Arkansas Offers Atwood

Connors State's Willie Atwood (6-8, 220) and Eastern Oklahoma State's DeVaugh Purcell (6-4, 195) - two players Arkansas has shown interest in - are set to meet Thursday night in Warner, Okla.

Two of the basketball recruits that the Arkansas basketball program seems most interested in this spring will meet up Thursday night in Warner, Okla.

Connors State power forward Willie Atwood (6-8, 220) and Eastern Oklahoma State shooting guard DeVaughn Purcell (6-4, 195) are scheduled to lead their teams into battle at 8 p.m.

Per's Brad Winston, the Razorbacks offered Atwood on Thursday.

"I haven't heard that from him yet, but I know they have been very interested and been here to see several of his games," Connors State head coach Bill Muse said. "He had a great season for us and that is the main thing we are focusing on right now – finishing up these last six games – and not necessarily recruiting.

"There will be plenty of time once the season is over for him to decide who he is going to visit and all that," Muse added.

Atwood, who played two seasons at Memphis Melrose and one at West Memphis, is averaging 20.3 points (24th best in the juco ranks) and 9.2 rebounds this season.

He is hitting 56 percent from the field and 78.3 percent from the free throw line and had a season-high 49 points against Independence earlier this season in which he hit 33-of-39 free throws.

"This is a kid that has gone from no one recruiting him out of high school to someone who is starting to get offers from great programs around the country," Muse said. "He is a stretch forward and has developed into a great player for us."

He has apparently been offered this week by Florida State, Iowa and Arkansas – joining a previous list of Wichita State, Auburn and Murray State.

Others that have been showing interest include SMU, Gonzaga, Oklahoma and Kansas State.

"I've seen those on his twitter, but like I said I am just trying to get him to focus on this last six games," Muse said. "As you well know, anybody can offer. We'll see about this all after the season is over."

Muse did say that Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson and his assistants have been to several of Atwood's games this season.

"I have great respect for Mike and have known him for a long time and always been a fan of what he does and how he runs his program and conducts himself," Muse said. "Arkansas has made clear their interest in him."

Connors State (18-4, 9-3) comes into Thursday night's game with Eastern Oklahoma State (17-6, 6-5) off an 89-79 loss to rival NEO on Monday.

Eastern Oklahoma State, coached by former Arkansas assistant Scott Edgar, has not played since a 99-91 loss to Redlands back on Feb. 6.

Purcell, who is originally from Orlando, Fla., is averaging 21.7 points (12th nationally), 5 rebounds and 2 assists per game.

He's shooting 58.5 percent from the field, 43.3 percent from 3-point range and 72.4 percent from the free throw line.

Purcell has offers from Ole Miss, TCU, Illinois State, Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee State among others.

He is drawing interest from Arkansas, Memphis, Cincinnati, USC, Marquette and others.

Arkansas is also known to be interested in Williston (S.D.) State point guard Trey Dickerson (6-1), who is averaging 19.9 points, 5.9 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game.

Williston is 22-4 on the season.

Arkansas already has signed three players in North Little Rock point guard Anton Beard (6-1, 180), Forrest City big man Trey Thompson (6-10, 250) and Arlington, Texas, Martin, swingman Nick Babb (6-5, 190).

Willie Atwood

DeVaughn Purcell

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