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Recruits react to Arkansas advancing to Sweet 16

by Richard Davenport | March 21, 2021 at 9:31 p.m.
Little Rock Central guard Bryson Warren (4) is shown during the Class 6A state playoffs on Saturday, March 13, 2021, in Fayetteville.

Recruits came away impressed after watching Arkansas defeat Texas Tech 68-66 Sunday.

The Razorbacks advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1996.

Little Rock Central sophomore guard Bryson Warren, 6-2, 160 pounds, liked what he saw of the Hogs.

“Great game. The Razorbacks are on a roll,” Warren said.

ESPN 4-star junior small forward Barry Dunning, 6-6, 185 pounds, of Mobile (Ala.) McGill-Toolen Catholic said the Colgate and Texas Tech games were “hard fought” victories for the Razorbacks.

“These guys are playing with a chip on their shoulder,” Dunning said.

Junior point guard Austin Nunez, 6-2, 170, of San Antonio Wagner, recently said Arkansas, Baylor, Texas and Virginia were actively recruiting him the hardest.

“I think that it was a very fast-paced game and Arkansas was playing really well down the stretch in the second half," Nunez said. "Then Tech’s defense sped them up, but they kept the lead and played with poise toward the end."

Sophomore point guard target Layden Blocker, 6-2, 160, of Little Rock Christian enjoyed watching the game.

“The game was entertaining and fun to watch,” Blocker said. “Team effort. It was exciting to see the freshmen (Moses Moody, Davonte Davis and Jaylin Williams) show up big to help them win. I think it was a big win for the Razorbacks to advance to the Sweet 16.”

ESPN 4-star prospect Ramel Lloyd, 6-6, 195 pounds, of Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon, has a top eight of Arkansas, Arizona, Oregon, Rutgers, Washington, Nebraska, Illinois and Baylor.

“Great game,” he said. “Arkansas will be a very tough team to beat moving forward.”

ESPN 4-star junior shooting guard Nick Smith, 6-5, 176 pounds, of Sylvan Hills, named a top 10 of Arkansas, Auburn, Georgetown, Florida, Ole Miss, North Carolina, Kansas, Texas Tech, Baylor and Oral Roberts in January.

“I felt like they played pretty good," Smith said. "(Arkansas coach Eric Musselman) keeps his guys going and always going to have them prepared. My Twitter is going crazy.”

Joseph Pinion, 6-6, 180, of Morrilton, committed to the Razorbacks over 13 other scholarship offers from Kansas, Baylor, Oklahoma, TCU, Ole Miss, Tulsa, DePaul and others in October.

"The team is playing fantastic right now and I’m excited to see how far they go in the tourney,” Pinion said.

ESPN 4-star guard Derrian Ford, 6-4, 204 pounds, of Magnolia came away impressed with Arkansas’ win.

“They played great even when the team went on an 11-0 (run), they kept the same energy and the same mentality,” Ford said. “Everybody on the team wanted to win. The team is great.”

Arkansas wing signee Chance Moore, a 6-5, 192, from Powder Springs (Ga.) McEachern enjoyed watching his future team advance to the Sweet 16.

“That’s a great accomplishment, especially as coach Muss is a relatively newer coach for the organization,” said Moore, an ESPN 4-star prospect. “It was a great game. Hard fought. We played well as a team.”

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