Prince And The Mann

Arkansas' basketball program is hosting a trio of official visitors this weekend, including Garland (Texas) Naaman Forest big man Prince Ibeh (6-11, 230) and Plano (Texas) High point guard Malcolm Mann (6-1, 157), Ibeh's AAU teammate and a potential walk on prospect.

Arkansas has been longing for a big center for a while now and there's certainly one that fits the bill taking an official visit this weekend.

That would be Garland (Texas) Naaman Forest center Prince Ibeh (6-11, 230), one of the nation's top shot blockers and a Top 55 player nationally according to

Razorback head coach Mike Anderson, who is also hosting Birmingham (AL) Central Park small forward Jacorey Williams (6-8, 190) and walk on prospect Malcolm Mann (6-1, 156) this weekend, has let know Ibeh he is a priority recruit.

"He (Coach Anderson) has said that if I come here and work hard, do what I have to do, that I have a chance to play and maybe even start," noted Ibeh, who got a chance to see the current Razorbacks work out Saturday morning. "…They practice real hard, a real fast pace, it's real intense and I think it fits me."

Ibeh has enjoyed what he has seen so far this weekend.

"I like it here and it seems like they are really cool people," Ibeh said. "I like the facilities and the players are real cool."

Ibeh is ranked as the 54th-best player in the country by and dubbed the 16th-best center.

He is one of the top shot blockers in the prep ranks as evidenced by over 170 blocks his junior season.

"I am real good defensively and rebounding and I have gotten a lot better offensively," Ibeh said. "I am shooting it a little from mid-range and working on my post moves a lot."

Arkansas is in a battle with Texas, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt – schools that Ibeh also visited.

The Razorbacks got into the race later than the other three, but have been making a push.

"Coach Anderson and them came in a little late, like the end of July, kind of after the Peach Jam," Ibeh said. "But he said some good things I like so I decided to come check it out."

Texas and Texas A&M have been recruiting him the longest.

"They are in-state, close to home and I like the coaches," Ibeh said. "It seems like they all have some playing time opportunity."

Ibeh plans to make his decision soon – maybe by the end of the week.

"I think it will just get some stress off of me," Ibeh said. "It seems like recently I have been noticing it a little bit on the court. I have been a little down. I think it will just help me get over it and play and pay attention to school ball."

Ibeh says that he is open to all four schools right now.

"Right now, it has come down to those four," Ibeh said. "I don't really have a leader. I am just going to sit down with my parents and my coach and think about it and make my decision from there."

O o o

Mann is a friend AAU teammate of Ibeh's, but looking more at a school decision than a basketball one.

He is going to major in business and then get into international marketing.

"It seems like a pretty fun school," Mann said. "I am applying to college for academics so it would be kind of good if I can get into this school and play basketball, too. I know a couple of people who go to school here from Plano as well."

Mann says he is being looked at by UTEP, North Texas, Bucknell and Santa Clara, but does not have any scholarship offers yet.

"We (Mann and Ibeh) play on the same basketball team so I guess he (Anderson) saw both of us together," Mann said. "It's a fun school, good basketball, the players are real cool and the coach likes to get up and down the court and I like to do that also. I know that is his style.

"I like to get up and down the court, I'm a great passer and I have a really good mid-range jumper," Mann added. "I try to get everybody involved in the game, a good defensive player with a lot of energy."

He certainly would love to college basketball with Ibeh at Arkansas.

"Prince likes to bang, he'll dunk on anybody whenever he gets the opportunity and he runs up and down the court really well," Mann said. "He is a great defensive player, the best defensive player I have ever played with, best big man. He's fun and excited and will get you hyped."

Arkansas is certainly the leader in the clubhouse for Mann according to the young man himself.

"Right now this is the best fit for me," Mann said, "because I want to go for school first and I look at this academically first. I would love to play basketball, too, and I love to get up and down like the style here."

Prince Ibeh

Malcolm Mann

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