Fantastic Five

In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated, Dudley E. Dawson catches up on where Arkansas' "Fantastic Five" basketball signees are in their senior seasons and get some comments from Razorback head coach John Pelphrey on his future Razorbacks. This story is free and sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers. Click on the Arkansas Toyota banner.

Arkansas hoops signee Hunter Mickelson did not get a chance to see the Razorbacks' 77-76 upset of Kentucky on Tuesday night because he was working.

In the paint, that is.

Mickelson had 30 points, 13 blocks and 10 rebounds for a triple-double to lead his team to a 55-48 win over Marianna in the Class 4A-East Regional in Trumann.

""Every night out we count on him and we give it to him as much as we can," Westside head coach Mark Whitmire told the Jonesboro Sun. "He doesn't force shots and takes what they give him. It was a great game by him tonight."

The win means that the defending state champion Warriors (27-4) qualify for next week's state tournament in Heber Springs.

They will play either Southside or Valley Springs Friday night at 8:30 p.m. in the semifinals.

Three of the other four Arkansas signees – a class ranked in the top five nationally – continue their quest for state championships although power forward DeVonta Abron's season came to a close on Tuesday night.

"They are doing great," Razorback head coach John Pelphrey said. "It is always fun to recruit great players, even more fun to sign great players and then you get so possessive and invested in these guys that it really is heart-warming to see them do well. They are already like family. Those guys are playing great.

"...It's great to see those guys doing that and we are very, very proud of them," Pelphrey said. "I hope they can keep it going and I hope we can have an opportunity where we are not playing on the same night so I can go see one of those guys play."

East Poinsett County star Rashad Madden (10 points) was also in action Wednesday night during the Arkansas game as his team routed Bradford 86-45 in the Class 2A North Regional tournament at Marmaduke.

The win moved EPC to 25-4 and qualified the Warriors for the state title next week at Buffalo Island Central.

"We have just been working real hard in practice the last few days," Madden said. "I knew going out there that it could have been my last high school game so I wanted to make sure we got off to a good start and pushed it throughout the game."

EPC faces either Cotter or Cross County Friday night at 8:30 in the regional semifinals.

He was obviously thrilled to hear that Arkansas downed Kentucky.

"It was a great win, one that we (the Razorbacks) really needed," Madden said. "We haven't been playing that great lately, but hopefully this will help finish off the season strong."

The Razorbacks ended a 10-game losing streak to the Wildcats.

"One thing our class wants to do is get up there and win a couple of games against Kentucky, who is suppose to be the elite program in the SEC," Madden said. "We want to be one of the elites again, too."

Little Rock Parkview forward Aaron Ross (6-7, 230), the first of the five players to pledge to sign with Arkansas, has his team setting at 20-5 headed into Friday's game with West Memphis and 2012 star Jalen Jackson.

Ross had 13 points and 8 rebounds as Parkview downed Marion 51-40 on Tuesday night.

Parkview will play next week in the Class 6A state tournament in Marion.

B.J. Young (6-3, 170) had a game-high 25 points to lead his Florissant (MO) McCluer North squad over rival McCluer North 68-56 on Wednesday night in a Class 5A District 2 semifinal.

"It feels great to come back and get a well-deserved, hard-fought win against a great team with great players, a great bunch of guards and great coaching," Young told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "It feels very good to come out with a tough team win."

That win means that third-seeded McCluer North (24-4) will now face top-seeded and host Hazelwood Central (26-1) Saturday at noon for the district championship.

"I talked to B.J. last night and they won a road game last night, but he was so excited about the Razorbacks - almost more than him winning a game," Pelphrey said.

Hazelwood Central – which has won 12 games in a row – downed Young's team 81-63 earlier in the season.

It was announced late Thursday night that Young has been selected to play in the prestigious Kentucky Derby Festival All-Star game April 22 in Louisville.

Abron (6-8, 233) of Seagoville (Texas) High had his high school season end on Tuesday night when Woodrow Wilson eliminated his team 62-61.

Abron, who averaged 27 points and 11 rebounds this season, had 16 points in the contest.

"He carried his team all year long," Pelphrey said.

He has been selected to play in the High School All-Star game in Orange County (CA) on April 7.

The game will be held on the campus of Cal-State Fullerton.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories