Five ESPN 4-star University of Arkansas basketball targets have been invited to take part in the Coach Wootten's Top 150 Showcase on Oct. 24-25 in Mansfield, Texas.
The event is for the top 100 prospects in the Class of 2021 and the top 50 prospects in the Class of 2022.
Joe Wootten, the chairman of the McDonald's All-American game committee and other committee members will use the event to evaluate for the 2021 game.
"Joe's feeling was because there's been no summer basketball and there's not a lot of fall basketball and the coaches can't go out, it's hard to get good evaluations of all the players that are McDonald's worthy," said ESPN national recruiting director Paul Biancardi.
Wootten's father Morgan was the first modern era high school coach to be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He was one of the founders of the McDonald's All-American game and was the head of the selection committee before he died in January.
Live evaluations of the 2021 and 2022 classes have been limited because of the covid-19 pandemic and the cancellation of spring and summer basketball. The Border League in Phoenix is another major event being held on the same weekend.
The events allow analysts like Biancardi a better look at prospects and help in future rankings.
"Film has always been a supplement to your evaluation process," Biancardi said. "The last five to six months it's been the primary way to evaluate. You don't see everything on film. You just can't see athleticism. It's hard to see somebody's intangibles it's hard to see someone's IQ sometimes and you don't get to see reactions."
"When you go live you can see everything about a player. That's how you get the whole evaluation by being there live, but covid has kept us out of the gym. I've only been in a gym a couple of times. I've probably watched more film in the last six months than I have in the last two years."
Arkansas commitment Chance Moore, 6-5, 192 pounds, of Powder Springs (Ga.) McEachern will participate in the Wootten Showcase. He's currently ESPN's No. 9 small forward and No. 44 overall prospect in the nation for the 2021 class.
Biancardi, who expects to update the ESPN's ranking in late fall, is a fan of Moore.
"Scoring guard that gets to the rim," Biancardi said. " I think he has a good balance between shooting it and making shots and driving it. That's what I like about him the most. He's a good rebounding guard too. He works the glass with his size."
Small forward Alex Fudge, 6-8, 178, of Jacksonville (Fla.) Lee is another senior prospect the Hogs have targeted. He announced a top 10 in September and included Arkansas.
Biancardi also rates Fudge the No. 13 small forward and the No. 57 overall prospect in the nation.
"Good athlete with small forward skills that continues to improve his productivity," said Biancardi, who saw Fudge in a recent event. "I like the way his game is growing. That's why he got into the top 100 because he always had the small forward package of skill and athleticism and now he's starting to put it together more and more. He makes incremental increases which shows me he's working on things."
Trey Alexander, 6-5, 185, of Oklahoma City Heritage Hall included Arkansas in his recent released top seven. ESPN also rates Alexander the No. 11 shooting guard and the No. 40 overall recruit in the 2021 class.
"He can really shoot, he has a great size," said Biancardi of Alexander, who plans to attend the event. "He has a lot of upside. I think he's a type of guy in this class that can take his game to a little bit higher level. He's really been efficient playing in the EYBL circuit. I like his upside, his scoring ability and his positional size."
Two juniors and Razorback targets Nick Smith and Ramel Lloyd Jr. have also received invites.
Smith, 6-5, 176, of Sylvan Hills comes in at No. 52 nationally in the ESPN ranking for the 2022 class. Biancardi has Smith listed as the No. 12 shooting guard in his class.
"Great in transition as a play-maker or a finisher," Biancardi said. "Makes tough shots with excellent body control and focus. Deep range on his three- point shot and terrific from the mid-range."
Lloyd Jr., 6-6, 190, of Temecula (Calif.) Rancho Christian is also ESPN's No. 12 small forward and No. 50 overall prospect in the nation for the 2022 class.
"Highly talented prospect with emerging all around skills," Biancardi said. "A driver with a pull up who facilitates. Makes shots beyond the arc when needed. A committed rebounder on both ends."
E-mail Richard Davenport at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chance Moore highlights