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 junior ready to see Fayetteville
A rack of basketballs is shown prior to a game between Arkansas and Gardner-Webb on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in Fayetteville. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe)
ESPN 4-star junior prospect Jase Richardson is expected to make an unofficial visit to Fayetteville this weekend, thanks to the relentless recruiting from University of Arkansas men’s basketball coach Eric Musselman and his staff.
June 15 marked the first day college coaches could make direct contact with junior-to-be prospects.
“They’ve been showing me a lot of love since the contact period started, so I just decided to come check it out and see what they’re talking about,” Richardson said.
Richardson, 6-3, 175 pounds, of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman has 10 scholarship offers from schools like Arkansas, Arizona State, Stanford, Florida, Michigan State, Washington and others. The Hogs extended a offer June 15.
He said he talks to Musselman, assistant Keith Smart and recruiting coordinator Ronnie Brewer Jr. the most often.
“Most of the coaches are reaching out every week or every other week,” Richardson said. “Just checking up and see if I’m doing good, making sure I’m on top of my things. Just telling me to keep at it, keep going and they’re going to be watching.”
ESPN rates Richardson as the No. 7 shooting guard and No. 32 overall prospect in the nation for the 2024 class. He’s rated the No. 2 recruit in Nevada in his class.
Richardson averaged 14 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals per game for the 30-1 Gaels as a sophomore. He’s also looking to visit California this fall. His only other visit was to Washington about a year ago.
He said he’s also been motivated to visit Fayetteville because of what he’s read about the area.
“I’ve heard Fayetteville is one of the best college towns in the world, so I definitely have to check it out just because of that, too,” he said.
Richardson is expected to watch Hogs practice Saturday morning before taking in the Arkansas-Cincinnati football game at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in the afternoon.
“I also want to come check out the team first of all because I’ve been watching highlights and seeing some of their games,” Richardson said. “They’ve been playing really good. Seems like a great team this year that could make a deep run in the tournament. So I definitely want to check those guys out, too.”
Richardson’s father Jason began his 14-year NBA career by playing for Musselman at Golden State after being selected the No. 5 overall pick of the 2001 NBA Draft out of Michigan State.
“He said he loves what Muss is doing at Arkansas,” Jace Richardson said. “He believes he’s a really good coach. He pushes the team to work hard.”
The Arkansas staff having a combined 52 years of NBA experience has Richardson’s attention.
“That’s amazing. Musselman coached my dad and then you have Coach Smart and Coach Brewer played in the NBA,” Richardson said. “It’s pretty unbelievable to see they’ve been at the level I want to be at, either coached or played at that level.”
Since Musselman arrived at Arkansas, the Hogs have recruited at a level not seen in Fayetteville in years. ESPN rated the Razorback’s 2020 class at No. 5 nationally and the 2022 class was tabbed the No. 2 class, trailing only to Duke.
Seeing the Hogs recruit at a high level also piques Richardson’s interest.
“Oh most definitely. Top guys in other classes before me see something there then I definitely need to go check it out,” he said.
Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.