Real Deal In The Rock

In his weekly recruiting column, Dudley E. Dawson writes about this weekend's Real Deal in the Rock AAU basketball tournament that will offer up the state's and some of the nation's best prep talent. This story is free and sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers. Click on the Arkansas Toyota banner.

There has certainly been plenty of speculation about the 2011 basketball recruiting class in Arkansas and what impact it could have on the Razorback basketball program.

That class has three consensus players in the nation's top 60 and likely as many as four other high elite Division I players.

That group will be front and center Friday night at 7 p.m. in the Arkansas at the Stephens Center in Little Rock for the Arkansas Specialty Care Tip-Off Classic.

That game will feature the Arkansas Wings and Team Lamar Odom and serves as the opening game the Real Deal in the Rock AAU Tournament.

"I think this is not only a wonderful opportunity to represent our state, but also for fans to come out and make up their own opinions about just how good these players are," Arkansas Wings spokesman Ron Crawford said. "This gives them a chance to make up their own minds and not just listen to Dudley Dawson and Ron Crawford about how great these guys are."

The game will feature three players that have been offered by Arkansas in 6-8 Razorback commit Aaron Ross of Little Rock Parkview, 6-10 Hunter Mickelson of Jonesboro Westside and 6-5 guard Rashad Madden of East Poinsett County.

The Wings also feature 6-5 standouts in Darion Griswold and David Rivers, 6-10 Hooper Vint and 6-1 guard Isaac McCoy to name some other talented juniors on the roster.

"Fans will get a chance Friday night and throughout the weekend to see not only how good the big three are, but also how good is Darion Griswold, how good is David Rivers, how good is Issac McCoy and how good is Hooper Vint," Crawford said.

The Wings, who went 3-2 last weekend in a Nike Youth League Tournament in Richmond, Va., are also slated to be playing an exhibition game in Northwest Arkansas in the near future.

An announcement about that should be forthcoming on Monday.

"We just want to give the basketball fans in this state an opportunity to see these kids," Crawford said. "We had 1,600 to 1,700 fans for an exhibition in Jonesboro earlier so I know there is a lot of interest."

The Wings will also be playing Saturday at 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at the Stephens Center in pool action before the event goes to bracket play on Saturday afternoon.

The Arkansas staff will also be watching games involving 6-5 Memphis Magic star Adonis Thomas, one of the nation's top 15 players, and many other players on the 42 squads in the 17-and-under division and others in the 16-and-under division.

One football star who will also be on hand is 2012 wideout prospect Dorial Green, who will be playing for Missouri Elite and is looked upon as one of the nation's best.

The event, which began as the Real Deal on the Hill in 2005 in Fayetteville, features over 300 teams and age divisions ranging from 9 to 17.

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