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Biancardi says Black a great addition to Arkansas' class

by Richard Davenport | March 29, 2022 at 11:10 a.m.
Arkansas coach Eric Musselman and his staff show off some of the program's trophies, including the 1994 national championship trophy, with Anthony Black.

ESPN national recruiting director Paul Biancardi believes there is a lot to like about Anthony Black, the newest member of Arkansas' 2022 basketball class.

Black, 6-7, 198 pounds, of Duncanville, Texas, thrilled the Razorbacks' fan base with his commitment Monday evening during the Powerade Jam Fest, which aired on ESPN2. The event was part of the McDonald's All-American game festivities in Chicago.

He along with Arkansas signees and ESPN 5-star prospects Nick Smith Jr. of North Little Rock and Jordan Walsh of Link Academy in Branson, Mo., will represent the Razorbacks in tonight’s game at 8 p.m. on ESPN.

“At 6-7, Black’s positional size, length and basketball IQ stand out,” Biancardi said. “His greatest strength is in his high-level playmaking ability as he makes the game easy for others. When you study his passes, they have quick wrist-snap technique, especially in tight spaces as he understands to throw the ball away from the defense.

"An ultimate assist maker and ball mover, he will hit teammates in stride for layups or hit them in their shooting pocket for rhythm jumpers.”

Black helped lead Duncanville to the Class 6A state championship and he was named the game's MVP. His defensive skills are also on the elite level. 

“Black owns a long frame with lateral quickness and mobile hips that allow him to slide and open up on the ball,” Biancardi said. “He shows excellent anticipation on help-side defense to take a charge, position himself for a steal or rotate to the open man. He is dangerous as a defensive rebounder who can self-advance the ball in transition.

"His impact on the game comes from his decision making, passing and defense. He brings a positive vibe and a strong sense of team play with effort.” 

While ESPN also rates Black the No. 9 small forward and No. 20 overall prospect in the nation, Arkansas plans to use him at guard. 

Razorbacks coach Eric Musselman’s track record of producing top-flight guards like Caleb and Cody Martin, Moses Moody and Mason Jones helped Black’s decision. 

“I believe in Coach Muss and he knows what it takes to make it to the NBA,” Black told Biancardi. “He coached there and has coached players to get there. He is super intense and he will push me to be my best, stay on me and make me better. He has coached big guards in the past.” 

Arkansas’ class features six top-100 prospects with other 4-star prospects Magnolia guard Derrian Ford of Magnolia, Joseph Pinion of Morrilton and Barry Dunning Jr. of Mobile (Ala.) McGill-Toolen. 

ESPN rates Smith the No. 6 overall prospect nationally while Walsh is No. 10, Ford comes in at No. 70, Dunning No. 75 and Pinion No. 89. 

“I believe with the class coming in we can win a lot of games,” Black said. “I am all about winning. Playing with Nick Smith here at McDonald’s, you can see he is a dog. He is about his business. He takes the game seriously. He likes to score and I like to to get others shots.

"We can help each other out on and off the court. With Jordan Walsh being from Dallas, we have a good relationship. He plays really hard, too. The other guys are very good, too. We can push and support each other.” 

ESPN rates Arkansas’ class No. 2 nationally behind Duke. 

“With the addition of Black, this group has the potential to keep Arkansas special in the SEC,” Biancardi said. 

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