The Future On Display
Four of the five Arkansas basketball signees can share their thoughts on new Razorback head coach Mike Anderson when they all play in an NBA arena this weekend.
Little Rock Parkview's Aaron Ross (6-8, 230), East Poinsett Central's Rashad Madden (6-5, 180), Westside's Hunter Mickelson (6-11, 210) and Florissant (MO) McCluer North's B.J. Young (6-3, 170) are all participating in the Jack Jones Shootout this weekend in Miami.
The game will be played Sunday at 12:30 p.m. CST with the Miami Heat take on the Houston Rockets at 6 p.m. in the same building.
"All four of them are going to be in the same all-star game this weekend in Miami and I know they are going to have plenty to talk about," Arkansas Wings AAU coach Ron Crawford said.
The game will streamed live at http://www.tssaanetwork.com/events/16970.
"I'm really looking forward to being down there in an NBA arena with all those guys," Young said.
One of Anderson's first orders of business will to talk to each of the five Razorback signees – a group that is ranked fourth nationally by Scout.com and also includes Seagoville (Texas) power forward DeVonta Abron (6-8, 233).
Three of those are in-state prospects.
"Mike will have a chance to go in and talk with these three kids and lay out his plans for the program and his plans for them," Crawford said. "The most work he'll have to do is probably with Hunter because he has had the most people in his ear telling him that he won't fit in that system and all of that stuff.
"But if you analyze his style of play and these three kids, you know they are all fast enough and athletic enough to not only play in Mike's system, but excel in it," Crawford added. "Aaron may not be the most explosive guy ever, but to me he is like a 6-7 Scotty Thurman and Scotty did pretty good at Arkansas."
Crawford thinks that Anderson is taking over at Arkansas at a great time to elevate the status of the program.
"These 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 are the four best classes in a row in terms of talent that the state of Arkansas has ever had," Crawford said. "It is like the perfect time for him to come home."
Crawford thinks the hire will be met with great excitement throughout the state.
"I think the hiring of Coach Anderson was a great shot in the arm for University of Arkansas and will bring a lot of excitement to the state," Crawford said. "When he goes into a home, the parents will know who he is and that he is from here – having spent so much time in our state."
Young, who was recruited by the Missouri coach but not offered a scholarship, is looking forward to visiting with him.
"I love Coach Anderson as a person and I love the style his teams play," Young said. "I'm excited about Arkansas hiring him. I have talked to my parents and the plan is for me to still come there, but I'm sure we will sit down with him and see what he is thinking and go from there."
None of the other signees were available for comment on Wednesday.
It is known that Anderson was recruiting two of the nation's top 50 players at Missouri.
Sikeston (MO) Scott Central standout Otto Porter (6-9, 200) and St. Louis native Ben McLemore (6-5, 185), who is currently enrolled at Christian Life Academy after previously being at Oak Hill Academy, will both be spring signees.
Anderson was the first coach to offer Porter, the 49th-best player in the country according to Scout.com. He is also considering Kansas, Georgetown and UCLA.
McLemore, who is considering Missouri and Kansas, is set to announce his decision April 3 at the NeXt All-American Classic in Chicago.
He is the 34th best player in the country per Scout.com.
There is also the matter of freshman Phil "Flip" Pressey and junior Matt Pressey, two Missouri players and sons of Anderson's former teammate and close friend Paul Pressey.
Asked Wednesday night if he was staying at Missouri, Phil told KOMU-TV "I don't know, man."
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