Adding Talent

In his weekly recruiting column, Dudley E. Dawson chats with Arkansas head basketball coach John Pelphrey, who expects to add three players during the week-long early signing period that opens on Wednesday. This story is free and sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers. Click on the Arkansas Toyota banner.

University of Arkansas basketball coach John Pelphrey can lock up 75 percent of his 2010 recruiting class beginning today.

That's because the Razorbacks are set to sign three players – four-star guards Mardracus Wade (6-3, 170) of Hargrave Military Academy and Rickey Scott (6-3, 195) of Irving (Texas) MacArthur along with Tallahassee Community College juco standout Marvell Waithe (6-9, 215) - during the week-long early signing period that begins on Wednesday.

"We anticipate getting signatures from three guys," Pelphrey said. "We obviously will still be actively recruiting in that class. I think we still have some needs upfront that we need to address. I think we anticipate signing four."

Waithe - a preseason NJCAA All-American - has already begun his season and has led his team to a 3-0 mark.

He is averaging 21 points per game with games of 30, 14 and 20 points so far.

That fourth signee this spring could come from a couple of guys the Razorbacks are known to be targeting in Central Florida CC big man Ricardo Ratliffe (6-9, 240) and Hargarve Military Academy center Shawn Kemp, Jr. (6-9, 235). Ratliffe had 36 points (on 13-of-17 shooting) and 11 rebounds as his team - ranked No. 1 in the country in the junior college ranks - downed visiting Hillsborough 77-73 on Tuesday night

His night included knocking down a trio of 3-pointers.

Pelphrey and his staff have certainly put a lot of effort into recruiting a trio of in-state 2011 prospects in UA commit Aaron Ross (6-8, 220) of Little Rock Parkview, Ky Madden (6-5, 180) of East Poinsett County and Hunter Mickelson (6-10, 190) of Jonesboro Westside.

Not to mention Memphis standout Adonis Thomas (6-6, 205) and Jacksonville (Fla.) prep star Wayne Martin, Jr.

All in all, it is two classes that Pelphrey thinks can get the program back to the elite stage.

"Obviously we have worked really, really hard in the other class (2011) now for a couple of years and we think we are really close to getting on top of it now."

Pelphrey, who led the program to its only NCAA Tournament win this decade in his rookie season, makes it clear he yearns to be the guy to get Arkansas back to the elite level it once occupied in the college basketball world

"There is a tremendous amount of pride in that white uniform because of those that came before us and we want to have some of the same success they had so we will do as well as we possibly can."

Marvell Waithe

Mardracus Wade

Rickey Scott

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