Point guard Rashad Madden of East Poinsett County, Ark., will announce tomorrow morning where he play college basketball. Recruiting guru Richard Davenport says Ole Miss, Baylor and the Hogs are the finalists for Madden's considerable talents. And on his Twitter page, Wally Hall says the 6'4" Madden is leaning toward the Razorbacks.
Madden's verbal commitment to the Hogs would add considerable punch to an already impressive group of recruits that have said they will arrive in Fayetteville a year from now.
Madden, Hunter Mickelson, a 6'10" power forward from Jonesboro, and Aaron Ross, a 6'7" small forward from Little Rock, are the top recruits in the Arkansas prep Class of 2011, considered one of the best classes in the state's history. All three are ranked on the prestigious Rivals150 recruting list — and Mickelson and Ross already have made verbal committments to the Hogs. Madden — ranked by Rivals as the 27th best overall prospect in the national Class of 2011 and the sixth best point guard — is the most highly regarded of the three but he would not be the most highly regarded recruit to say he will play for the Hogs a year from now.
At this point at least, that honor belongs to St. Louis point guard B.J. Young, who verbally committed to the Razorbacks in early September. Rivals ranks Young as the 18th overall prospect in the Class of 2011 and the fourth best point guard.
It's important to keep in mind that verbal committments are non-binding (recruits can't sign the binding letter of intents until November). And it's also important to remember that SAT/academic difficulties all too often wreak havoc with recruiting classes.
In other words, don't start buying those plane tickets to the 2012 Final Four just yet. But it's greatly encouraging to see what John Pelphrey and his staff have done this summer and fall. Let's hope we're even more encouraged come tomorrow morning.