Just days before he was scheduled to take an official visit to Louisville, one of the top guards in the junior college ranks has decided to play in the SEC.
Motlow State College combo guard Jaylen Barford committed to Arkansas Tuesday night, with the news first reported by Brad Winton of JucoRecruiting.com. The 6-foot-3 Barford averaged 20.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game while shooting better than 52 percent from the field.
Barford is the second junior college guard that Mike Anderson and his staff have reeled in for the 2016 class, joining Darryl Macon. The Razorbacks have three seniors in their backcourt for the 2015-16 season, with junior Dusty Hannahs and freshmen Jimmy Whitt and Lorenzo Jenkins being the guards with eligibility remaining beyond the upcoming campaign.
Arkansas is also one of the schools in hot pursuit of one of the top high school players in the Class of 2016 in Bentonville’s Malik Monk. The electrifying Monk is also considering Florida State, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina and Oregon, and his official visit to Arkansas is scheduled for the weekend of October 24.
One of the top junior college prospects in the Class of 2016 has narrowed down his list of colleges to five schools. Connors State College (Oklahoma) power forward Arlando Cook announced via Twitter that he’s now considering Nevada, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Missouri and Memphis.
As a freshman Cook averaged 11.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, shooting better than 57 percent from the field. Of the five schools remaining on Cook’s list four will lose at least one power forward from its roster at the end of the 2015-16 season. In theory that would open the door to quality minutes from the start for Cook.
Nevada will lose its best front court player in senior A.J. West, as well as reserve center Lucas Stirvins, but they did receive a verbal commitment from high school senior Kenneth Wooten earlier this summer. Oklahoma State will lose two seniors in Chris Olivier and Anthony Allen, and they didn’t bring in an interior player in their 2015 recruiting class either.
Missouri, which received a verbal commitment from high school power forward/center Mitchell Smith on Saturday, loses Ryan Rosburg at the end of the upcoming campaign. Memphis not only lost Austin Nichols (transferred to Virginia) this summer, but they also have to account for the eventual departure of senior Shaq Goodwin as well.
Arkansas is the lone exception to this, but their lack of depth due in part to 2015 commit Ted Kapita not qualifying academically means that the Razorbacks need to land some interior help in the 2016 class.
Friday afternoon Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm and his staff received their third commitment in the Class of 2016, as 6-foot-9 forward Emmanuel Malou announced that he’ll be a Cyclone next season. Malou announced the news by way of his Twitter account, and he joins fellow forward Solomon Young and guard Donovan Jackson in Iowa State’s 2016 class.
“Basketball has taken me to many different states in America, and I’m happy to say that my next home will be Iowa State,” Malou said via Twitter.
Malou attends Yuba CC in California, where he put together a productive freshman season in 2014-15. Malou averaged 14.7 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game last season, helping lead Yuba to a 12-4 record in Bay Valley Conference play (part of the California Community College Athletic Association). Yuba, which finished the season with an overall record of 15-10, was ranked 11th in the state at the end of the season.
Malou has range out to the three-point line, and his length and athleticism are evident on both ends of the floor.
Originally from Australia, Malou completed his high school career at ABCD Prep in Des Moines, Iowa and in recently picked up offers from the likes of Kansas and Oregon. With Iowa State losing three front court players at the end of the 2015-16 season, Georges Niang, Jameel McKay and Abdel Nader, the addition of Malou is an important one for the Big 12 program.