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:
Hog commit Blocker posting big summer numbers
ESPN high 4-star prospect Layden Blocker during his official visit to Arkansas.
Arkansas point guard commitment Layden Blocker showed he was worthy of his 4-star prospect ranking being elevated after a strong showing in spring and summer basketball.
Blocker, 6-2, 180 pounds, was the third-leading scorer for Sunrise Christian (Kan.) at nine points per game last season. The team had one of the most talented rosters in the nation.
He also averaged 3.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.3 steals per game as a junior.
The Buffaloes won the National Interscholastic Basketball Conference title in February. The league, in its first year, was made up of many of the elite programs in the nation.
Blocker wrapped up his summer at the prestigious Nike EYBL Peach Jam, where he averaged 14 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists, and shot 43.7% from the field, 27% from three-point range and 84.2% at the free throw line. He led Bradley Beal to the Elite Eight of the event.
ESPN rates Blocker a high 4-star prospect, the No. 6 point guard and No. 27 overall recruit nationally. During Peach Jam, he led Bradley Beal to a 66-61 victory over the NJ Scholars, which has DJ Wagner, who is the No. 1 overall prospect and No. 1 point guard in the nation.
More from WholeHogSports: Latest Arkansas recruiting news
Blocker had 15 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal while shooting 6 of 11 from the field, 1 of 2 from deep and hitting both of his free throws. Wagner had 14 points on 6 of 17 shooting and 0 for 3 from three, and 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
Both earned All-Nike EYBL Peach Jam second-team honors for their play. Wagner averaged 15.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.2 steals.
Blocker also showed well against ESPN 4-star point guard Solomon Ball in a 63-53 victory over Ball and Team Melo at Peach Jam. Blocker finished the game with a team-high 15 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 1 block, and Ball had a team-high 11 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist.
Blocker also outplayed ESPN 5-star small forward Matas Buzelis in Bradley Beal’s 74-60 win over Expressions Elite at Peach Jam. Blocker had another team-high 22 points to go with 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. He hit 8 of 15 shots, including 3 of 6 threes.
Buzelis, 6-9, 195 pounds, had 14 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks. It was recently announced he would bypass college to play in the G League Ignite for the 2023-24 season.
NBA Draft Room has projected him to a top-10 selection in the 2024 NBA Draft.
During EYBL Session III in May at Louisville, Ky., Blocker had his best game of the session going against Wagner. He had 27 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists while sinking 3 of 5 three-pointers, including one to break a 56-56 tie as the shot clock expired, as Bradley Beal beat NJ Scholars 62-56.
Wagner scored 14 points on 5 of 12 shooting and 1 of 5 from three. He also had 5 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals.
Blocker shot 57.1% from the floor and 46.1% from three-point range during the event and averaged 18.8 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.6 steals. He was named to the All-Nike EYBL Louisville first team.
For the spring and summer, he averaged 16.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.4 steals in EYBL play. He shot 47.3% from the floor, 34% from deep and 75.7% at the line.
In the first Nike EYBL Session in April at Orlando, Fla., he earned first-team honors after averaging 20.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals. His shooting was red-hot – 53% from the field and 54% from three.
He also shot 83% at the line.
Blocker also proved to be one of the top players at the NBPA Camp in Orlando this summer while competing against many of the other elite prospects in the nation. He was one of the 10 players selected for the All-Star Team.
Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.