If there's one thing the basketball Hogs didn't have enough of last year, it was small guards. John Pelphrey began shoring up that weakness yesterday when 6'1" Julysses Nobles of Jackson (Miss.) Callaway signed a letter of intent to play for Arkansas.
Sarcasm aside, the Hogs really do need a back-up to Courtney Fortson (and given Pelphrey's suspension-loving ways, at some point the Hogs will probably need Nobles to be more than that). The good stuff: Nobles averaged 21 points, 5.3 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 3.2 steals per game last season while leading his team to a 33-6 record and the Class 4A and state overall championships. He also played in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game this spring.
And now, the not-so-exciting stuff: Scout.com only gives him two out of a possible four stars, and the Hogs' competition for him was Alabama-Birmingham and Georgia State. Oh well - I find it hard to get too worked up one way or another. Recruiting is, after all, a rather inexact science, and Nolan's teams consistently got major contributions from unheralded signees (Scotty Thurman - I'm looking in your direction). Still, it does make me a wee bit envious to see Kentucky - the rich kids on the block who get all the cool toys for Christmas - poised to land so many highly ranked prepsters.
Nobles joins 6'8" power forward Marshawn Powell, 6'5" guard Jemal Farmer and 7' center/forward Anthony Borden in the Hogs' 2009 recruiting class. Of the four signees, Powell is by far the most highly touted. Scout.com gives him four stars and ranks him the 16th best power forward in the class of 2009 and the 47th best player overall.
What's your take on the class so far?