Finale in Spartanburg, S.C.
Arkansas assistant basketball coach T.J. Cleveland sits next to his cousin and current NBA player DeMarre Carroll while watching Carroll's AAU Team Friday at the Adidas Gauntlet Finale in Spartanburg, S.C.

Arkansas’ basketball staff continued watching several prospects on Friday as the first of three five-day open recruiting periods continued.

The Razorbacks and other college staffs are allowed to be at events July 6-10, July 13-17 and July 20-24.

Arkansas currently is ranked in the top six of most 2017 recruiting rankings after landing commits from El Dorado center Daniel Gafford (6-11, 223) – a top 35 player nationally per ESPN.com - and Little Rock Mills forward Darious Hall (6-7, 210).

“I know that we are going to get some other guys in this class and get Arkansas basketball back to where it needs to be,” Gafford said.

Gafford and his Arkansas Wings are participating in the inaugural Nike Peach Invitational, which is for the Nike teams that did not qualify for the 24-team Nike Peach Jam and is being held in Augusta, Ga.

The Wings are 2-2 so far with Gafford averaging 14 points and 9 rebounds in those games.

Arkansas is also recruiting 2017 prospects Victor Bailey and Garrison Brooks, who are both playing in the Peach Invitational as well.

Just across the state line in North Augusta, S.C., Little Rock Parkview star Khalil Garland (6-6, 190) and his Team Penny squad are 3-1 at the Nike Peach Jam.

Garland, who has a top three of Arkansas, LSU and UALR, scored 21 points Friday night to lead his team into Saturday’s championship bracket.

Hall, averaging 13 points for Team Magic Elite at the Adidas Gauntlet Finale in Spartanburg, S.C., had a 22-point game point game in a win over Upward Stars on Friday morning as well as 14 points later in the day in a 89-80 loss to Team Loaded.

Hall, whose 2.4 steals this week is in the top five of the event, and Team Magic Elite will play Compton Magic in the consolation bracket Saturday at 11 a.m.

Razorback head coach Mike Anderson and assistants Scotty Thurman and T.J Cleveland were on hand to see Hall as well as the Arkansas Hawks’ 16-and-under squad, which features juniors Reggie Perry and Ethan Perry and sophomore Arkansas commit Justice Hill, who both have offers from the Razorbacks.

The Hawks (3-0 in pool play) have advanced to the Final Four of the 16-and-under division by crushing Wiz Kids 80-41 on Thursday afternoon and then downing the Wisconsin Playground Warriors 75-65 and Team Loaded 76-66 on Friday.

The Razorbacks are also pursuing 2017 Stackhouse Elite point guard Lindell Wigginton (6-3, 180) of Mouth of Wilson, Va., Oak Hill Academy.

Wigginton is averaging 19.5 points and 4.4 assists for Stackhouse Elite, 2-2 so far at the Adidas Gauntlet finale and set to play the Dallas Mustangs in consolation round play Saturday morning.

The Razorback staff also saw 2018 point guard prospect Courtney Ramey (6-3), a junior from Webster Groves, Mo, at the Adidas event on Friday

Arkansas assistant Melvin Watkins has also been bouncing around to the various events.

Another 2017 prospect the Razorbacks are known to be recruiting is 6-10, 220-pound Houston Texas, St. Thomas Episcopal center Kevin Samuel, the top-ranked center in Texas.

Samuel is playing in the On the Radar Top 32 this weekend in Atlanta.

• • •

Arkansas Basketball Recruiting Prospects


• Mike Adewumni, G, 6-5, 210, Mansfield, Texas, Lake Ridge Varsity

• Victor Bailey, PG, 6-3, 1880, Austin, Texas, McNeil

• Garrison Brooks, PF-C, 6-9, 215, Lafayette, Ala., Auburn

• Jay Jay Chandler, G, 6-4, 180, Katy, Texas, Cinco Rance

• Galen Alexander, SF, 6-6, 215, Breaux Bridge, La.

• Sylvain Francisco, PG, 6-1, 170, Tavares, Fla., Liberty Christian Academy

• Daniel Gafford, PF-C, 6-11, 223, El Dorado (Arkansas commit)

• Khalil Garland, G, 6-6, 190, Little Rock Parkview

• Darious Hall, SF, 6-6, 210, Little Rock Mills (Arkansas commit)

• Darien Jackson, G, 6-1, 175, Overland Park, Kan., Blue Valley Northwest

• Jamal Johnson, G, 6-4, 180, Birmingham, Ala., Spain Park

• Elijah Joyner, G, 6-3, 170, Chicago, Ill., Curie High School

• Kevin Samuel, C, 6-10, 220, Houston, Texas, St. Thomas Episcopal School


• Kalin Bennett, PF-C, 6-9, 235, Little Rock Christian

• Isaiah Joe, SG, 6-2, 170, Fort Smith Northside

• Ethan Henderson, F, 6-8, 190, Little Rock Parkview

• Courtney Ramey, PG, 6-0, 170, Webster Groves, Mo.

• Reginald Perry, F, 6-9, 200, Tallahassee, Fla., Maclay Prep

• Desi Sills, PG, 6-0, 170, Jonesboro

• Connor Vanover, F-C, 7-3, 210, Arkansas Baptist


• Justice Hill, 5-11, 160, Little Rock Christian (Arkansas commit)

• Caleb Stokes, PF-C, 6-9, 250, Little Rock Parkview


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