By Kevin McPherson
LITTLE ROCK — After confirming that Arkansas coaches had been in Florida on Saturday to watch his versatile, inside-out playmaker, Daytona State College head coach Brock Morris reached out to a reporter a few days later to talk more about 2019 Hog offer Doudou Gueye’s recruitment and impact as a player.
“They’ve (Arkansas coaches) seen him in person, and I know they’ve watched him a lot (via livestreamed games),” said Morris, whose junior college Falcons have started the season 8-0. “They really like his versatility and that he’s so competitive. We’ve got several guys getting (recruiting) attention, so we try to keep them focused while helping with their recruiting when needed.”
Gueye (6-9, 220, point forward, sophomore) picked up his Arkansas scholarship offer in October. He is averaging 21.0 minutes, 10.8 points (54.0% field goals including 33.3% from 3), 5.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1.1 blocks through eight games. His per-40-minute averages work out to 20.5 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 3.6 steals, and 2.1 blocks.
“We don’t have anybody playing more than probably 22 minutes a game,” Morris said. “We play a lot like Arkansas, fast-paced and we use a lot of players.”
In addition to watching Gueye play on Saturday, Arkansas coaches saw him play when Daytona State College took part in the Juco Showcase All American Jamboree the weekend of Oct. 12-14. Gueye holds offers from Arkansas, Texas Tech, Seton Hall, and East Carolina with Illinois among the schools showing interest. According to Morris, Gueye will likely look to take his official visits at the end of the season before signing his national letter of intent during the NCAA spring signing period. He will have two years of playing eligiblity at the NCAA Division 1 level beginning in 2019-20.
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.
“His biggest attribute is his versatility,” said Morris, who has also described the Dakar, Senegal native as a “point forward” because of his combination of size and passing skill. “And with everything he can do inside and out on offense, his strength is probably his defense. He can defend 1 through 4, sits down on guards out on the floor and can handle forwards inside.”
Gueye is not the only Dakar, Senegal native on Morris’ squad. Khadim Sy (6-10 forward / center, 245) is a sophomore who played as a freshman at Virginia Tech in ’17-18. He’s averaging 19.0 points (60.6% field goals), 8.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and is drawing heavy recruiting attention from high major programs, but Arkansas is not one of the schools looking for a Sy-Gueye package deal to pair up at the next level, according to Morris.
“There are schools looking at both, but they (Arkansas) have really just focused on Dou,” Morris said.
Arkansas signed one 2019 player during the NCAA early signing period earlier this month — Justice Hill of Litte Rock Christian Academy, a 5-11 point guard who will graduate from high school early and enroll at Arkansas in mid-December. Arkansas has recruited and offered scholarships to several frontline and small forward / wing players from the ’19 class in anticipation of the early departure of sophomore center Daniel Gafford, who is expected to declare for the 2019 NBA Draft after the current ’18-19 season.
A one-time viewing of Gueye’s highlight reel (linked below) is all it takes to see that his combination of size, ball-handling, 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.
More Arkansas recruiting updates
Here’s the latest on 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 prospects …
— 2019 Dericko Williams (6-8, 212, power forward, Kinston, NC, Team CP3 on the Nike EYBL circuit) — he took an official visit to Arkansas the weekend of Nov. 16-18 — committed to North Carolina-Greensboro on Wednesday. A source confirmed shortly after his visit to Fayetteville that Arkansas had decided to move in another direction. Williams had reported offers from Houston, Kansas State, and Virginia Military Institute.
— 2020 Arkansas offer Gerald Doakes (6-1 combo guard, Milby High School in Houston by way of Jacksonville, also reports offers from Texas A&M, Florida, Illinois, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, and others) gave a quick season / recruiting update on Wednesday: “I’m doing good so far, averaging 25 points per game. I get texts every day (from Arkansas associate head coach Melvin Watkins). They’re coming to watch me soon, and I’m taking a visit (to Arkansas) soon.”
— Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson and assistant head coach Melvin Watkins were in central Arkansas on Tuesday to watch multiple prospects. They were at Sylvan Hills practice to see 2021 Jalen Ricks (6-5 combo guard who is arguably the top in-state prospect in his class) as well as 2022 combo guard Nick Smith, Jr. (6-3 combo guard). Both Ricks and Smith recently picked up Oklahoma State offers after an unofficial visit to Stillwater on Nov. 18. Ricks, who also holds a TCU offer, has said that Arkansas is his leader and reaffirmed that on Wednesday: “It felt good that they (Arkansas coaches) were in attendance (during Sylvan Hills practice). They are still top 3 for sure, at the head of the list.”
— Anderson and Watkins also attended Tuesday’s matchup between West Memphis and Little Rock Parkview to watch 2020 Arkansas offer Chris Moore (6-6 combo forward), who finished with 22 points (8-of-14 field goals and 6-of-8 free throws), 14 rebounds, 4 blocks, 1 steal, and 1 drawn charge in the Blue Devils’ 64-62 overtime road loss to the Patriots. Moore was grateful that Arkansas coaches were there to watch him: “It makes me feel good to know they were here tonight.”
— 2020 Arkansas offer Jaylin Williams (6-10 forward / center, Fort Smith Northside) said that Iowa State, Auburn, and Arkansas State have begun to show recruiting interest. Williams — he also holds offers from Oklahoma State, TCU, Tulsa, and Lamar — has taken a few unofficial visits since October — twice for Arkansas games and once to Oklahoma State — and he said he plans to schedule one of his junior-season official visits to Arkansas some time in 2019. Williams recently had 21 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal matching up against ESPN national No. 59 / 4-star prospect Nick Ongenda, a 6-10 center for Southwest Christian Academy.
— 2020 Arkansas offer Davonte Davis (6-3 point guard, Jacksonville, ESPN national No. 58 / 4-star prospect) has Oklahoma State at the top of his recruiting wish list, according to a source. Davis, who has taken official visits to Auburn and Oklahoma State, recently missed back-to-back planned unofficial visits to Arkansas (Nov. 10 and Nov. 18). On Tuesday, Cowboys head coach Mike Boynton was in Jacksonville to watch as Davis had 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists in the Titans’ 67-62 win over Estem. Anderson and Watkins, who were in central Arkansas on Tuesday to evaluate prospects, did not attend the Jacksonville-Estem game.