It seems to be a match made in heaven – Hog Heaven that is.
Shreveport (LA) Huntington swingman Michael Qualls (6-5, 200) became Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson's first 2012 commit when he pledged Tuesday morning that he would sign with the Razorbacks.
Qualls, who took his official visit to Arkansas this past weekend for Primetime At The Palace, chose the Razorbacks over Tennessee, UTEP, Jacksonville, Wichita State and Louisiana Tech among others and joins 2013 Razorback commits Bobby Portis and Dederick Lee as future Hogs.
"I like that style of play – up and down, fast tempo," Qualls said. "It fits me perfectly. He (Anderson) works hard and I am a hard worker and I am trying to get it in."
Qualls, a three-star prospect according to Scout.com, averaged 22 points and 12 rebounds last season for Huntington head coach Mack Jones while leading his team to a 31-3 season.
"It really is a match made in heaven," Jones said. "Michael has such versatility and can play a number of positions and has a seven-foot wingspan so he is just a force on defense. He plays the front of the press for us and I can just see him creating all kinds of havoc for Mike. He'll fit in great in their up-tempo, aggressive system. It's just perfect timing with Mike coming back to Arkansas."
Qualls has a lot of respect for Anderson, who had successful tenures as a head coach at UAB and Missouri after a 17-year run as a Razorback assistant for Nolan Richardson.
"Mike Anderson has won everywhere and everyone knows he is a winner," Qualls said. "He feels that I can come make a difference and I feel I can come make a difference."
Qualls believes he has some strengths that will fit well with the Razorbacks.
"My ups, my drives, defense, my athleticism," Qualls said. "I can shoot the ball well. What I need to work on is my handles, turning me into a complete guard."
Qualls felt at home during his visit to Arkansas.
"Arkansas has a real good feel to it," Qualls said. "Y'all seem like a big family here. A real good place, a real rural place."
Qualls blew up this summer after playing AAU basketball for Louisiana Select on the Nike EYBL AAU circuit.
"There is not really a lot of big recruitment from around there," Qualls said. "Louisiana is really a football state. I just thought this last summer I am going to come out and do me. So I did me and looked for some bigger schools and fortunately Arkansas came along and saw me so I just hopped on that visit."
Qualls has already passed his ACT and sports a high grade point average.
"He is a great basketball player and a great student and is already qualified on his test score and has a 3.7 grade point average," Jones said. "This just couldn't have worked out any better for Mike and Arkansas."
Arkansas Lands Qualls
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