Hoop Hogs recruiting notebook: KK Robinson talks Turkey Day announcement, Jaylin Williams choosing Saturday, more

LITTLE ROCK — It was no accident that priority 2020 Arkansas target Khalen “KK” Robinsonpicked Thanksgiving Day to announce his college decision.

Robinson (6-1 point guard, Bryant, Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, composite national No. 72 / 4-star prospect) is down to Arkansas and Kansas, and he will choose between the two on Thursday, Nov. 28.

“That date is also my little brother’s birthday,” Robinson said on Sunday. “So I just wanted to make it a special day for him as well.”

Robinson is thankful to be back on the court and playing for Oak Hill after missing a few games with a calf injury. He registered a double-double (10 points and 11 assists) in a win on Tuesday, then he was named MVP after having 16 points (including 5-of-9 field goals) and 5 rebounds in Oak Hill’s win Saturday over Grace Christian in a Phenom Hoops national showcase game in Raleigh, N.C.

“I just wanted to come back and show my value on the court,” Robinson said. “No matter if it’s scoring or getting steals and assists, I just want to be able to contribute to my team’s success.”

Arkansas assistant coach Corey Williamms was in North Carolina on Friday to watch Robinson play.

“It felt great,” Robinson said of knowing that Williams was on hand to see him in action.

Robinson took an official visit to Arkansas the weekend of Oct. 18-20 at the same time that childhood friend and 2020 Moses Moody – he’s now committed to Arkansas — was on his OV to Fayetteville.

“I’d say 70 or 75 percent,” Robinson answered on Oct. 20 when asked of the chances he and Moody would end up playing together at Arkansas. “The visit was amazing — the coaches, the players, the fans, just everything.”

Whether it’s Arkansas or Kansas, Robinson has said he plans to sign his national letter of intent in the spring signing period that begins in mid-April.

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Arkansas target down to two and will commit on Saturday: Priority 2020 Hog offer Jaylin Williams (6-10 forward / center, Fort Smith Northside, compoiste national No. 69 / 4-star prospect) will announce his college choice between Arkansas and Auburn this weekend (on Saturday, Nov. 23).

“His favorite number is 23,” Williams’ Dad, Mike Williams, said on Sunday of his son’s choice of Nov. 23 to make his announcement. “Everything revolves around that number for him.”

Jaylin Williams, who visited Arkansas on Nov. 9, will also play a basketball game on Saturday, Nov. 23, as his Northside Grizzlies will take on Little Rock Mills in the Hoopin’ for Hoodies event in North Little Rock. 

Williams — he has said he will likely sign his LOI in the spring — visited Auburn the weekend of Nov. 1-3 with his spring / summer grassroots basketball teammate Chris Moore (6-6 combo forward, West Memphis), who chose the Tigers on Saturday over offers from Arkansas, Memphis, and others.

Another of Williams’ grassroots basketball teammates, Davonte Davis (6-4 point guard, Jacksonville, ESPN national No. 79 / 4-star prospect), committed to Arkansas in October and will sign his LOI on Tuesday during a ceremony at the new gym at JHS.

Little Rock native Moses Moody (6-6 wing, Montverde Academy in Florida, ESPN national No. 29 / 4-star prospect) committed to Arkansas on Nov. 9, and his family has indicated he will sign his LOI in the spring.

2020 Keon Ambrose-Hylton (6-8 combo forward, Toronto native, ESPN national No. 58 / 4-star prospect) had held an Arkansas offer and OV’ed to Fayetteville in mid-October before the Hogs moved on a couple of weeks ago while looking at other options. Ambrose-Hylton committed to Alabama on Sunday.

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2022 Arkansas offer checks out the Hoop Hogs: Sylvan Hills sophomore and Hog target Nick Smith, Jr. (6-3 combo guard, national Top 35 / 4-star prospect) was in attendace for Arkansas’s 64-46 win over Montana on Saturday at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.

It was a return trip to Arkansas for Smith, who took an unofficial visit there in early August. Smith holds offers from the Hogs, Texas, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, St. John’s, Tulsa, Southern Miss, and Oral Roberts.

He was impressed with what he saw as Arkansas moved to 3-0 under first-year head coach Eric Musselman.

“It was good,” Smith said. “I felt like it was a great experience to see how the Arkansas staff coached and the atmosphere with the fans. It was pretty cool. They have a pretty good team this year, better than last year’s for sure. Jimmy Whitt, he’s a good guard. When Isaiah Joe gets going, he’s hard to stop. They’re a pretty good defensive team, too.”

Smith said he could see himself fitting in at Arkansas, and he likes the small-ball game the Hogs are playing.

“I think I could fit into their system,” Smith said. “I’m a team player, and I can do whatever the coach wants me to do. I really like the small-ball, space the floor out, and do what I do to get my teammates involved. I think I like the small-ball.”

Smith and Sylvan Hills open their season on Monday with a road game against Hot Springs Lakeside.

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2021 Hog commit impressed with start of Musselman era at Arkansas: Junior Duncan Powell (6-8 combo forward, DeSoto, TX, ESPN 4-star prospect) was the first high-school player to pledge to Razorbacks head coach Eric Musselman when he committed in late September, and recently Duncan got some visual reassurance regarding his college choice.

“It was a great overall team effort,” Powell said of his impressions of the Hogs’ season-opening 91-43 win over Rice. “Their systemis waht makes them so dangerous. Their players are able to show their versatility which opens up everything. Coach Musselman is showing how great of a coach he is and this is only the beginning for Arkansas basketball.”

Powell — he registered a double-double (24 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 assists) in a DeSoto win on Saturday — said he is looking forward to Arkansas coaches coming to see him play in 2019-20.

“Coach (Chris) Crutchfield is going to make a few games,” Powell said. “I know they’re busy ’cause their season is here just like mine, so we are both focused on the task at hand. But, the relationship is there and I am enjoying the process.”

Powell visited Arkansas in mid-September before commiting to Musselman and the Hogs a few days later.