Willis Shows Flashes at The Warmup

Fayetteville (Ark.) guard Payton Willis showed flashes at The Warmup AAU Tournament and is receiving interest from Arkansas.

Heading into one of the most important summers of his career, Payton Willis got off to a decent start at The Warmup AAU Tournament in Bentonville last weekend.

The Fayetteville (Ark.) guard showed flashes, including a pair of 12-point games Saturday, but also had a few quiet games. However, that is to be expected playing alongside Arkansas Wings teammates Malik Monk and Mitchell Smith, who have offers from Arkansas.

That doesn’t bother Willis, though, as he knows playing with a group of talented players will make him better.

“It’s great,” Willis said. “It’s very fun. At practices, everybody is so competitive. It’s crazy.”

In a game against the Nebraska Hurricanes Saturday afternoon, Willis scored 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting – including 2-of-4 from beyond the arc – and added three assists.

While he has one more year of high school basketball, his coach at Fayetteville, Kyle Adams, said his performance in the EYBL season is important from a recruiting aspect.

Willis had an offer from Mississippi State, but because of the firing of head coach Rick Ray and his staff, it is no longer on the table. He said he has not talked to new head coach Ben Howland.

Instead, he is receiving interest from Arkansas, Creighton, Rice, South Alabama and Tulsa. The Razorbacks – which play a short walk away from Fayetteville High – are showing a lot of interest.

“Arkansas and (head coach) Mike (Anderson) have talked to me about him and they really like him, but no offer so far,” Adams told Scout.com in March. “I think they are waiting to see how he does over the spring and summer.”

Despite not having an offer, Willis is open about how much he’d like to play for the Razorbacks.

“I love the fan base,” Willis said. “It’s my hometown team. I love everything about them. (An offer) would mean a lot.”

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