5-star Black joins Arkansas' banner hoops class

By: Dudley E. Dawson
Published: Monday, March 28, 2022
Anthony Black of Duncanville, Texas, is shown during practice for the McDonald's All-American Game.
( McDonald's All-American Games )
Anthony Black of Duncanville, Texas, is shown during practice for the McDonald's All-American Game.

Arkansas’ prized 2022 basketball recruiting class got better Monday night when Duncanville, Texas, point guard Anthony Black became the third McDonald’s All-American and 5-star prospect to sign or commit to the Razorbacks.

Black (6-7, 198 pounds) chose Arkansas over Gonzaga, Oklahoma State, Memphis, TCU and other programs. He also considered the NBA G-League.

He committed live on ESPN2 during the Powerade Jamfest, a skills competition for players who will participate in the McDonald''s All-American Game in Chicago. The game will be played Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ESPN.

“It was just being able to trust the coaches and know they have my best interest in mind, while also winning a lot of games and having a lot of fun,” Black told ESPN2 about his decision to play for the Razorbacks.

Black will join Arkansas signees Nick Smith (6-5, 185) of North Little Rock and Jordan Walsh (6-7, 200) of Branson (Mo.) Link Academy in the McDonald's All-American Game.

“The game plan is really just to come in and win,” Black said. “We haven’t played together long so we are going to come in and see how we can help each other get better and push each other every day.”

ESPN national director of scouting Paul Biancardi is impressed with the haul Arkansas coach Eric Musselman has added with six top-100 players nationally.

“That’s not a (Muss) bus, that’s freight train right now in Arkansas with Eric Musselman,” Biancardi said. “What a class with so many top-100 players and three 5-stars.

“Anthony Black gives them a playmaker, a defender, a driver, a guy that can play the point or slide over to the off-guard position. He told me this week that he rally enjoyed playing with Nick Smith and Jordan Walsh. I should have took that cue and figured it out.”

With Black, Arkansas adds a big guard to the class ranked second nationally behind Duke by 247Sports and Rivals. The Razorbacks and Blue Devils are the only teams with three players in the McDonald's game. 

“I think I like to make the players around me better, just do things to help my team win,” Black said. “Just being a big guard, I think I have a natural eye for passing and just good vision. Just using those God-given abilities help make my teammates better.”

The coaching style of Musselman was a big part of Black’s decision. Musselman has led the Razorbacks to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons.

“I like his energy and just the way he coaches his team,” Black said. “I can tell how much he cares about his guys and wants the best for his players.”

ESPN ranks Smith as the sixth-best player in the 2022 class. It ranks Walsh 10th and Black 20th.

Those three join Magnolia guard Derrian Ford (70th by ESPN), Mobile (Ala.) McGill-Toolen forward Barry Dunning Jr. (75th) and Morrilton small forward Joseph Pinion (89th).

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