Three New Razorbacks

The University of Arkansas lands a trio of basketball recruits in power forward Marshawn Powell (6-8, 235), small forward Jemal Farmer (6-5, 215) and West Memphis center Anthony Borden (7-0, 230) on Wednesday as the week-long national signing period opened.

While University of Arkansas head basketball coach John Pelphrey can't talk about his early signing class until all the paperwork is officially in, it's known the program did get three new Razorbacks on Wednesday.

Charlottesville (VA) Miller School power forward Marshawn Powell (6-8, 235), Cloud County (Kan.) Community College small forward Jemal Farmer (6-5, 215) and West Memphis center Anthony Borden all confirmed with Hawgs Illustrated that they signed letter-of-intents as the week-long early signing period opened.

Powell's papers have to be sent to him mom and then sent on to Fayetteville before he can be announced officially.

"I am very excited," Powell said immediately after signing. "I told Coach (Pelphrey) that I can't wait to get up there to Arkansas to play and help out the Razorbacks."

Powell averaged 22 points and 11 rebounds last season for his prep school, which went 25-4 while he was being named the Virginia Independent Schools Division II Player of the Year.

"I think we are going to be even better than last year," Powell said. "We have a lot of talent and we are working hard."

Powell, ranked as the 47th best player nationally according to, said he plans to continue working on all facets of his game under the tutelage of Miller School head coach Fred Wawner.

"To be honest, I am just going to try to keep working on all parts of my game – scoring, rebounding, passing and defense," Powell said. "Coach said he is going to play me on the wing some and so I want to keep working on my face up game, too."

Powell committed to Arkansas last spring, de-committed and then recommitted in August just after the Razorbacks' Elite Camp.

He then took his official visit to Fayetteville in September.

"I loved hanging out with those guys," Powell said. "All those guys so funny and great to be around. I think they are going to be exciting and have a lot of fun this year together."

He knows that this year's version of the Razorbacks have a lot of youth and are picked to finish last in the SEC West.

"I really think they are going to be better than people think and I believe that is because they have a lot of talent and because they are a very scrappy group of guys that will play with a lot of intensity," Powell said. "I really wish I could be up there helping out."

Instead he will begin his season on Dec. 4th at the Atlantic Shores Classic before being one of the highlighted players and the Chick-Fil-A Classic in South Carolina on Dec. 19-23.

That event will also feature Kentucky signee Daniel Orton (6-11, 240) and Duke signee Miles Plumlee (6-11, 220).

"I have played a lot against Daniel and some of the other guys (in AAU basketball) so I am looking forward to matching up with him and the others again," Powell said. "But I think our team is looking forward to it even more because we think we are going to be quite successful this season and we want to match up with the best."

Farmer's team is off to a 4-0 start entering Wednesday night's game at Independence.

He is averaging 21 points per game, but has been out the past game-and-a-half due to a thigh bruise and was scheduled to miss Wednesday's game.

"This is like a dream come true," Farmer said. "I am just trying to get better every day. When I get to Arkansas, I want to bring a lot of energy and beable to help in every part of the game."

Cloud County head coach Kevin Muff said that Arkansas is getting a good one.

"He's ask to do a lot of things for us on the floor and is very gifted," Muff said. "He's off to a great start for us this season and Arkansas is getting a very good player.

"He is really weapon with both his driving and shooting," Muff added. "He is also working hard at his defense, but he does seem to put more out on that end when he is facing another really good player. We need him to be more consistent and do that every night."

Farmer is one of the few vets on a very young Cloud team.

"We are extremely young and having his sophomore leadership is crucial," Muff said. "In our one overtime game so far, he really stepped up and took over and provided not only the scoring we needed but the experience of guiding a team to the finish line."

Borden averaged 16 points and 12 rebounds last season for West Memphis and chose Arkansas over Ole Miss, Missouri and others.

"It's really cool to be a Razorback, a really good feeling, " Borden said. "I really like Coach Pelphrey and (Arkansas assistant) Coach (Tom) Ostrom and all those guys up there and I also really like how much they stress academics."

Borden could be a Razorback in either 2009 or 2010 depending on whether he goes to prep school for a year for either academics or development.

"I hope I can get up there next season and help out, but we'll see," Borden said. "I am looking forward to making some games this season."

West Memphis, which played in a jamboree with visiting Cabot Tuesday night, will open its regular season Tuesday at Forrest City and then play at Fort Smith Northside on Nov. 22.

"I think we are going to have a very good season and I am just going to do everything I can to help us win," Borden said.

Jemal Farmer

Anthony Borden

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