Expanding List

Marquette joins the race for Little Rock Hall point guard A.J. Walton (6-1, 180), who had previously narrowed his list to Arkansas, Oklahoma and percieved front-runner Baylor and who helped lead the Arkansas Wings to a 3-0 mark in pool play Saturday at the 17-and-under AAU State Tournament in Little Rock.

LITTLE ROCK - While speculation continues that Little Rock Central point guard A.J. Walton is likely headed to Baylor, he is quick to dismiss that idea.

In fact, Walton (6-1, 180) says there is a new team on his list to go along with the Bears, the University of Arkansas and Oklahoma.

"I am now looking at Marquette, who offered me a scholarship on Tuesday," Walton said on Saturday afternoon. "(Marquette assistant) Coach (Tony) Benford called and said they wanted me. My favorite player is Dwayne Wade and he went there so I am going to take a look."

Walton, who led the Arkansas Wings to a 3-0 mark in pool play Saturday at the Arkansas State 17-and-under tournament, had previously said he might have a decision made before the end of the summer.

Now he is not so sure that he will have a decision made by that time since Marquette and new coach Buzz Williams are now in the mix.

"I'm not sure about that anymore," Walton said. "I could make a decision, but I am not sure about that anymore."

He was asked why speculation in Little Rock is that he is headed to Baylor.

"I guess it is because I have been down there and when I mention my top teams they are always in there," Walton said. "They have always been in my top 3 and I just love the school."

Asked about his interest in Arkansas and vice-versa, Walton said it is still a mutual thing between him and Razorback head coach John Pelphrey and that he plans to attend the UA's Elite Camp on August 1-3.

"They are also one of my top choices and Coach Pelphrey and I have a close relationship," Walton said. "I can call him up and ask him any question that I want. I am looking forward to going to his camp. It is going to be a blast."

Former Arkansas assistant Orande Taliaferro is recruiting Walton for Oklahoma.

"All the focus this year was on (Blake) Griffin, but they have told me they are looking to bring in a point guard that would be the focus of next year's team after he moves on," Walton said. "I like their coaches."

Walton's squad will play Sunday at noon in a championship bracket semifinal for a berth in the title game at 4:30 with both games at Little Rock Central.

The top three teams advance to the AAU National Tournament in Orlando in late July.

"We are just trying to go out and take care of our business," Walton said. "We are playing pretty well right now."

Walton's team got a lift from the play of Little Rock Central sophomore Alandise Harris (6-6, 210).

He has gotten letters from Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri since a breakout performance in the Old School Super Regional in Conway last month.

"I am getting better at handling the ball and shooting," Harris said.

Harris' second game on Saturday found him facing four Little Rock Central teammates playing for the opposing team.

"Hey, I like those guys, but they weren't on my team so they were the enemy today," Harris said. "That's how we have to look at things when it is not school ball."


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