Musselman extends two more 2020 offers: Jaylin Williams of FS Northside & Chris Moore of W. Memphis

By Kevin McPherson       

 

LITTLE ROCK — New Arkansas men’s head basketball coach Eric Musselman on Wednesday reaffirmed the scholarship offer made by the previous coaching staff to 2020 Jaylin Williams (6-10 forward / center, Fort Smith Northside), then on Thursday he did the same by contacting 2020 Chris Moore (6-6 combo forward, West Memphis) and reaffirming his Hog offer. 

 

“I’m very thankful to receive this offer again and I look forward to meeting coach,” said Williams, who averaged a double-double — 18 points and 10 rebounds — for the Grizzlies in 2018-19 leading up to his MVP performance in the 6A state title game when he had 20 points, 16 rebounds, and 3 blocks in Northsides’s 44-41 win over Bryant.

 

On Sunday, Williams said he was “excited” to learn the news of Musselman being named Head Hog.

 

“I’m excited to see what he can do for this Akansas program,” Williams said. “Him coaching at the next level (NBA) is a plus because he knows what players need to be successful.”

 

In addition to Arkansas, Williams holds offers from Oklahoma State, TCU, Tulsa, and Lamar with Auburn, Iowa State, and others showing interest. Williams had previously said he plans to take official visits to Arkansas and Oklahoma State in the near future. He has visited Arkansas unofficially on a number of occasions covering the past two seasons. 

 

Williams is a legitimate 6-10 with a sturdy frame, and he possesses soft hands that catch everything that comes his way. He has plus-ball-skill and plus-court-awareness for a big man as he is able to shoot, attack off the bounce, or assist while facing the basket out on the floor. Williams is also a volume rebounder and shot blocker with emerging back-to-the-basket post skill, using a variety of ball fakes to move defenders and create high-percentage scoring opportunities. 

 

Going head-to-head in November against then-ESPN No. 59 / 4-star prospect Nick Ongenda (6-10 center, Southwest Christian Academy in Little Rock), Williams got the best of that matchup with 21 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal while limiting Ongenda to 8 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Williams also held his own at the end of July playing with Joe Johnson Hawks 17U as he matched up against 2019 5-star prospect and Duke pledge Vernon Carey, Jr., at the Las Vegas Fab 48 grassroots basketball tournament.

 

A source close to Moore said Musselman talked Thursday about his recruitment.

 

“Coach Muss just reached out to us,” the source said. “(He) reaffirmed the offer to Chris and mentioned he will begin with HEAVY recruiting.”

 

 On Sunday, Moore said he was looking forward to meeting Musselman.

 

“Hopefully soon I’ll get to meet him and get to know him,” Moore said. “Hope to get an opportunity with him like I had with Coach (Mike) Anderson to help me get to the next level.”

 

In addition to Arkansas, Moore holds offers from Iowa State, Ole Miss, Auburn, Memphis, Oklahoma State, and several other NCAA Division 1 schools. He took his first junior-year official visit to Arkansas the first weekend of September, and he later took an OV to Auburn. He has taken many unofficial visits to Fayetteville, the last coming on March 9 when the Razorbacks defeated Alabama, 82-70, in the regular-season finale at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.

 

Moore, who averaged a double-double at West Memphis in each of the past three seasons, is muscled up and runs like a freight train with a non-stop motor. He’s quick, gets end-to-end like a guard, and is explosive around the basket. Moore was the catalyst while leading Woodz Elite 16U to national grassroots basketball titles at the Nike EYBL Peach Jam and Las Vegas Fab 48 — both in July of 2018.

 

Williams and Moore are currently teammates entering the 2019 the spring/summer grassroots basketball season as they will be playing for Woodz Elite 17U on the Nike EYBL circuit, and over the past weekend they helped guide their team to a 3-0 record at the annual Real Deal in the Rock grassroots hoops event in Little Rock.

 

Williams and Moore are the fourth and fifth 2020 prospects that Musselman has offered since Monday as the backcourt trio of Little Rock native Moses Moody (6-5 shooting guard, Montverde Academy in Florida, ESPN 5-star prospect) and Hillcrest Hoops (AZ) teammates Kyree Walker (6-5 wing, composite national No. 19 / a 5-star prospect) and Dalen Terry (6-6 point guard, composite national No. 35 / a 4-star prospect) all received offers at the start of the week. For more on the Moody, Walker, and Terry offers plus in-state prospects’ thoughts on the Musselman hire, click the link for my Tuesday recruiting story … https://www.nwahomepage.com/sports/pig-trail-nation/musselman-wastes-no-time-extends-three-hoop-hog-offers-monday-to-highly-regarded-2020-prospects/1913059041 

 

Below are a few brief, and recent, highlight reels of Jaylin Williams and Chris Moore …

 

https://twitter.com/ARHoopScoop/status/1114621982228848641

 

 
Eric Musselman and the Transfer Factory
 
Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman is well known for the success he had in bringing in transfers — including grad transfers with immediate playing eligibility — to Nevada in his four-year stint as head coach of the Wolf Pack, and since departing Reno for Fayetteville on Sunday when he accepted the Razorbacks’ job, several Nevada players have entered their names into the college basketball “transfer portal.” 
 
The obvious and intriguing question is: Will Musselman look to add transfers from the team he just coached last month.
 
Nevada guards Jazz Johnson‘s and Jalen Harris‘s transfer-portal plans were announced on Wednesday, then on Thursday it was freshman Jordan Brown — a 6-11 forward / center, former 5-star recruit, and a 2018 McDonald’s All American — who reportedly entered his name into the transfer portal. Also on Thursday, class of 2019 Nevada signee Eric Parrish — a 6-6 wing at Bossier Parrish (LA) Community College who is ranled No. 4 nationally among junior college prospects according to 247Sports.com — requested a release from his 2019 national letter of intent that he inked with the Wolf Pack in November.
 
A couple of highly regarded grad transfers that either visited or planned to visit Nevada before Musselman took the Arkansas job are Rayjon Tucker (explosive 6-5 wing who averaged 20 points and 7 rebounds per game as a junior in ’18-19 at Little Rock) and Hannif Cheatham (6-5 wing, former 4-star prospect who averaged 13.2 points and 4.8 rebounds at Florida Gulf Coast in ’18-19 after trasnferring from Marquette), so there is the possibility one or both could express interest in Arkansas now that Musselman has taking over the reins of the program.
 
Additionally, Musselman and Arkansas may be interested in Jared Bynum, a 5-10 freshman guard set to transfer from St. Joseph’s who averaged 11.3 points, 4.5 assists, and 3.6 rebounds for the Hawks in 2018-19.
 
On Wednesday during the State of the Hogs football fan event in North Little Rock, Musselman said at this point he envisions Arkansas having as many as three scholarships available for the 2019 spring signing period that begins Wednesday, April 17. He also said there were no plans for officail visitors to Arkansas this weekend.
 
“There’s a lot of events going on, so it’s pretty hard to get guys (on campus) because everybody is pretty much playing,” Musselman said. “Having said that, we want to be as active as we can but I don’t think there will be much activity early on for us in the signing period. Eventually we hope there is a lot of activity.”
 
Musselman’s philosophy of recruiting transfers in bulk is tied to his experience as an NBA coach coupled with the wild-fire-esque growth of NCAA Division 1 transfers over the years. According to VerbalCommits.com, the number of announced transfers so far in 2019 is fast approaching 600 players (704 in 2018 repesenting 12.7% of D1 hoopers, and 698 in 2017 representing 12.6%). 
 
Musselman likens a college transfer to a free agent player at the professional level.
 
“We have vetted them (transfers) and really done an incredible amount of research,” Musselman said. “We talk to them about ‘Why are you leaving, and what are you looking for in your next stop, and we’re about the team and we’re not about the individual.’ And we’ve had incredible character — high, high character — and great students that have come in as transfers.
 
“I think it is the nature of where our society is in all sports. And basketball probably has more (transfers) than the other sports.”

Leave a Reply