Pelphrey hopes to add final piece

John Pelphrey said Tuesday he is optimistic Arkansas will add a final signee prior to next season.

FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas coach John Pelphrey said Tuesday he is still hopeful the Razorbacks can add a player to the roster prior to next season.

Though the national letter of intent signing period - which bind schools and players to one another - ended last week, teams are still able to add commitments through letters of financial intent, which binds a school to a player but not a player to a school.

"You're always looking to make yourself better and if you can add a piece to the puzzle this time of year it helps both on the court and in work ethic, in understanding and academically - that'd be fantastic," Pelphrey said.

"We're still hopeful we'll have a chance to add a piece before school starts in the fall."

Arkansas currently has 12 players slated to be on scholarship next season, one below the NCAA limit of 13. Pelphrey has said he hopes to add another frontcourt player to the roster prior to next season.

The most likely candidate to fill that void is Minnesota prep star Kevin Noreen (6-10, 210), who averaged 36.5 points and 14.8 rebounds per game as a senior. Noreen visited Arkansas last week and plans to make a commitment early next month.

Noreen originally signed with Boston College in the fall but was released from his scholarship there when Al Skinner was fired following the season. In addition to Arkansas he has visited Oklahoma and Northwestern, and plans to visit Iowa and Iowa State some time next week.

Asked if he was concerned the Razorbacks were unable to sign anyone during the signing period, Pelphrey said he was not.

"There were obviously some guys we were recruiting that made other decisions. Unfortunately for us we weren't able to get those guys," Pelphrey said. "Recruiting is one of those things you probably put more work in than you'll ever get out of it.

"You never know with recruiting. You just do your job and do it well and know that at the end of the day it always works out."

Whoever is added will go along with a trio of signees the Razorbacks added in the fall. Rickey Scott and Mardracus Wade were among the nation's more highly-sought defensive players out of high school and Marvell Waithe was an offensive standout at Tallahassee Community College the last two years.

"Certainly the early commitments that are out there is something we feel very confident about," Pelphrey said. "We feel like we're very close to do some things that we've done in the past as a program. Proof is that we were so close with about two weeks to go in the season to compete in the west. Hopefully we can continue to show improvement."

Arkansas finished with a losing record for the second straight season in 2010, but the Razorbacks have seen success on the recruiting trail. In addition to the class signed last fall, Arkansas has added verbal commitments from Scout Top 75 prospects Hunter Mickelson and Aaron Ross in the class of 2011.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories