Arkansas signs Britt, Sanchez

New University of Arkansas head basketball coach John Pelphrey talks about his two new signees - Springdale Har-Ber power forward Michael Sanchez (6-9, 230) and Forrest City guard Marcus Britt (6-3, 180), who both say they have realized a dream of landing with the Razorbacks.

New University of Arkansas basketball coach John Pelphrey found just what he needed inside his new states borders to fill out his roster.

Both Springdale Har-Ber power forward Michael Sanchez (6-9, 230) and Forrest City guard Marcus Britt (6-3, 180) signed with the Razorbacks on Tuesday afternoon.

They joined with Har-Ber swingman Nate Rakestraw (6-5, 212) to form an All-Arkansas recruiting class something Sanchez noted that former Razorback Jim Counce impressed upon him.

"Mr. Counce helped me realize the importance of playing for my home state, Sanchez said. It's more passion than you can describe where the jersey is more than just a piece of cloth, where having the name Arkansas across your chest means more than words.

"I know that Razorback basketball hasn't met the high standards the former Triplets have set the last few years and that's where Razorback basketball belongs, Sanchez said while mentioning Sidney Moncrief, Ron Brewer and Marvin Delph.

Britt, who originally signed with Louisiana Tech before asking for his release when Keith Richard was fired, echoed some of those same sentiments.

This was a dream for me that finally came true, Britt said a few hours after signing. I have always wanted to put on the Razorback jersey. I am very excited about getting up there.

Pelphrey is excited to have them both with Sanchez being the first son of a former Lady Razorbacks basketball player (Kim Bunge Sanchez) to sign with the Razorback basketball team.

Bert Sanchez, Mikes dad, was on the UA track squad.

"His mother and father both went to school here so he loves the Razorbacks," Pelphrey said. "Michael is an outstanding basketball player. He has a lot of God-given athletic ability and has great leadership qualities.

Sanchez averaged 16 points and 13 rebounds his senior season and chose Aransas over Kentucky, Wake Forest and Colorado.

"Michael is the type of player we want to be around on a daily basis," Pelphrey said. "He is going to be a big, big part of the future of Razorback basketball."

Britt, expected to play both point and shooting guard at Arkansas, averaged 18.3 points and 5 assists for a 26-4 team this past season.

"Marcus is also a young man who loves the Razorbacks," Pelphrey said. "He had a tremendous prep career and will have the opportunity to compete as a freshman in our backcourt.

Pelphrey got a similar response when asking others about Britt.

"Anytime you ask someone about Marcus Britt, they tell you how hard he competes and that he's a winner," Pelphrey added. "We're excited about having him join our program."

Forrest City head coach Dwight Lofton has talked to Pelprey about Britts role next season.

Make no mistake, Lofton said, Britt is not going to Arkansas to be a decoration or sit on the bench. Coach Pelphrey fully expects Britt to get some major playing time this next season.

Rakestraw signed with the Razorbacks back in November before averaging 19.4 points and hitting 41 percent from 3-point range his senior season.

He was on hand for Sanchez signing with a big smile on his face.

He's been my best friend since the third grade," Rakestraw said. "We both thought that we had played our last game together (last March), but knowing that we'll be together for at least four more years, it's really awesome. I can't even put it into words."

All three of the Razorback signees have been selected to play in the Arkansas High School Coaches Association All-Star game on Thursday, June 21 at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville their future college home.

Sanchez and Rakestraw will play for the West squad while Britt will join Oklahoma State signee James Anderson of Junction City on the East team.

(Nathan Allen and Fred Conley also contributed to this story.)

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