Good recruiting cures many ills, and hopefully the recruiting class set to arrive in Fayetteville next year will contribute significantly to the mending of the basketball program. Here's a quick rundown of those that already have signed:
• Rickey Scott, a 6'3", 195-pound shooting guard from Irving, Texas. Scott is No. 75 on Rivals.com's list of the top 150 recruits in the high school class of 2010. Rivals gives him four out of a possible five stars and says this:
A strong athlete, Scott can move between both the point guard and shooting guard positions. Not necessarily a shifty ball handler, Scott is strong with the ball and a good decision maker. His primary method of scoring is off the pull up jumper. On the other side of the ball, he is a lockdown defender on any perimeter position and is a proficient rebounder.
Lockdown defender? He may feel very out of place in Fayetteville.
• Mardracus Wade, a 6'2", 170-pound shooting guard from Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va. (he's originally from Memphis.) Wade comes in at No. 103 on the above-mentioned list. Rivals, which gives him three stars out of a possible five, doesn't have much of a scouting report, but the site does describe him as an "athletic slasher and rebounder," for what that's worth. Regardless of his on-court skills, he would immediately give Julysses Nobles and Van Stumon some serious competition for coolest name among Razorback athletes.
• From the junior college ranks, the Hogs have signed Marvell Waithe, a 6'9", 216-pound small forward from Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College. Waithe is ranked fourth on Rivals' list of the top 150 junior college prospects. Sounds good, but perhaps caution is advised: forward Andre Clark, who left Arkansas after last season and didn't make much of an impression while he was in Fayetteville, is ranked fifth.
Pelphrey is also in pursuit of 6'8", 230-pound power forward Ricardo Ratliffe, deemed by Rivals the top JC recruit in all the land. Here's what Rivals recruitng guru Jerry Meyer said recently about Ratliffe: "Ratliffe's play for Central Florida Community College is receiving rave reviews. He is putting up more than 26 points per game and is being pursued by more than just Alabama. Arkansas, Clemson and Missouri have also made inroads with Ratliffe. A number of other schools, including Kentucky and Connecticut, are joining the mix." Oh great, Kentucky's in the mix.
Finally, 6'0' point guard Jeff Peterson, who is redshirting this year after transfering from Iowa, will be eligible to play next season. He averaged 10.6 points and 4.2 assists per game last year for the Hawkeyes.
The Hogs currently have 12 players on scholarship (including Peterson). The NCAA limit is 13 per season.
Michael Washington and Stef Welsh are seniors, so at this point the Hogs wouldn't appear to have another scholarship to offer Ratliffe or anybody else. These things have a way of sorting themselves out, though. Another thing to bear in mind is the potential for scholarship reductions because of the APR thing. Who knows how that will affect all of this.
As it currently stands, it doesn't seem like the most exciting class ever (however, inking Ratliffe would certainly add some oomph), but who really knows? Recruiting is the most inexact of inexact sciences. We won't know until these guys take the court.
What are your thoughts?