Prep basketball in Arkansas has experienced a boom in recent years.
While some of the state’s top high school players have gone out of state, like Sylvan Hills High’s Archie Goodwin who went to Kentucky, most of them have stayed home and are playing at Arkansas
Six of the 15 players on the Razorbacks’ roster played high school basketball in the state of Arkansas.
In fact, half of those players played just down the street from Bud Walton Arena, at Fayetteville High. Seniors Fred Gulley III and Kikko Haydar, as well as freshman Manuale Watkins had successful careers with the Bulldogs before coming to Arkansas.
Junior Rashad Madden was a highly touted recruit from Lepanto, Ark., where he played at East Poinsett County High.
The other two native Arkansans are both from Little Rock. Freshman Bobby Portis came to Arkansas after leading Little Rock Hall High to four state championships.
Junior Alandise Harris took a different route to Arkansas. He went to Houston for two seasons after being a three-time All-State award winner at Little Rock Central High, before becoming a Razorback.
The state also has strong AAU basketball, led by the Arkansas Wings Elite team based in central Arkansas.
Portis, Watkins and freshman Moses Kingsley all spent time with the Wings.
The future of Arkansas prep basketball is bright, as well. Head coach Mike Anderson’s 2014 signing class includes commitments from Little Rock Parkview’s Anton Beard and Forrest City’s Trey Thompson.
While none have committed, the class of 2015 in Arkansas includes Kevaughn Allen from North Little Rock, the No. 23 overall prospect in his class according to ESPN.com, and the class of 2016 includes Bentonville’s Malik Monk, the No. 8 overall prospect in his class according to ESPN.com.