Some of the best players and teams in the state will get together Saturday in Maumelle for the fourth annual Arkansas Hoops Challenge.
Razorback signee Bobby Portis of Little Rock Hall, Forrest City junior Trey Thomspon, North Little Rock super sophomore KeVaughn Allen, East Poinsett County freshman Malik Monk and Jonesboro's guard duo of Kharon Ross and Marquise Pointer are among the Arkansas recruiting targets that will be on hand for the event.
"We believe we have got a great field with great teams and great players," notes organizer Ron Crawford. "I think on all but one team is at least one elite Division I player that has signed with a school or will. We had a McDonald's All-American last season (Archie Goodwin) and it looks like wwe will have another this season in Bobby Portis."
Portis (6-10, 220) will find himself matched up against Bentonville's 6-10 Nick Smith – a Belmont signee - in a 4:20 p.m. game that was moved up for Razorback fans.
Portis scored 27 points on Tuesday night when Hall (6-3) beat Little Rock Mills 55-29.
"Bobby is playing great and this will be a very good match-up for him with Nick Smith, a guy his size," Crawford said. "We moved the game up from Saturday night so the Razorback fans could come watch him play and then still be able to see the Razorbacks play Saturday night."
The highlight game of the day is the finale, which features three-time defending Class 4A champ Clarksville and ORU signee Dederick Lee taking on North Little Rock.
"Clarksville has obviously been a great team this past few years and they wanted a shot to play North Little Rock," Crawford said. "The coaches agreed that it would be a great match-up so we moved things around."
The day's games begin with 6-5 Creighton signee Darian Harris and Shiloh Christian taking on Pulaski Academy at 12:20 p.m.
That will be followed up by Thompson (6-9, 230) and Forrest City facing Fort Smith Northside at 1:40 p.m.
"Trey is obviously a very good player that the Razorbacks would love to add," Crawford said.
Monk, the younger brother of former Arkansas football and basketball star Marcus Monk, and the cousin of current Razorback hoops player Rashad Madden, will lead EPC against host Maumelle at 3 p.m.
Jonesboro will then take on Jacksonville – which features senior guard Justin McCleary – at 5:40.
The 7 p.m. game matches Fayetteville against Little Rock Parkview.
The Purple Bulldogs feature a pair of signees in 6-10 Tyler McCullough (Missouri State) and 6-8 Caleb Waitsman (Colorado School of the Mines).
They also have another D-I prospect in 6-3 senior guard Manuale Washington, the son of Razorback assistant Melvin Watkins.
"Manuale Washington has four offers, but he and his dad decided it would be best to wait until the spring and sign," Crawford said.
Parkview has Missouri junior pledge Anton Beard and Mississippi State signee I.J. Ready.
O o o
Arkansas Hoops Challenge:
• Shiloh Christian vs. Pulaski Academy, 12:20 p.m.
• Forrest City vs. Fort Smith Northside. 1:40 p.m.
• East Poinsett County vs. Maumelle, 3 p.m.
• Little Rock Hall vs. Bentonville, 4:20 p.m.
• Jonesboro vs. Jacksonville, 5:40 p.m.
• Fayetteville vs. Little Rock Parkview, 7 p.m.
• North Little Rock vs. Clarksville, 8:20 p.m.
Arkansas Hoops Challenge
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