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.
Texas forward proud of Arkansas connections
A basketball sits in a rack at Bud Walton Arena in this undated photo.
When junior forward Duncan Powell makes his unofficial visit to the University of Arkansas on Saturday, he'll see a familiar face.
Powell 6-7, 225 pounds, attended DeSoto (Texas) High School where he averaged 22 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks as a sophomore before transferring to Huntington (W. Va.) Prep for his junior year.
Duncan Powell highlights
Arkansas junior guard Mason Jones also attended DeSoto before eventually signing with the Hogs. Powell likes Arkansas' tradition and academics, but having Jones in Fayetteville also helps.
"I went to school with my guy Mason Jones at DeSoto," Powell said. "I didn't go to school with him, but he went to the high school I use to go to. That also added something to it."
Powell and his father are expected to arrive in Fayetteville around 10 a.m. on Saturday for the visit. He praised associate head coach Chris Crutchfield's way of recruiting.
"He's been telling me about the school and the program," Powell said. "I can tell right off the bat he's a real player's coach and wants to get to know the player. He really keeps it genuine with his recruitment and he's honest. I really appreciate that. Those are the things I look for in recruiting. That really helps. He's really a true player's coach."
ESPN rates Powell a 4-star recruit and the No. 11 power forward in the nation for the 2021 class. He participated at the prestigious Nike Elite 100 in St. Louis in June.
He has scholarship offers from Ole Miss, SMU, St. Louis, TCU and Tulsa but has been talking to Crutchfield about a possible offer from the Hogs.
"It was mentioned about a month or so ago during the NCAA live period," Powell said. "He said one was on the way, so this might be it right here."
Powell has heard good things about Arkansas, but is looking forward to experiencing it first-hand.
"I've always heard about the Arkansas fans and the environment of the campus," Powell said. "That's really what I want to see up there. That really plays a big role. Then another part is just the college town vibe. I really want to see how the community supports the program on game days and see how everyone interacts."
He hopes to major in business and is encouraged by what he's hearing about the Sam M. Walton College of Business.
"I really want to get into business or business management," Powell said.
Powell has seen Jones transform his body since high school when he weighed about 245 pounds.
"You can see all of the hard working paying off," Powell said. "I'm happy for him."
Powell also knows former Razorbacks point guard Jabril Durham, who's also a DeSoto product. Durham helped Hungary based PVSK Panthers to a league championship in the spring while being named the MVP.
Seeing Durham and Jones succeed at Arkansas, is comforting to Powell.
"It's a really cool thing to see," Powell said. "That's also something I look at. Once DeSoto, always DeSoto. It's family."
Email Richard Davenport at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sports on 09/13/2019
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