Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He appears weekly on The Red Zone w/ JB on 92.1 FM Fayetteville, The Morning Rush w/ Tye & Tommy on 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home, 99.5 FM in Fayetteville and The Zone w/ Justin & Wess on 103.7 FM in Little Rock.
The Recruiting Guy:
Junior college big man compared to a former Hog looking to visit the Hill
Arkansas assistant coaches Scotty Thurman, left, and TJ Cleveland watch practice Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016, at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.
Arkansas extended a scholarship offer to junior college power forward Shawn Stith on Wednesday and a visit to Fayetteville is likely.
“I was very excited, it’s been long time coming,” Stith said. “It really made my day.”
Stith, 6-8, 255 pounds of Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif., averaged 15.9 points and 7 rebounds while shooting 61.7 percent from the field and 28 percent from three-point line. He averaged 13 points and 6.3 rebounds as a freshman.
Assistant coach Scotty Thurman is recruiting Stith.
“He was saying they really like my versatility,” said Stith, who plans an official visit to Arkansas. “I can do the in and out game. He liked how hard I played and the intensity I play with along with my character and the fight I bring to the table.”
Saddleback coach Andy Ground said Stith has offers from numerous Big West, Mountain West, Big Sky and the West Coast Conference teams. He used Stith inside and out during the Gauchos’ 19-9 season.
“He’s a four at that level,” Ground said. “He played the four and five for me both years He can score on the block, but is skilled. If you have a lot of long athletic guys around him, he’ll be really good.”
A team captain, Stith said Thurman compared him to his teammate Dwight Stewart that played on the 1994 national championship team.
“I would say I’m really aggressive driving the ball and getting down low and being able to finish with contact,” Stith said. “I can get really nasty and dirty down low, but then I can also have a nice finesse game. Being able to score and create mismatches on the floor. I move pretty well for a guy my size so that creates a lot of mismatches when other bigger defenders guard me and when smaller defenders guard me I can take them to the post or midrange.”
Ground praised Stith as a person.
“He’s a great kid,” Ground said. “He’s really a good kid. As down-to-earth.…just solid all the way around.”
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