New 2019 Hog offer Doudou Gueye epitomizes positionless basketball

LITTLE ROCK — by Kevin McPherson
 
It seemed for the longest time Arkansas coaches were evaluating and offering scholarships to either frontline or wing players in the 2019 class, but in junior college prospect Doudou Gueye, the Hogs’ staff may have found a player versatile enough to play inside and out.
 
Gueye (6-9, 220, sophomore, Daytona State junior college in Florida) has shown ability to impact the game at all three levels — 3-point line, mid-range, and in the paint — which in turn has caught the attention of several NCAA Division 1 programs, including Arkansas coaches who saw Gueye when Daytona College took part in the Juco Showcase All American Jamboree the weekend of Oct. 12-14.
Daytona College head coach Brock Morris on Tuesday confirmed Gueye’s Hog offer, which was first reported by VerbalCommits.com on Oct. 20.
 
“Yes, Arkansas offered Dou,” Morris said. “He’s a great young man.”
 
Gueye, who after playing his upcoming sophomore season at Daytona College will have two years of playing eligibility at the D1 level beginning in ’19-20, also holds offers from Texas Tech, Seton Hall, and East Carolina with Illinois showing interest. Illini coaches reportedly were in to see Gueye on Monday.
It is unclear whether or not Gueye intends to wait to sign in the spring period that begins in mid-April, but it seems likely given that the week-long early signing period is only two weeks away (begins Wednesday, Nov. 14) as high-major offers and interest are just now starting to roll in for him.
 
Gueye averaged 28 points and 14 rebounds in 2017-18 while earning Division 1 Player of the Year honors as a college freshman playing in Hachioji, Japan, according to Morris.
 
“He is a point forward,” Morris said of the Dakar, Senegal native. “He has more of a guard game than a post game, but he can take a smaller defender to the block. He is a great young man.”
 
A one-time viewing of Gueye’s highlight reel (linked below) is all it takes to see that his combination of size, ball-handling and shooting skill, court awareness, and inside-out versatility are all pluses in his arsenal.  His counter moves are advanced as well and should help him create match-up problems for perimeter and interior defenders.
 
Arkansas currently has one player committed from the 2019 class — Justice Hill (5-11 point guard, Little Rock Christian Academy, Joe Johnson Hawks) who will sign on the first day of the early period with intentions of joining the Hogs in mid-December as an early enrollee. The Hogs have also offered high-flying 2019 Javon Franklin (6-7 combo forward, Holmes Community College in Mississippi via Little Rock Parkview) who plans to sign in the spring and is still in the process of setting up an official-visit date to Arkansas. The Razorbacks currently do not have a scholarship to give for the 2019 class, but sophomore center Daniel Gafford is expected to leave after the ’18-19 season for the NBA Draft.
2020 Arkansas target picks up Big 12 offer
 
2020 Jaylin Williams (6-10 forward/center, Fort Smith Northside, Joe Johnson Hawks, Arkansas offer) took an unofficial visit to Oklahoma State over the weekend, and he came away with his fifth Division 1 scholarship offer and third from a high-major program.
 
Williams, who now holds offers from the Hogs, Oklahoma State, TCU, Tulsa, and Lamar with several more high-majors showing interest, said on Tuesday that he’s looking at taking one of his five allotted junior-year official visits to Arkansas “sometime next year.” He took an unofficial visit to Arkansas for the Red-White game on Oct. 19, and he came away impressed.
 
“It was amazing,” Williams said shortly afterward. “The support from the fans for just the red and white game was amazing. The team looked great. (Arkansas coaches) said they like my game and how I can see the court. Also that I’m getting better every time they see me.”
 
Williams has grown at least an inch since the summer, and may well be pushing 6-11. A versatile big man who can shoot from the perimeter, Williams is dangerous playing in the high-post because of his ability to knock down mid-range shots or make well-timed, precision passes to cutters. A volume rebounder and shot-blocked for the Hawks’ 15U team last spring and summer, Williams is also getting more comfortable playing with his back to the basket, where he has a variety of head- and ball-fake moves to free himself for high-percentage shots.
 
In late July, the Hawks moved Williams up to join the 17U squad in time for the prestigious and talent-laden Las Vegas Fab 48 grassroots event, and Williams responded with consistent, productive outings.
“I think he’s just gotten better, but I don’t know if people really believed in him until we put him in that 17-and-under level in Las Vegas,” Hawks chaiman Bill Ingram said.  “We put him in position to show his skills and he went out and showed that he fits in well. He’s a great kid off the floor, and he’s a great teammate. Anytime you’ve got a kid with talent and he’s a great teammate, you’ve got something.
 
“He’s a special player. It wouldn’t surprise me if he hit that 7-foot mark. He’s still young with room to grow, and next summer will be big for him. His stock could go even higher.”
 
Another 2020 Hog offer talks upcoming unofficial visit to Arkansas
2020 Davonte Davis (6-3 point guard, Jacksonville, Woodz Elite, Arkansas offer, ESPN national No. 58 / 4-star prospect) said Tuesday he’ll be paying attention to several things when he takes his unofficial visit to Arkansas on Saturday, Nov. 10.
 
“How hard they (the team) work, how much support they have, and how the people treat each other,” said Davis, who expects to watch the Hoop Hogs practice inside Bud Walton Arena in addition to taking in the Arkansas-LSU football game at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
 
Davis, who took his second junior-year official visit to Oklahoma State last weekend (he took his first to Auburn in late September), indicated that scheduling an official-visit date with Arkansas does not hinge on how things go during his upcoming unofficial visit to Fayetteville.
 
“I think an official (visit) will be set up,” Davis said.
 
Davis had been on a previous unofficial visit to Arkansas when he and his grassroots basketball teammates and Hog offers Chris Moore (6-7 combo forward, West Memphis) and Gerald Doakes (6-1 combo guard, Milby High School in Houston via Jacksonville) tripped to Fayetteville in September 2017. Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson and associate head coach Melvin Watkins were regular spectators as Davis helped lead the Arkansas-based Woodz Elite 16U to national titles in July at the Nike Peach Jam and Las Vegas Fab 48. Watkins was in Jacksonville in September to watch Davis practice.
 
In addition to the Hogs, Davis holds offers from Oregon, Florida, Oklahoma State, Auburn, Ole Miss, and other schools. He recently missed an official visit to Ole Miss that was planned for the weekend of Oct. 19-21, but he said he intends to reschedule it. Of his Oklahoma State official visit last weekend, Davis said: “It was cool. I had much fun.”  Davis is also considering taking official visits to Oregon and Florida.
 
Davis stood out in the spring and summer playing with the Woodz Elite 16U. He’s a long-armed, long-legged, wiry-strong lefty who combines quickness, skill, and long strides to get into the lane and to the basket seemingly at will. He’s a plus-facilitator with great court awareness and timing, an electrifying open-court playmaker who has improved his perimeter shot out to the 3-point line, and a dangerous defender who when locked in gets a lot of deflections and steals using that length and quickness.

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