Razorback head basketball coach Mike Anderson has just landed what appears to be a perfect fit for his program.
St. John's transfer Nurideen Lindsey, a 6-3, 180-pound point guard, announced Friday that he had decided to transfer to Arkansas.
Lindsey is a Philadelphia native who was on pace to break Wilt Chamberlin's city scoring records before a pair of tragedies took him away from the court for two years.
"I am a player that loves to play pressure defense and loves the up-tempo game, which is just what style of play Coach Anderson loves," Lindsey said. "I became a fan of his while watching games when he was at Missouri and think coming to Arkansas with him now is going to be a perfect place for me."
Lindsey, whose nickname is "Too Easy" and who averaged 35.8 points for Overbrook his junior season in high school, chose Arkansas over Memphis, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Auburn and UTEP.
He will have a year-and-half of eligibility left.
"The thing about Arkansas is that it is a great college atmosphere and Coach Anderson and his staff clearly care more about you as a man than they do about you as a player," Lindsey said. "I felt so comfortable with them and know they will continue to help my development as a man and as a player."
Lindsey chose St. John's over Kentucky and Oklahoma State after averaging 22.3 points and 5 assists for Redlands (OK) CC and being named a first-team All-NJCCA Region II selection and Region II MVP.
He averaged 11.8 points and 2.9 assists for St. John's before making the decision to leave St. John's.
"I went there to play for Coach Steve Lavin and he hasn't been the coach because he has been sick," Lindsey said. "It just wasn't the situation I thought it would be coming in. I loved St. John's and the fans, but I had to make the best decision since it wasn't the same thing it was when I signed there."
St. John's released these two statements when Lindsey made his decision.
"This was a mutually agreed-upon decision that Nuri's pursuit of other opportunities is in the best interest of all parties," said Lavin. "We appreciate Nuri's contributions to our program. He is a basketball player with a bright future. Our basketball family supports Nuri as he moves in a new direction."
Lindsey had this to say:
"I came to St. Johns for a couple of reasons," Lindsey said. "One was to be close to my mom, whose health has been up and down due to some past experiences. The second was to play for Coach Lav. In both instances it has not worked out how I envisioned.
"I think Coach Lav is an amazing coach, and person. He could have taught me so much," added Lindsey. "I love St. John's and appreciate all the love and support from the staff and school. I think this team will be special. I think what I'll miss most about St. John's is miss my teammates. Those guys are like my brothers. So I will continue to support St. John's and my brothers. Thank you for the memories, regardless of how brief."
He played three years for Overbrook and poured in 1,315, including an average of 35.8 points in 2007-2008.
That was the sixth-highest scoring average in the city's history with Chamberlin having two of the top six.
He had 48 points in his first game at Redlands after setting out two years after the murders of two his brothers and the loss of his best friend to cancer.
That included younger brother Halim's death in 2009, which spiraled him into despression.
"I never gave up on my belief in God and I think he has led me now to Arkansas," Lindsey said. "I feel like I have grown as a man because of all the pain I have gone through and I will continue to honor my brothers and my friend through my play and my life."
Redlands head coach said Lindsey will one day play in the NBA.
"Definitely," King said. "He'll be an NBA point guard. He's kind of in the mold of a Russell Westbrook. He's really athletic, really explosive, can push the ball. Can score and get where he wants to. I think ultimately he'll be a really good defender, too, because he's got the strength and quickness and toughness to do it, too."
Lindsey said he will arrive in Arkansas in just a few days and will begin practicing with the Razorbacks. He will be eligible to play next December.
He will the fourth newcomer for the Arkansas next season as the Razorbacks have already signed a trio of high school standouts - 6-8, 190 Birmingham (AL) Central Park small forward Jacorey Williams, 6-5, 200-pound Shreveport (LA) Huntington forward Michael Qualls and 6-3 shooting guard Anthlon Bell of Memphis Bartlett.
Arkansas Lands Lindsey
Hawgs Daily Top Stories
Arkansas' first-round drought continuesOnce again, no Razorbacks heard their name called Thursday night.
Hawgs Daily7:28 AM
Arkansas, Ole Miss to play doubleheaderWeather has forced Arkansas and Ole Miss to tweak their weekend schedule.
Hawgs DailyYesterday at 12:02 PM
Memphis, Arkansas in talks about gameArkansas and Memphis could potentially renew their basketball rivalry.
Hawgs DailyYesterday at 11:53 AM
Defensive back excited for return from injuryArkansas' Kevin Richardson was out last season with an injury, but is back this year. He talks about the new defense, Paul Rhoads and much more.
Hawgs DailyYesterday at 11:07 AM