Fresh off a Slam City Prep School National Championship, Arkansas basketball recruiting targets Cheickna Dembele (6-11, 235) and Aleksandar Zecevic (6-10, 250) of Chambersburg, Pa., Scotland Performance Institute are now just relaxing for about 10 days.
The duo will soon turn their attention to recruiting and the April 13-May 18 late signing period according to Scotland head coach Jareem Dowling.
“We are giving them some down time right now after a long season and not even talking recruiting with them,” Dowling said. “Right after the Final Four is over (April 4), we will get with them and set up the official visits they are going to take.
“But we are just letting them relax before they take these next step, which is a big one.”
Arkansas continues to show interest in both big men with Razorback assistant Melvin Watkins leading the way.
“Arkansas remains very interested in both guys,” Dowling said. “I think Coach Watkins calls me every day. He calls so much he knows what I am having for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“Arkansas has let these guys know how much they like them and that has them very, very interested.”
Mali native Dembele averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks this season while shooting 50 percent from the field and 80 percent from the line.
Dembele currently has offers from Iowa State, Missouri, North Carolina State and others while also drawing interest from Arkansas, Syracuse, West Virginia, North Carolina, Georgetown, Maryland and others.
“There are a lot of schools that have sent assistants to see him, but want to have their head coaches get to see him before they actually extend the offer,” Dowling said. “Schools like Arkansas, Syracuse and some others have said that is what they are doing.”
Serbia native Zecevic added offers from San Diego State and Akron this week to go along with Chattanooga, Cleveland State and Hofstra.
There were some 30 schools represented by assistants at a scrimmage with Mount Zion on Wednesday.
“The wild thing is some schools are just really getting into these guys,” Dowling said. “But the schools that have been there for awhile like Arkansas and Iowa State and Syracuse are in good shape.
“They will take several visits in April and we’ll go from there.”
Scotland Prep (19-11) beat Wesley Christian 64-53 in the Slam City Championship game in Chantilly, Virginia.
“It was a great way to end our first season,” Dowling said. “Now we’ll get a few days of rest, watch a little basketball and then we will focus on recruiting.”