The Recruiting Guy:

Musselman sells Moody's father on UA's progress

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Sunday, November 17, 2019
Moses Moody (center) reveals his commitment at Arkansas Fitness and Athletics in Little Rock on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Little Rock.
Photo by Jeff Gammons
Moses Moody (center) reveals his commitment at Arkansas Fitness and Athletics in Little Rock on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Little Rock.

When shooting guard Moses Moody announced his commitment to the University of Arkansas, his parents Kareem and Rona seconded his decision.

Moody, 6-6, 190 pounds, of Montverde Academy in Florida, chose Arkansas over Michigan and Virginia on Nov. 9.

The former North Little Rock standout also had scholarship offers from Kansas, Ohio State, Southern California, Oregon, Florida, Alabama, Auburn, Oklahoma, Texas, Stanford and others.

Coach Eric Musselman reconfirmed Moody's Arkansas offer two days after his hiring on April 7.

Kareem Moody's confidence in Musselman reassured him about his son's choice.

"I would really say I was sold on coach and the system he's put in," Kareem Moody said. "I feel like he has the momentum to move in the right direction. I just kind of had to be sold on the future. I feel like there's been some things that's happened over the past few years that I probably didn't have as much confidence over.

"[Musselman] has some cutting-edge ideas. I think he pays enough attention to detail where he's probably going to win some games just because he's out-prepared some folks, and I've heard people talk about that and I can see that in action."

Kareem Moody sees the hiring of Musselman as a major step in getting Arkansas basketball back to an elite level.

"I think he symbolizes a lot of who we can be as a school," Moody said. "I think players are going to want to play for him based on his energy and his excitement."

Seeing the enthusiasm Razorback fans have shown Musselman and the program also is encouraging.

"I think the fans are hungry," he said. "I do feel like fans have to learn to be supportive again, learn how to win again, learn how to be winners. So I'm looking forward to that."

The naming of the Walton Arena court after Hall of Fame coach Nolan Richardson was a good move by the university, the elder Moody said.

"I think the naming of the court from a cultural standpoint, having been here knowing how significant that is," he said. "I feel like the university is at least looking in the right direction in terms of righting wrongs and fixing stuff, and that said a lot."

Moses Moody and his good friend and Arkansas target Khalen Robinson made their official visits during the Auburn football game weekend Oct. 18-20.

"The visit did a lot," Kareem Moody said. "I've had conversations with the AD, I've talked to the assistant AD, and I've talked to other people on staff. I've talked to a lot of people in the community. For me, it wasn't just the program. It's how does the program fit into this system that hasn't been successful in the past."

Musselman's plan for his son also was a plus.

"I think Musselman did a good job with his presentations," Kareem Moody said. "He showed some things that I haven't seen before. He showed me some very practical, factual-based analytics. It just wasn't like fluff, it's real stuff.

"The proof is in the pudding in terms of I'm seeing gains. I'm seeing stuff translate on the court. That's what I'm watching for this year, too. I just want to see it in action."

He hopes the fans embrace the team.

"I want to see the fans and how people support them," Kareem Moody said. "I don't want people to learn how to cheer when we get there. Start practicing now. Those guys are playing hard. Coach is putting a lot of effort in."

The elder Moody learned to trust Musselman during the recruiting process.

"He has a basketball mind," Kareem said. "I think he's perfect for what I need him to be. We've had some conversations that kind of gave me some insight to who he is so. I do feel like I've connected with him in a way that I feel like I needed to connect with a coach."

Email Richard Davenport at rdavenport@arkansasonline.com.

Sports on 11/17/2019

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