The Arkansas basketball program will get a chance to woo a big piece of the puzzle for the future this weekend.
Charlotte, N.C., Victory Christian center Ebuka Izundu (6-10, 210) - a native of Lagos, Nigeria and one of the nation’s most buzzed-about spring recruits - will visit the Razorbacks Friday through Sunday.
Izundu, who averaged 21 points, 15 rebounds and 6 blocks this past season, has already visited Charlotte, Cincinnati, Tennessee and Miami.
He originally signed with Charlotte in November, but was granted his release when head coach Alan Major was fired this spring.
“Arkansas has done a great recruiting him and made him feel really wanted,” Victory Christian head coach Aureice McCain said Tuesday afternoon. “They have been to see him several times and the coaches have been very upfront and honest with him and that is something that he really likes.”
Izundu, who has a 7-foot-4 wing span and a 43-inch, had a recent conversation with Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson and Razorback assistant Melvin Watkins.
“There were down here to see and they sit down with him and had about an hour conversation,” McCain said. “Only about the first 10 minutes was about basketball.
“The rest of the time was about the school, the education and life in general. It really opened his eyes about Arkansas and really made a big move for them.
“I have known Coach Watkins for a long time and have great respect for those guys in the past and what they are doing now."
If he signs with the Razorbacks, Izundu would the the third international player on Arkansas’ roster for the 2015-2016 season along with junior Moses Kingsley (Nigeria) and incoming freshman Ted Kapita (Congo).
“I think that is a big, big key for Arkansas and something that he is really looking at,” McCain said. “He wants to be at a place that he is comfortable at, one that has players with similar backgrounds that he has.
“But he also wants to be at a successful program and he has talked about the season Arkansas just had and how they are one of the nation’s top programs.
“He just sees Arkansas as a great combination of both.”
Izundu originally signed with Charlotte in November, but asked for and given his release when Major was let go and Mark Price brought in.
Some 20 schools offered him scholarships this spring and Kentucky and Kansas both showed interest.
“I think it is accurate to say he was under the radar, but not because of his talent,” McCain said. “He has always been a very good player and is just getting better every day.
"But he was at first going to be a 2016 guy and then decided he was ready to be a 2015 instead. Not every school that was coming after him had a scholarship available for 2015.
“But with some guys transferring and other guys going to the NBA - like what happened at Arkansas - there were some.”
Izundu has previously announced that he wanted to make his decision public by May 15.
“The deal with that is that he has finals on May 11-15 and then will be done here on May 22 and wants to move on to where he is going,” McCain said.
“Texas Tech wants him to visit, but I am just not sure that is going to work out. He is not going to miss any of his school work.
“I think there is a real good shot that he goes up to Arkansas this weekend and decides he is ready to make a decision and just goes from there.”
Izundu Excited About Visiting Arkansas
Hawgs Daily Top Stories
Spring Countdown: SafetiesWith the Razorbacks closing in on spring football, HawgsDaily is breaking down who we believe Arkansas' starters are at all 22 positions. We'll reveal a portion of the starting…
Hawgs DailyYesterday at 1:22 PM
New assistants have questions to answerArkansas has almost an entirely new defensive coaching staff. It will be tasked with answering several questions this spring.
Hawgs DailyYesterday at 1:06 PM
State Senate addresses bad officiatingIt's safe to say Arkansas fans are still upset about the officiating in the Arkansas-North Carolina game.
Hawgs DailyYesterday at 9:42 AM
Arkansas 5, New Orleans 2Arkansas capped its 11-game homestand with a win over New Orleans on Wednesday.
Hawgs DailyWednesday at 9:10 PM