Bush's High on the Hogs

In his weekly column, Dudley E. Dawson writes about how Arkansas basketball recruiting target Jenniro Bush (6-7, 175) continues to have a banner senior season. This story is sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers. It's free and so is a special offer to attend a Razorback event on the Arkansas Toyota Dealers website. Click on a banner for details.

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Mississippi prep basketball star Jenirro Bush didn't get a chance to see the University of Arkansas' beatdown of No. 8 Alabama on Saturday afternoon, but word travels fast.

"I didn't get a chance to see it because I had a game myself, but when I heard about it, I was like "wow!," Bush said Sunday night. "That's a great win for them."

That victory certainly won't hurt the Razorbacks' chances when it comes to recruiting Bush, a 6-7, 175-pound point guard prospect from East Oktibbeha who will make an official visit to Fayetteville on Jan. 19-21.

The lanky prospect – a Nike All-American who is versatile enough that he could play any of three positions for Arkansas - is averaging 30 points, 13 rebounds and 4 assists this season for his 16-3 squad.

"That kind of win makes me feel even better about where they are headed," said Bush, considered one of the top four 2007 prospects in Mississippi this season. "I think they are going to be really, really good this season."

Bush, who had a 42-point outburst earlier this season, is well aware of how Mississippi has been good to the Razorbacks on the recruiting trail lately, even though UA signee Al Jefferson ended up jumping straight to the NBA.

"I know (current Razorback) Cyrus McGowan because we went to the same church and I know that Charles Thomas, who played for the Jackson Panthers is up there," Bush said. "Maybe I'll be the next one."

Bush has offers from Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Oklahoma and Middle Tennessee State and others with Arkansas recently jumping into the fray.

"Most of the colleges are recruiting me as a point guard and that's where I see myself playing on the next level," Bush said. "Coaches like the fact that I can handle the ball, pass it, get into the lane but also be able to knock down a 15-footer consistently. Arkansas has told me that is what they like and that I just need to get stronger."

Bush is aware that former Razorback Ronnie Brewer – a guy his game is similar to – is now playing in the NBA.

"I really like what Arkansas is doing, I think they have a great program and they've been sending a lot of guys like Brewer to the league and he is the same kind of player that I am," Bush said.

"They told me they love my game and they think I can come in and help them," Bush said. "I am taking my official visit up there on the weekend of Jan. 20 and I am really looking forward to it. I know there is an opportunity to come in and help right away with a team that is going to be very good."

He was recently named the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion Ledger co-player of the week after leading his team to a title with four wins in the Chad Jackson Memorial Tournament in McAdams.

"We've really been playing really well lately," Bush said. "I battled through the flu Saturday, but I still had 25 points. We are all just really coming together and I am going to try and help takes us as far we can go this year."

UA head coach Stan heath and Razorback assistant Orande Taliaferro took in one of those tournament wins when Bush had 21 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists in his team's 85-61 win over Thomastown.

East Oktibbeha head coach Herman Bush, who is the prospect's cousin, knows he has a versatile star on his hands.

"He is a great player who can play all over the floor is unselfish and has great vision," Coach Bush said. "We can play him at the 5 because he is our biggest man, but we also have him bring the ball up when someone is pressing us and that is where he plays during the summer. He is going to make someone a great college player."

Bush spent the summer playing AAU ball for the Jackson Tigers, where he was their point guard.

"We had a very good summer, including finishing fourth or fifth in the national AAU Tournament (in Orlando)," Bush said. "That's where a lot of people saw me playing point guard and got interested."

There was some thought that Bush might have to attend a prep school early on, but a recent ACT score and some good work in the classroom has that idea out now.

"I'm in good shape now and looking forward to going to college," Bush said.

East Oktibbeha has gone over the 100 mark once this season and been up over 80 in several other games.

"We are an up-tempo team," Bush said. "Because we are kind of a small tea, we like to get the ball and run and make things happen. That's definitely when we have been at our best this season."

Coach Bush is happy to get the ball in his top player's hands as much as possible.

"He's just a tremendous high school player, one of the best in Mississippi and one that a lot of people want," Coach Bush said. "Coach Heath and his staff really have him excited about Arkansas and the chance to come play there. I don't know how it is all going to end up, but I know he is going to be a great one in college just like he is for now because he can just do so many things as a basketball player."

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