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:
4-star wing likes style of UA staff
An ESPN top 35 basketball prospect has the University of Arkansas high on his list mainly because of Coach Eric Musselman and his staff’s penchant for communication.
ESPN rates Jordan Walsh a 4-star prospect, the No. 8 small forward and the No. 35 overall recruit for the 2022 class.
“The whole coaching staff moves as a unit. If one of them is texting me or talking to me about something, then they’re all on the same page,” Walsh said. “They’re all wanting to know what happened. They’re all just linked.”
Walsh, 6-7, 200 pounds, of Faith Family Academy in Oak Cliff, Texas, has 15 scholarship offers from schools such as Arkansas, Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Auburn, Oklahoma State, California and others.
“They’re all texting me before the game,” Walsh said of the Hogs. “They’re all sending motivation for the game. They’re all congratulating me after the dub after the game. They’re like evaluating my game, and they all will say something about what I could improve on.”
The Razorbacks set themselves apart from others when it comes to communication.
“They’re definitely different from everyone else,” Walsh said.
Walsh, who plays for Dallas-based Drive Nation in spring and summer basketball, said he talks to Musselman and associate head coach David Patrick most often.
He said Patrick is familiar with one of his Drive Nation coaches.
“He’s like real down to earth,” Walsh said of Patrick “ We have people we both know that lives down here. He’s close to one of my AAU coaches, and I’m close to my AAU coach. His name is Coach Lorenzo, but we all call him coach Lo.”
Walsh is impressed with Musselman’s vast NBA experience.
“He’s a great coach,” Walsh said. “He has a lot of experience outside of college.”
Musselman relates well with his age group.
“He really knows how to talk to kids like me,” Walsh said. “He kind of knows what we’re thinking. What we think about. He’ll talk about something you can relate to and something he can relate to. You kind of have that connection.”
Walsh led Faith Family to a 36-6 record and its first Class 4A state title as a freshman with a buzzer-beating dunk in a 53-51 victory over Liberty Hill. He’s averaging 17 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists a game this season for the 20-5 Eagles, who are rated No. 1 in Class 4A by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.
ESPN national recruiting director Paul Biancardi likes a lot about Walsh.
“I have evaluated him many times on the circuit,” Biancardi said. “One of the better two-way wings in the class. Thrives in the transition game as a finisher or a facilitator. His defensive ability is becoming impressive. Good court awareness and scoring ability with high major small forward positional size.”
Walsh has a 3.7 grade-point average and is considering business as a major in college.
“My parents are entrepreneurs,” he said. “They have their own businesses. They tell me every day, ‘You never want to work for somebody.’ ”
A lover of science, Walsh is also considering astrophysics as a major. A 2020 Ipsos poll of Americans found 57% believe there’s intelligent life on other planets.
“I wouldn’t be surprised, I really wouldn’t,” Walsh said. “There probably is. I don’t think it would surprise anybody if there was.”
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