The University of Arkansas will host Missouri on Nov. 28 at Bud Walton Arena in a much-anticipated hoops match-up.
But one of those two schools will likely already have a big victory over the other before then.
That's because Okaloosa-Walton (Fla.) Community College forward Keith Ramsey (6-8, 205) has official visits planned to Missouri on Sept. 14-16 and Arkansas on Sept. 21-23.
"I think those are going to be the only two schools I visit," Ramsey said. "I'm also looking at South Florida, but those are my top two schools."
Ramsey, regarded as the nation's best juco forward, averaged 11.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.7 blocks for a 23-5 Okaloosa-Walton squad last season.
Arkansas is currently trying to make up ground in the race as former UAB and current Missouri head coach Mike Anderson has been recruiting Ramsey since his high school days back in Murfreesboro, TN.
"I know a lot more about Missouri because Coach Anderson has been recruiting me since I was back in high school," Ramsey said. "They are my number one right now because I simply know more about them.
"But Arkansas coaches have been real cool and showing me a lot of love and I know they love to get up and down the court like Missouri does and that's how I want to play," Ramsey added. "So I consider myself to be wide open and going to look and compare both places before making a decision."
He admits to not knowing a lot about Arkansas, but is learning.
"I do know that they won a national championship at Arkansas," Ramsey said. "They did that while Coach Anderson was an assistant there.
"The Arkansas coaches now have done a great job in letting me know how much they want me and about how there would be a lot of playing time for me right away," Ramsey added. "They are really doing a great job recruiting me and I can't wait to get up there and check everything out."
Ramsey is a versatile forward who can play both inside and out.
"I feel like I have a very well-rounded game in that I can score down low or I can take my mind outside," Ramsey said. "I like to grab the rebound and take off and handle it myself."
Arkansas and Missouri are also both interested in 6-2 shooting guard Tay Waller of Okaloosa-Walton.
Waller, like Ramsey an All-Panhandle Conference choice as a freshman, averaged 18.4 points per game last season while shooting 45 percent from 3-point range and 92 percent from the free throw line.
The pair played AAU basketball together – along with former North Carolina and current NBA player Brandan Wright – while winning a national championship with the Murfreesboro Stars.
"He can flat out shoot the ball," Ramsey said of Waller. "I think he is one of the best shooters in the country regardless of the level. We have talked about how it might be fun to keep playing together, but we'll just have to see how that works out."
O o o
Arkansas will also have 6-9, 220-pound Chicago prep forward Stan Simpson in for an unofficial visit.
Simpson, who has family in Little Rock, averaged 18 points, 11 rebounds and 5 blocks last season for Leo High.
He also has offers from DePaul, Colorado, Tennessee and Iowa State.
The Arkansas visit is the only one that Simpson has set up at this time and he hopes to have a decision by the end of September.
Other players Arkansas is likely to have in during September and October are 6-9 forward Terrance Henry of Monroe (La.) Carroll, 6-1 point guard Rotnei Clarke of Vedigris (Okla.), 6-5 shooting guard Terrico White of Memphis Craigmont and 6-1 Genesis One point guard Terrence Joyner, who has already committed to the Razorbacks.
Ramsey Eyes Arkansas
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