An Important Month

After watching his biggest returning player put on 30 pounds of muscle this spring and summer, University of Arkansas head basketball coach John Pelphrey and his staff are putting in the recruiting miles - from Germany to Georgia - in the all-important evaluation month of July.

The most important hoops recruiting and evaluation month is here now and University of Arkansas head basketball coach John Pelphrey and his staff are certainly getting the miles in.

"I've already been to Germany, Cleveland, Tulsa, Dallas and now Georgia already," Pelphrey said. "There is a lot more to go – Minnesota, Milwaukee, Las Vegas and Orlando and so on.

"July is always the biggest and most important month for us anyway, but now that's even more the case since they (the NCAA) has taken April (evaluation) away from all of the college coaches," Pelphrey added. "We are getting to see all of the 2011 kids and getting jump-started on the 2012 ones as well."

Pelphrey was on hand at the Peach Jam in Georgia on Monday to see one of those 2012 prospects in Sylvan Hills star Archie Goodwin (6-4), who has blown up this summer.

Goodwin now has offers from Arkansas, Memphis, Baylor and Oklahoma State as well as interet from Kentucky, Kansas and others.

Pelphrey had been in Germany to watch Memphis standout Adonis Thomas and Mississippi big man Johnny Bryant play of the gold-medal winning USA Under 17 team.

He was front and center in Tulsa this weekend as UA commit Hunter Mickelson and his Arkansas Wings went 2-3 while playing without fellow Arkansas pledge Aaron Ross (family reunion) and the injured Rashad Madden.

"You are just trying to position yourself to get the best players possible," Pelphrey said. "We are excited about our future and believe we are about to turn the corner and want to get as much talent into the program as we can."

The Razorbacks go into this evaluation period with several specific needs – albeit landing Mickelson (6-10, 190) and Ross (6-6, 225) are already great gets for the program.

"You are always looking to add to your front court and backcourt with size no matter what the year," Pelphrey said. "You just can't have enough players in your system over 6-10 and we certainly need to do that.

"We are also looking to add a big wing and/or a point guard," Pelphrey said. "The biggest thing is the backcourt is to add size."

Speaking of adding size, that is something senior-to-be Delvon Johnson and sophomore-to-be Glenn Bryant have certainly done this spring and summer.

Johnson finished the season between 220 and 225, but now is a robust 255 pounds according to Pelphrey.

"Delvon has really gotten after it in the weight room and has put on 30 pounds of muscle," Pelprey said. "He has had a great off-season and that's big for both him and our basketball team. I can't say enough about the effort he has put forth in the weight room and how it has paid off.

Bryant – now 6-7, 210 – joins Johnson (6-9, 255), Michael Sanchez (6-8, 240), Marshawn Powell (6-7, 225) and newcomer Marvell Waithe (6-9, 215) as the frontcourt candidates.

"Glenn has put on 15 pounds and is going to much stronger and able to get more done down there this year," Pelphrey said. "I'm excited about all those guys."

Sanchez played just four games last season due to planter fasciitis, but appears to be in position to contribute significantly again this season as he did as a redshirt freshman starter.

"I don't want to say he is cured," Pelphrey said. "I think that would be too much. But we are so pleased with how he has come along and he is doing very, very well. He is ready to compete again and that is great for our basketball team."

The Razorbacks added former Florida star Brett Nelson to the staff during this spring to join fellow assistants Rob Evans and Tom Ostrom.

Nelson is in Georgia and South Carolina recruiting this week.

"Brett is doing a great job for us," Pelphrey said. "He is in on some great, great players for us and working very hard. I think he is just going to be a great addition to our staff, who is really out their working hard right now."


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