How to find a recruit in Arkansas

Tennessee (Ark.) basketball coach Steve Alford is taking a different approach to recruiting prospects, as he recruits from all over the state.

“We’re not just going to take kids that have basketball talent,” Alford said.

“We’re going to look for them to be great teammates, good guys to have around you.”

The Wolfpack will have an official visit with Kentucky guard Jalen Brunson in the next couple weeks, and Alford expects to bring back at least one other prospect from the state, if not several.

“I’ll just bring guys in that are committed, that want to play for us,” he said. 

“We’ll be looking for guys that want the same things, that are hungry and have good character and are hungry to play at a high level.” 

The recruitment of the Wildcats’ 2016-17 recruiting class is now officially over. 

Brunson is the only one still under consideration, and while he might be the biggest name, Alford also has to consider the other two who could be on the block. 

The Wolfpack is currently in its first year of recruiting at the Nike Elite Camp in Nashville, Tennessee, and after taking two early-round draft picks in 2019 and 2021, it is still in need of an immediate upgrade.

“Our biggest concern is we need to improve,” Alffson said.

Alford hopes to be able to get an upgrade from the recruits in the state and that means recruiting from the top of the recruiting landscape. 

While the Wolfpack has its sights set on landing one of the top prospects in the country, it does have to take into consideration the potential of another top prospect from other states. 

There is no one better at what he does than Duke junior guard Jayson Tatum, who committed to the Wolfpacks last season, and he has had success in recruiting the past.

Tatum is currently one of only two Duke players to commit to the program, and there are a few other players in the region who could come to Tatum’s camp in the future. 

Alford has seen Tatum grow over the past year, and the two are friends.

Tumas commitment to the football program made it seem like he had a shot to go to Duke, but he opted to stay in his home state. 

For now, he has only attended a handful of Duke games since graduating, and it’s still unclear if he will be back for this year’s game against Alabama in Oxford. 

Another player who is looking to get a better understanding of the coaching staff in Arkansas is junior guard Mike McDonough.

Alford had some success recruiting the former UAB star, and McDonaugh, who was committed to Arkansas the previous season, is set to be at his first visit with the Wolfpac this weekend.

McDonogh, who has also committed to Kentucky, will have a meeting with Alford at the end of the month. 

Both of those players are committed to attending the WolfPac, which will be held at the University of Arkansas on Oct. 19-20. 

This is the first visit between Alford and the recruiting staff in a long time, and that should be a good start for the program.