Otis Kirk's Recruiting 360: Razorback Signees Keeping Eye On Arkansas Basketball Hire

by Otis Kirk, HawgSports.com Recruiting Analyst  on Thursday, Mar. 17, 2011 3:20 pm  

This story is from the archives of ArkansasSports360.com.

When Arkansas fired John Pelphrey on Sunday many fans felt that was the correct move for Jeff Long and the UA to make, but several also expressed concern about the highly-touted class Pelphrey had signed in November.

Arkansas signed five players in the early signing period and Rivals.com rated the class No. 5 in the nation. The majority of the recruits are declining to talk about their situation concerning Arkansas until a coach is in place.

Florrisant (Mo.) McCluer North guard B.J. Young, 6-3, 170, was one of the four in this class that played for a state championship in their classification. Young is also the highest-rated recruit on Arkansas' list of signees. Rivals.com rates him a 5-star and the No. 18 player in the Class of 2011.

"I'm weighing all my options to see what is best," Young said. "I want to play in an up-tempo offense."

On Saturday night, Young led McCluer North to a 65-53 victory to win the Class 5 title. In the game, Young scored 21 points. It was in Friday night's semifinal contest that Young really shined. Young scored 30 points, including 19 in the fourth quarter, to allow his team to drop Chaminade 62-59 in a game that many touted as "the game that would determine the state champion."

Young chose Arkansas over Baylor, Illinois State, Indiana and Marquette. Young, like any other recruit already signed to a national letter-of-intent, would have to be granted a release before he could choose another school. Young is planning to speak with the new Arkansas coach when he is hired and then make a decision. Young averaged 28.6 points per game as a senior.

The other out-of-state signee is Seagoville (Texas) forward Devonta Abron, 6-8, 223. Abron, who is rated a 3-star by Rivals.com and the No. 106 player nationally, averaged 27.4 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game as a senior. Abron chose Arkansas over offers from Alabama, Florida International, North Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Houston. Abron was recruited to Arkansas by assistant Rob Evans.

"I have no comment on that," Abron said regarding his status at Arkansas now that Pelphrey has been fired.

All three of the in-staters played for state titles with East Poinsett County guard Ky Madden, 6-5, 180, and Little Rock Parkview forward Aaron Ross, 6-7, 225, both capturing titles while Jonesboro Westside forward Hunter Mickelson, 6-11, 195, and his team coming up just short.

Madden is rated a 4-star recruit by Rivals.com who also rates him the No. 27 player overall. Madden chose Arkansas over Ole Miss, Baylor, Florida, Georgetown, Connecticut, Oklahoma State, Memphis, Kentucky, Marquette and Georgia Tech. Madden was the last of the five recruits to sign with the Razorbacks and took his decision down to the last second between Arkansas and Ole Miss. Madden has declined comment on his situation, but sources close to him say he won't make a hasty decision though he was upset with Pelphrey's firing. Madden, Ross and Mickelson helped lead the Arkansas Wings to a national championship in AAU play last summer with Madden earning MVP honors at nationals.

Ross committed to Arkansas on March 3, 2008, to become one of the earliest commitments to the Razorbacks in any sport in recent years. It appears Ross will stick with the Razorbacks and is just awaiting the naming of the new coach. Ross was the MVP of the Class 6A state tournament and can play either forward position for the Razorbacks. Rivals.com rates Ross a 3-star recruit and No. 147 player regardless of position.

Mickelson, who is rated a 4-star and No. 98 player by Rivals.com, chose the Razorbacks over offers from Baylor, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Wake Forest among others. Mickelson appears likely to remain with the Razorbacks, but does want to talk to the new coach about the style of play and a few other things.



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