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Accentuating Arkansas
by Zachary Lyon, Future150 (1:10 PM CT, Fri July 3, 2015)
2016 Adrian Moore looking for a big July evaluation period.
2016 Adrian Moore looking for a big July evaluation period.
Zachary Lyon
Zachary Lyon:

Future150 Regional Analyst. Covering high and middle school basketball: NC, SC & VA

Little Rock, AR (Future150) -- Andrew Force and Kendall Coleman contributed to this article.

Every single person knows and loves to watch Malik Monk, the best in Arkansas.  What an incredible leaper.  The guy can shoot too. 

But Arkansas has many more college prospects beyond the Monk.

2016 SG Adrian Moore has played well in the Spring.  Look for more offers to roll in if he continues to shoot the ball well during the July evaluation period for college coaches.  His top three schools in no particular order Wake Forest, Arkansas, Tulsa with Kansas, Baylor, Wichita St., Memphis, Florida, Houston are all showing strong interest.

Take Deion Dobbins.  The exciting wing has improved tremendously in the last year.  He now appears poised to earn a few high-major nibbles in July.

For many unseen hoopers a fantastic chance to earn exposure pops up in September at the Arkansas Future150 Camp.

Dobbins, Carson Petrucelli, Cadarius Baggett, and Jaylen Fulton each had breakout appearances last fall with the camp.

Two weeks back Tulsa hosted their ELITE Camp and Tyrus Grayson erupted.  His camp performance earned him a Tulsa offer.  The power of a strong camp showing...

Top Team

Just landing one player in the top 50 is impressive for an AAU program.  Reggie Perry (Arkansas Hawks 15u) has a chance to be in both the Future150 top ten and the NBA Draft top ten.

"He is 6'9" and he has guard skills," said AAU Coach Kevin Howard.  "He can rebound and finish.  He shoots the three well.  He has guard skills as a big.  He was a guard and he grew."

The most gifted bigs often follow this same late-growth pattern.

"When he was 5'9" in the fifth grade he was playing the guard position," said Coach Howard.  "In sixth grade he grew to 6'1".  In seventh grade he was 6'4".  In 8th grade he was 6'7" and was by the end of the summer he was 6'9".  He turned 15 in March.  He is 6'9" now."

Coach Howard expects Perry to grow to 6-foot-10.

"His I.Q. is high," said Coach Howard.  "He is not a string bean.  He is 210, 215.  He has big hands. He gets a double-double every night.  We ware playing 16's.  Just turning 15's he is playing up against the 17 year olds."

Truly Perry could be a pro hooper in five years.  He comfortably plays five different positions on the court.

"His dad has been a college coach for over thirty years," said Coach Howard.  "His daddy played at Mississippi State back in the early 70's.  He coached at Tennessee State and FAMU, Jackson State." 

When nature meets nurture the sky is the limit.  Perry will be a wonderful college player, but first has the opportunity to dominate AAU competitions.

"He was at Arkansas Camp last August," said Coach Howard.  "Arkansas has flown to see him.  They brought him up and talked to him as far an unofficial visit.  Oklahoma.  Florida State.  Even Kentucky has called about him.  Iowa State is recruiting him now."

AAU teammate, Ethan Henderson is the young prize out of Arkansas.  Before he began his freshman season at Little Rock Parkview, Henderson was carrying verbal offers from Arkansas and LSU.  Henderson sightings are rare, but the big earned his #17 ranking from Future150. 

"Ethan is more like an Anthony Davis-type," said Coach Howard.  "His frame fits Anthony Davis.  He is very, very athletic.  He will clean up anything off the boards."

So often scouts envision what a player can become, immediately forgetting what they already are.

"His skill set is not what Reggie's is, on the boards," said Coach Howard.  But his skill set is getting a lot higher.  He blocks shots well. He finishes well. 

For Henderson to achieve his potential he must branch out a bit.  The foundation is very, very strong though.

"He is now at the point where he is putting it on the floor," said Coach Howard.  "Ethan's ceiling is going to be a little bit higher.  Ethan is at the point where he is going to get better and better.  His point of emphasis is just getting stronger.  His skill set is a lot better than what it was just two months ago."

The only thing separating him from the Top 15 is offensive prowess.

Desi Sills was the MVP of the Real Deal this year.  He can shoot the three from deep.  He plays 6'1" and I look him at topping out

"Illinois is going to start recruiting him," said Coach Howard.  "I talked to Jamal (Walker) about a week and a half ago.  Virginia is sending them info.  Robert Morris is on him."

Sills is not known nationally just yet.

"He is going to be really good guard," said Coach Howard.  "He can score and plays defense really well.  He doesn't back down to anybody.  If he is not the top guard in Arkansas he is in the top two."

Caleb Stokes is probably my most skilled big man in the post.  He blocks shots.  His mom is pretty tall."

Already 6-foot-8, Stokes is projected to grow to 6-foot-11 by his family doctor.

Arkansas Soldierz

During the Future150 coverage of Primetime's recent Plano tournament the Arkansas Soldierz sparkled.  At least three of the Soldierz have college intentions.

Jayvon Franklin is a 6-foot-6 combo forward.  He really opened eyes this past season.

"Mostly all of the Little Rock district coaches would like for me to come and play for them," said Franklin.  "I also plan on attending the Arkansas elite camp this summer." 

Franklin has been garnering interest from Creighton, Lehigh, Mississippi State, Memphis, and Texas A&M among some more low major schools. 

"Jayvon is one of my best guys," said AAU Coach Lee Allen.  "He is around 6-foot-6 and already has some coaches very interested. He has had Arkansas assistant coaches in attendance at some of his practices recently."

Like his teammate Jayvon, forward BJ Thompson is also a combo forward, but stands a little taller at 6-foot-8. BJ and Jayvon are both freak athletes, but the really special thing about BJ is his athletic versatility.

"BJ is just a multi-sport athlete, he plays QB, TE, and WR in football and was also a state champ in track this past season," said Coach Allen.  "He is going to be recruited (heavily) for football and basketball these next few years."  

College coaches in both sports dream about a player like BJ with his special skill set and versatility. It will be very entertaining to see how his recruitment plays out down the road, especially considering he is talented enough to pick up college offers in both basketball and football.

"I received an offer from Texas A&M," said Thompson.  "Lehigh has been sending me some mail, and I spoke with Oklahoma Baptist and Arkansas Pine-Bluff. Both of them look to be offering soon."

Thompson is, as you would expect, a grinder on the court.  He imposes his physicality on opponents.  And that makes him a prospect with SEC-level potential.

"My AAU Coach told me Arkansas and Auburn has been asking about me and showing interest, and something along the same lines with Memphis," said Thompson.  "I have not planned to attend any elite camps for now. There are a few more schools that are waiting until NCAA rules allow them to come in contact with me more often."

2017 G Paul Corbin is one of the more underrated guys on the Soldierz according to Coach Lee Allen. 

"Paul is built like a fullback, he is very strong for a guard. He is certainly going to be a steal for a school one day down the road."

Corbin talked to Future150 about his recruiting process and how he feels towards the schools recruiting him.

"I have a couple of (D-1) schools coming after me (Arkansas Pine-Bluff & Georgia Southern), but I am really open to any school willing to take me. I feel this way because I'm a hard worker, and ready to give all I've got, and I can show leadership." 

The Film Room with Kendall

The Arkansas Wings Elite have a 6'8 power forward with an athletic, skinny frame. Eric Curry must add weight and muscle. Uses both hands very well. He has the ability to put the ball on the floor. Very active around the rim. Crashes offensive glass hard.

Curry picked up SMU and Western Kentucky offers in May. SLU, Oklahoma State, and VCU began his recruitment in earnest back in April.  

Projection: Low-Mid Major Division 1 prospect. Would be very effective in the Ohio Valley Conference or Sun Belt. NBA comparison: Thaddeus Young 

Shawn Williams plays AAU and high school with Curry.  

Shooter! Handles the ball very well and a crafty finisher at the room. Attacks the rim well going right. Smaller guard must use quickness and speed to his advantage. Needs to improve strength.

Two weeks ago Williams pulled in Louisiana Tech and Arizona State offers.They set a new floor for his recruitment.  He will only climb into higher offers in July.

Projection: High-Major prospect. SEC guard.  NBA comparison: DJ Augustin

From the Class of 2017 Jeremiah Toney is an athletic wing, who scores very well on the break and finishes strongly.

Toney has introductory interest from Mississippi State and Arkansas.  He plays with a loaded Mills University Studies team.

Toney has the ability to attack off the wing and finish with either hand at the rim. He must improve guard skills to be considered a D1 prospect. Ball handling, 3pt-shooting, speed, etc.

Projection: Low major/division 2. Atlantic Sun, SWAC, MEAC.  NBA comparison: Shawn Marion

The most intriguing player in Arkansas, Connor Vanover has a very nice touch from his eight foot release point.  The long-armed prospect will step out and shoot the three. Runs the floor well for his size. Must improve quickness, foot work and strength. Very high upside.

Projection: Major D1 prospect. SEC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East. NBA comparison: Dirk Nowitzki 

The 17u Arkansas Wings love to defend the paint with Mitchell Smith.  The 6-foot-9 rim protector finishes well with both hands. Skinny body frame. Needs to improve strength as well as athleticism.. Smith's catches around the rim are shaky.  He has a huge upside. Must improve his perimeter game. 

Projection: High major prospect. SEC would be a great fit for his skills and size. NBA comparison: Tyrus Thomas also another standout in the SEC. 


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