Hoops Recruiting Notebook: Big names continue to have interest in Hogs in future classes

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Little Rock — Arkansas remains in the mix for two out-of-state 2020 prospects: The path for Keon Ambrose-Hylton has been transparent and easy to follow, while the opposite can be said of Kyree Walker‘s journey to this point. Yet, both highly regarded national prospects remain very much in play for the Razorbacks with final decisions likely to be announced in the coming days and weeks.

Ambrose-Hylton (6-8 combo forward, Andrews Osborne Academy in Ohio, native of Toronto, ESPN nattional No. 58 / 4-star prospect) just wrapped up a weekend official visit to Alabama — his fifth and final OV — and now he plans to choose soon between Arkansas, North Carolina State, Southern Cal, Dayton, and ‘Bama.

He took his OV to Arkansas with his Mom over the weekend of Oct. 11-13, and he recently said he’ll make his announcement via Twitter prior to signing during the early period that runs Nov. 13-20.

“No, not really,” Ambrose-Hylton said when asked if a leader(s) had emerged from his Final 5. “This is gonna be a hard decision.”

Arkansas coaches have been out to visit Ambrose-Hylton in Ohio almost weekly since early September, and Hogs assistant coach Clay Moser will be in for a visit on Wednesday.

As for Walker (6-5 combo guard, Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix, composite national No. 35 / 4-star prospect), his options include playing at the college level as soon as the spring semester of the upcoming 2019-20 season, exploring a jump to the NBA’s G-League, or possibly playing professionally overseas.

All of those possibilities come with the caveat of first completing his high-school credit requirements, which his father Khari Walker recently said could be accomplished in a matter of days. If Walker chooses the college basketball route, his Dad said Arkansas will be among a short list of schools in the running for his son’s services.

“Top 4, yeah Arkansas will be in there,” Khari Walker said. “They’ll definitely get a visit soon.”

The Hogs and Western Kentucky Hilltoppers are thought to be the leaders for Walker if he decides on playing college basketball.

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In-state sophomore to take an unofficial visit to Arkansas this weekend: 2022 Joseph Pinion (6-5 wing, Morrilton) is planning to be in Fayetteville on Saturday to meet Arkansas’s coaching staff, watch the Hoops Hogs practice, and attend the Arkansas-Mississippi State football game.

“I’m extremely excited to be visiting, meeting with the coaches for the first time,” said Pinion, adding that he’s looking forward to seeing “the fast pace offense they play” during practice.

Pinion has offers from UCA, South Alabama, and Oral Roberts with Arkansas, Virginia, Baylor, Vanderbilt, Tulsa, and Belmont showing interest.

“My strengths are court vision and good IQ with shooting, and I’m working more on my athleticism and ball handling,” Pinion said of his game.

A current Hog who Pinion said he is a fan of is 6-5 sharpshooter Isaiah Joe.

“I like the way he plays, how he can space the floor and can pretty much do everything,” Pinion said.

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New name on Arkansas’s recruiting radar: 2021 Alden Applewhite (6-6 combo guard, Memphis Houston High School, ESPN national No. 47 / 4-star prospect) is the latest hooper to receive interest from Arkansas, and a source confirmed that Hogs associate head coach Chris Crutchfield was in Memphis on Tuesday to watch him practice.

“I have been talking to Arkansas almost a month now,” Applewhite said. “I am very interested in Arkansas. Coach Crutchfield has been gaining a good relationship with me and that’s important to me right now.”

Applewhite reportedly holds offers from Texas A&M, TCU, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State with Alabama, Missouri, and Georgetown among the schools showing interest.

Applewhite recently took unofficial visits to Alabama and Mississippi State, and he said he’d like to make a stop in Fayetteville in the future.

“I’m not sure when but I do plan on taking a visit there,” he said.

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