Rookie Sensation

Arkansas has made it clear how much it wants to land North Little Rock super sophomore KeVaughn Allen (6-3, 180), who had a game-high 30 points Saturday night and will be one of several Razorback recruiting targets playing for state titles next weekend at Barton Coliseum.

Just a few hours after Arkansas downed Kentucky, a potential future Razorback put on his own big-time show just a block away from Bud Walton Arena.

North Little Rock sophomore KeVaughn Allen tossed in a game-high 30 points to lead the Charging Wildcats over West Memphis 86-69 Saturday night in a Class 7A state tournament semifinal in Fayetteville.

Allen – who has eight offers – is well aware that he is a prime recruiting target of Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson.

"I have been very impressed with how Arkansas has kept its head up and kept fighting this year," Allen said. "I have a great relationship with Coach Anderson and he really wants me to be a Razorback and I want to be there. He just wants the best for me."

North Little Rock head coach Johnny Rice is impressed with how Arkansas has recruited Allen.

"He went up for the Missouri game and was very impressed," Rice said. "I know he loves the atmosphere and the style of play. It is so early in the process, but Arkansas has done a great job recruiting him and is in great shape with him."

UAB point guard signee Dayshawn Watkins added 21 points as North Little Rock (27-1) moved on to a state championship tilt with Fayetteville on Saturday at 4:15 p.m. inside Little Rock's Barton Coliseum.

Fayetteville (26-3) downed Bentonville 54-51 earlier in the day with senior Manuele Watkins – son of Razorback assistant Melvin Watkins – scoring a game-high 20 points.

"We just have to go out and play hard and play smart and play together," Allen said. "That is what we have been doing all season."

Other Razorback targets playing on Saturday at Barton will be East Poinsett County and superb freshman Malik Monk against Cedar Ridge in the Clas 2A final at 12:45 p.m. and Razorback signee Bobby Portis and Little Rock Hall against Jonesboro and junior star Kahron Ross at 7:45 in the Class 6A final.

Allen was an efficient 12-of-16 from the field and 5-of-5 from the free throw line in Saturday's win as he continues a strong rookie season of high school basketball.

"This first year of high school basketball has been kind of easy for me, but that is because I have some great teammates who have ben great leaders for me," Allen said. "I have just tried to play hard and play smart."

He already has offers from Arkansas, Florida, Memphis, Baylor, Louisville, Connecticut Mississippi State and Nebraska.

"I try to not pay much attention and just concentrate on getting better," Allen said. "I just kind of roll with it and stay humble."



KeVaughn Allen




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