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:
Maumelle guard elevates game
Jacob Lanier of Maumelle (13) spins away from Sheridan defenders during the first half of a 5A first-round game Tuesday. (Pine Bluff Commercial/I.C. Murrell)
Maumelle guard Jacob Lanier is making an early case for being one of the top players in the nation for the 2026 class with two strong performances during the first two Nike EYBL sessions this spring.
He was named the Offensive Player of Session 2 in Phoenix last weekend.
Lanier, 6-5, 170 pounds, averaged 19.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 3 steals a game in Phoenix while also being named to Made Hoops first team All Circuit team while playing for the 15-under LivOn Basketball Club based in Louisiana.
He also shot 50% from the field and 35.7% from beyond the three-point line.
Randy Livingston, the program director of LivOn Basketball Club, said Lanier has been a great addition to the program while proving to be one of the top players nationally in his age bracket.
“He’s one of the best guards in class of 2026,” Livingston said. “He’s strong, he has the ability to get to the basket at will, He has the ability to make shots and he plays with a fire in his belly that’s uncommon at this age.”
His motor and competitiveness elevates Lanier’s skill set.
“He plays hard,” Livingston said. “I think he really understands how to get his shots off. How to get his points. How to rebound. He understand those facets of the game that most kids don’t. So kudos to him and his dad for getting him ready for this summer because he’s consistently the best player on the U-15 team.”
Lanier has accumulated early scholarship offers from Texas Tech, Arizona State, TCU, Ole Miss and Arkansas-Pine Bluff, whch was his first offer. Livingston believed Lanier was a candidate for offensive player of session one in Atlanta.
“I thought he played well in the other session too,” Livingston said. “I think he could’ve got it in that one too.”
Made Hoops director of national scouting Eric Hampford said Lanier upped his stock in April.
“Jacob Lanier has been one of the storylines of the 2026 class so far this spring,” Hampford said. “Not even just regionally, but on a national level. With 6-5, 6-6 size and someone who plays with the ball in his hands, he’s a natural stat sheet stuffer who impacts the games in a lot of ways. Over the past year, he’s become much more fluid as an athlete and more decisive as an aggressive playmaker, and that was very clear with his play in April.”
Lanier got it done on the high school level too. He was the only freshman named to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Underclassmen team after averaging 15.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists for the Hornets while shooting 41% from two-point range, 31.7% from behind the three-point line and 73.5% from the free throw line.
Maumelle Coach Michael Shook echoed Livingston’s sentiments.
“The growth he’s made in that short amount of time has been so impressive,” Shook said. “He’s a three level scorer, he can get to the rack. Obviously can knock down the midrange. His three point shot is great. He sees the floor really well.”
Lanier’s ability to rebound helped the Hornets’ uptempo offense.
“That’s one of the stats we shared with the team,” Shook said. “We always wanted to win the rebound battle. It’s great when you have guards that can get the rebound and then push and you don’t have to worry about the outlet pass.”
Shook said Lanier wasn’t your normal freshman.
“He’s so advanced as a freshman,” he said. “I’ve coached quite a few really good players but I would say as a freshman, he’s so far along. The sky is the ceiling for him.”
Email Richard Davenport at email@example.com
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