Future Razorbacks

With all the letters-of-intent now official, University of Arkansas head basketball coach John Pelphrey talks about landing center Anthony Borden (7-0, 230), power forward Marshawn Powell (6-8, 225) and small forward Jemal Farmer (6-5, 215) in the early signing period and what he might look to sign in the spring.

The University of Arkansas' early signing class is now all signed, sealed and delivered.

Razorback head coach John Pelphrey took part of his Tuesday press conference to discuss the early class of Charlottesville (VA) Miller School power forward Marshawn Powell (6-8, 235), Cloud County Community College small forward Jemal Farmer (6-5, 215) and West Memphis center Anthony Borden (7-0, 230).

"All three fit a need," Pelphrey said. "They have the chance to come in and fill roles and all three have the chance to have an impact next year. Physically, these guys look like Southeastern Conference players."

The Razorbacks landed a true center with tremendous upside in Borden, who averaged 16 points and 12 rebounds last season for veteran Blue Devils coach Larry Bray.

He chose Arkansas over Missouri, Ole Miss, Xavier, UAB, Alabama and South Carolina.

"Anthony obviously has great, great physical size," Pelphrey said. "Our coaching staff believes when you have that type of size, it's great. He's well-proportioned. He can get stronger, but It's not like he is 182 pounds. Physically he is well-proportioned already, runs well and plays for Coach Bray there who does a great, great job.

"I really think he is going to have the chance to have a big year and make a lot of progress," Pelphrey added of a young man who has not played a lot of organized basketball. "A lot of big guys make progress as they get older."

There has been some speculation that Borden might arrive on campus in 2010 instead of 2009 whether it be for academics or development, but Pelphrey says that no decision has been made regarding that.

"I don't think you can really put a ceiling on him or a cap," Pelphrey said. "He can run, he can catch the basketball…I think we may be talking about a different guy here in the next two or three months than he is right now. It's up to how hard he is going to work, some things that Coach Bray talked about. If not, there are some other options, some possibilities that may happen, but he loves being a Razorback and I know they don't grow them that big everyday. I think he has the potential to help us next year."

Powell – the 47th best player in the country according to Scout.com, certainly does as well after choosing Arkansas over Virginia, Pittsburgh, Kansas State, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Virginia, New Mexico, Maryland, Florida State, Miami, LaSalle, North Carolina State and Massachusetts after getting a rush of offers after his banner AAU campaign.

"I'm very, very excited about him," Pelphrey said. "He is a power forward and one of the consensus top 50 players. He gives us a guy at the power forward spot that is versatile from the perimeter. He can handle it, he can pass it, he can shoot it from there a little bit, but obviously he is very good in and around the basket as well."

Powell averaged 22 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocked shots last season for the Miller School while earning state Division II Player of the Year honors.

"He is a good, good player and I think has an understanding of how to play, too," Pelphrey added. "It is not all about him. He can read defenses. I was very impressed with him and just his understanding of how to play."

Farmer averaged 16.1 points and 5,4 rebounds last season for Cloud while earning All-Jayhawk Conference honors.

He chose Arkansas over Nebraska, Iowa State, Kansas State and Alabama-Birmingham.

Pelphrey took a good natured jab at a sports writer in attendance while describing Farmer, a Chicago native who is averaging 21 points so far this season.

"Jemal Farmer is a big athletic wing," Pelphrey said. "He's 6-5, 210 or something like that. He'll probably remind you a lot of Dudley with his athleticism- the way he jumps and stuff and flies through the air with his 40-inch vertical leap. We've needed that with the loss of Pat(rick) (Beverley). I think he was the leading scorer in the Jayhawk league last year.

Pelphrey said that he will continue to recruit 2009 players for the month-long spring signing period which opens in April.

"We'll keep kind of scratching around," Pelphrey said. "We could use another big, physical front court guy – probably more of a center than anything else. And I think as we go along here we are going to see that we could need more or another guy who can put it down and be a man at the point guard spot.

"I will just try to find the best available player that we can get," Pelphrey said. "…Another breakdown guard, another ballhander and you could use another physical body up front."

Marshawn Powell

Jemal Farmer

Anthony Borden

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