Not only did the University of Arkansas notch a big 65-62 win on LSU on the basketball court Saturday, but also impressed some potential Razorbacks in attendance.
The Bolivar (Tenn.) Central junior duo of 6-2, 180-pound point guard Willie Kemp and 6-9, 235-pound power forward Wayne Chism joined 6-8, 200-pound Springdale sophomore forward Michael Sanchez in being part of the crowd of 20,000-plus on hand for the game.
"The crowd and the atmosphere was just amazing," Kemp said. "They have great fans at Arkansas and I couldn't have been more impressed with that and how the team played. It was well worth the drive over."
Those were the same sentiments of Chism, a bruiser who is averaging 13 points and 10 rebounds for the season alongside Kemp, who is averaging 20 points and 7 assists per game.
"I knew there would be a lot of people there, but had no idea it would be soldout like that" said Chism, who went to a Memphis game with Kemp earlier this season that drew just over 4,000. "I couldn't believe how loud they got."
Sanchez, who joined the Bolivar pair and University of Arkansas-Fort Smith freshman Sonny Weems in attending Midnight Madness at Arkansas back in October, has been to a ton of Razorback game growing up and a lot this season.
But even he had to give it up for the crowd on hand Saturday.
"I thought the atmosphere was just electric and it was great to see the stands starting to be all filled up for the games again," Sanchez said. "What made it even better was that we won."
Arkansas is in good shape with all three of these prospects, but certainly not a lock to get any of the trio.
Sanchez, who is already on the radar of several schools such as North Carolina, has attended games at Kansas, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma - where his sister is a sophomore hoops player - in addition to Arkansas this season.
"Because I am just a sophomore I can get only one letter from schools letting me know they are interested in me," said Sanchez, whose team host Fort Smith Northside and sophomore football-basketball star Kodi Burns tonight. "I'm getting several from here and there."
Coaches from Arkansas and Oklahoma State were both in the stands recently to watch Sanchez' Springdale team visit Fayetteville.
"That's nice and all, but I have got to play day in and day out like they were there all the time," Sanchez said. "I just have to stay calm and just take care of my business on the floor."
Kemp and Chism, whose Memphis YOMCA AAU team may be in Fayetteville for The Real Deal on the Hill April 15-16 at Bud Walton Arena, have also been to Tennessee and Ole Miss for football games.
"I really like Arkansas and some of the other SEC schools," Kemp said. "I just don't have any idea where I am going to go yet, but Arkansas is doing a great job recruiting us and I really like (Arkansas) Coach (Stan) Heath and his assistants."
Chism, who transferred to defending state champion Bolivar this season after losing in the finals last season, also gives the Razorbacks high marks.
"They are doing a great job recruiting me," Chism said. "They are up there at the top of my list."
o o o
...Springdale junior quarterback Mitch Mustain now has scholarship offers from Arkansas, Texas A&M, Michigan State, LSU and Georgia Tech, who offered on Monday.
...Red Bulldog junior Damian Williams, also has offers from Arkansas and LSU in addition to Missouri, Iowa and Tulsa.
...The Razorback basketball staff did not make it to see Salt Lake (Utah) Community College star Rekalin Sims last week, but is likely to do so this week. Sims is a 6-8, 210-pound scorer who was Street and Smith's Preseason Junior College Player of the Year.
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