Two of the three in-state junior basketball players that Arkansas is thought to be evaluating happen to be Class AAA standouts that are involved in regional tournament action this week.
One is 6-foot-11 center John Gourlay from Subiaco Academy (19-7), who plays Berryville in Class AAA Region 1 tournament action in Farmington tonight at 5:30 p.m.
Gourlay is getting attention from schools such as Arkansas and Oklahoma State.
"He has really become a heck of a player for us this season," Subiaco Academy head coach Tim Tencleve said. "I think he has a very bright future and he is just getting a lot of attention and mail from schools now."
A pure shooter that the Razorbacks have been to see and are evaluating is 6-3 guard Robert Johnson of Pulaski Oak Grove, who is averaging 21.2 points per game and shooting more than 40 percent from 3-point range.
Oak Grove opens Class AAA Region 3 tournament play against Marianna Thursday night at 8:30 at Pulaski Academy.
Johnson, the cousin of former Oak Grove and Oklahoma State star Adrian Peterson, is hearing from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Wichita State and Indiana State.
"He is a fantastic shooter," said Oak Grove head coach Bill McDonald. "He's a heck of a guard that handles the ball well, leaps well, is a great shooter spotting up or off the dribble and is also just a well-behaved and well-mannered young man."
A third junior is 6-8 McGehee junior Mike Washington, who averaged more than 20 points per game this season and is planning to attend Saturday's Arkansas-Florida game on an unofficial visit.
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LOFTON GETTING LOOKS
Arkansas is one of the teams involved with Kentucky shooter Chris Lofton, a 6-1, 170-pound bomber from Mason County High School in Maysville, Kentucky.
Lofton was in attendance as a Razorback guest during last week's Arkansas-Kentucky game in Lexington and then went out and put in 41 points and dished out 10 assists in 104-79 win over Iraquois later in the week.
Lofton, also drawing interest from Florida, Louisville, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, North Carolina State and West Virginia among others, is averaging 26 points and 7 assists per game.
He tied a state record with nine 3-pointers in 12 attempts while scoring a game-high 39 points and leading Mason County over Louisville Ballard 86-65 in last season's state title game.
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JUNIOR FOOTBALL RECRUITS
Arkansas football program will be using Saturday's Arkansas-Florida basketball game as part of one of the two junior days.
The recruits will also get to tour the campus and the Razorback facilities, just as they will on April 3 when the second junior day rolls around.
"It's a great recruiting tool and gets kids up here on campus early on in the recruiting process," said Arkansas football recruiting coordinator Chris Vaughn. "We want to build interest and as much of a relationship as we can as quickly as we can in a couple of hours."
Arkansas was working juniors even on national signing day when they had players calling in after sending out invitations to do so.
"You can never start too early," Vaughn said. "I don't know exactly where it originated, but I read about it going on at another university and thought it was a good idea. It's not stealing, it's research and we got a great response."
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