NORTH LITTLE ROCK – Jelan Kendrick sat on the bench for a long time Friday night after his Hoop Planet squad's loss to the Mid-State Ballerz in Real Deal in the Rock AAU tournament basketball action.
Losing on a late 3-point with four seconds left was tough to stomach for a young man who was already suffering with that area of his body anyway.
"Man, that was a tough way to lose," noted Kendrick, who is ranked as the 37th best 2010 prospect in the nation by Scout.com. "I felt bad, both because of the way my stomach felt and how because of that I couldn't help my team as much as I normally would."
Kendrick, a 6-6, 185-pound small forward from Atlanta Westlake who has a whopping 29 offers already, is one of three 2010 prospects on the Georgia-based Hoop Planet squad that is being actively recruited by the University of Arkansas.
He joins 6-6 junior point guard Jamail Jones of Decatur Greenforest Christian Academy and 6-9 junior center Donte Williams of Lithonia Miller Grove as Razorback targets.
"Arkansas has really started coming on the scene for us now and I am really looking forward to finding out more about them," Williams said. "I know they have a great program."
Jones had 13 points, Kendrick 9 and Williams 4 for the Georgia-based team, which will be back in action Saturday morning at 8 a.m. against Martin Brothers Select and then finish pool play with an 11:30 a.m. game against the Dallas Mustangs.
"We have great talent on this basketball team, we just have to learn how to tame it and play together," Kendrick said. "We are all just trying to make our mothers and fathers proud, make our state proud and work to get to the next level."
Arkansas is one of the 29 teams that has offered Kendrick, who is regarded as the seventh-best small forward nationally in the 2010 class by Scout.com.
"I am very blessed and honored to have those 29 offers," Kendrick said. "I try not t list them all because I know that I would forget somebody and get them mad at me.
"I don't know that much about Arkansas just because I don't watch a lot of basketball, but I know they have had a great program in the past and their coaches have shown they are interested in me," Kendrick added. "I am looking forward to learning more about them as I start to think about recruiting more."
Jones had the best game of the three on Friday night.
"My long range game wasn't really falling this year, but I attack the basket really good," Jones said. "I thought I did that well tonight, but losing is tough."
Arkansas, Florida State, Clemson, Cincinnati, Oregon, Marquette, Stanford, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia State, James Madison, Boston College are among the teams recruiting Jones.
He averaged 24 points for a 26-5 team that got to the Elite Eight this season.
Williams is the tallest of the trio at 6-9, but knows he needs to add some weight to his current 200-pound frame.
"I am working on trying to get stronger and trying to bulk up, working on my rebounding and working on my mid-range game," Williams said.
Arkansas has also shown interest in 6-5 Atwood (TN) West Carroll small forward Thomas Greer, who was on the winning Mid-State Ballerz team.
He has six points in the win plus a couple of key defensive plays late.
"Arkansas has just recently gotten in contact with me and I am certainly interested in them," Greer said. "Up until this point, it has been schools like Drake and UTM (Tennessee-Martin), but I am hoping that interest in really going to jump up this spring and summer for me if I play well and shoot the ball well."
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