Arkansas set to sign 0 to start

[The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette] Arkansas set to sign 0 to start

It doesn't appear the the University of Arkansas basketball program will sign a prospect today, the first day of the early signing period, but expect point guard commitment Layden Blocker to ink with the Hogs on Saturday.

The early signing period runs until Nov. 16.

Blocker, who played at Little Rock Christian as a freshman and sophomore, is playing his junior and senior seasons at Sunrise Academy in Kansas.

He picked the Razorbacks over scholarship offers from Kansas, Kansas State, Maryland, Ole Miss, Alabama, Auburn, Oklahoma, Baylor, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, St. John's, Tennessee and others in June.

Blocker, 6-2, 180 pounds, will sign his national letter of intent at Bordinos Restaurant in Fayetteville at 7 p.m. His signature would continue a trend for Coach Eric Musselman and staff of signing some of the nation's best talent since the 2020 class.

The 2022 Arkansas class included three ESPN 5-stars and three 4-star prospects. The class was ranked only behind Duke's class nationally.

Blocker is the highest rated 4-star in the ESPN rankings with an 89 grade, just one point shy of what's needed to become a 5-star recruit. He's rated the No. 6 point guard and No. 22 overall prospect in the nation for the 2023 class.

He saw his stock rise over the spring and summer while playing for St. Louis-based Bradley Beal Elite. He's the lone commitment for the 2023 class, but the Hogs are awaiting word on two other targets.

ESPN 5-star prospect Baye Fall and 4-star prospect Assane Diop will announce their college decisions during a ceremony on Nov. 15.

Fall, 6-11 and 217 pounds, is down to Arkansas, Auburn, Rutgers and Seton Hall, while Diop, 6-10 and 194, will decide between Arkansas, Colorado and Seton Hall. Both came to the U.S. from Senegal in 2019 to pursue academic and basketball opportunities.

Both attend Denver Accelerated Schools and made unofficial visits to Arkansas for the Razorbacks' 75-73 victory over Kentucky on Feb. 26, and officially visited Fayetteville for the Alabama football game weekend of Sept. 30-Oct. 2.

Fall, along with Blocker, were standouts at the prestigious NBPA top 100 camp in late June and early July. Both made the 10-man all-star squad for the event.

ESPN rates Fall as the No. 3 center and No. 20 overall prospect in the nation for the 2023 class and Diop is rated as ESPN's No. 10 power forward and No. 56 overall prospect in the nation.

Faye, Diop and Denver Accelerated Schools are scheduled to play in the Big Show Tip-Off Showcase at Fort Smith Northside on Nov. 19.

ARKANSAS WOMEN

Arkansas women's basketball Coach Mike Neighbors is expected to sign three prospects during the early signing period, including ESPN 5-star guard Taliah Scott.

ESPN 4-star forward Jenna Lawrence, 6-2 of Melbourne, and 5-8 combo guard Maryn Archer of Derby, Kan., are expected to ink with the Razorback today, while Scott will wait next week so she can ink during a ceremony at her school.

The three are planning to make official visits to Fayetteville this weekend.

Scott, 5-9, of Orange Park (Fla.) St. Johns Country Day School chose Arkansas over more than 30 scholarship offers from Florida, Florida State, Texas, Louisville, Michigan, Ohio State, Tennessee, Alabama and others.

Archer picked the Hogs over scholarship offers from Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Nebraska, Wichita State, Missouri State and Washington State, while Lawrence chose the Razorbacks over offers from Ole Miss, Arkansas State, Southern Mississippi and Saint Louis.