LITTLE ROCK — For the second consecutive recruiting cycle, Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman has reached into the heart of SEC country to lure an ESPN national Top 75 prospect to Fayetteville.
Highly regarded 2022 Barry Dunning, Jr. (6-6 small forward, McGill Toolen High School, Mobile. Ala., ESPN national No. 71 / 4-star prospect) committed to Arkansas via Twitter on Monday — just 27 hours later than his original commitment date planned for Independence Day — as he chose the Razorbacks over Memphis, Ole Miss, and South Alabama.
He joins Joseph Pinion (6-6 wing, Morrilton, national No. 114 / 4-star prospect according to Rivals.com) to give the Hogs two commitments so far in the class of 2022. He also becomes Musselman’s second out-of-state recruiting win in as many seasons as Hogs freshman Chance Moore (6-5 wing, McEachern School in Georgia, ESPN national No. 70 / 4-star prospect) came on board as part of the Hogs’ 2021 class.
“Loved it!” Dunning said of his official visit to Arkansas that he took June 3-5. “Arkansas is a state of loving each other and is a big family. Enjoyed every second. Really just the love of the community and how they support each other. It’s like a huge family up there.
“The whole coaching staff loves the game of basketball. Maximizing each other from coaches all the way down to players, on and off the court. Coach Muss is a coach who wants and demands the best out of you and loves the games of basketball.”
A source told Hogville.net shortly after Dunning arrived for his visit that there was a sense he’d be “a great fit in (the) basketball culture … at Arkansas.”
Dunning apparently agreed with that sentiment. He also took visits to South Alabama and Memphis, the latter of which wrapped up on Thursday before Dunning pledged to the Hogs just four days later.
Dunning was named Gatorade Alabama Boys High School Player of the Year while he was on his Arkansas visit. He also held offers from Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Georgia Tech, and others.
He was originally set to announce his commitment in January on his mother’s birthday, but shortly after his Arkansas visit he told Hogville.net that he was moving up his decision to June 30, and a few days later he modified that to July 4 before ultimately pledging to the Hogs on July 5.
Dunning will sign his national letter of intent with the Razorbacks during the mid-November early period.
Dunning averaged 21.5 points, 11.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.1 steals, and 1.8 blocks per game in 2020-21.
“I’m a guy with length and athleticism,” Dunning said while describing what Arkansas coaches like about his game. “Able to play any position and they like guys like that in their program.”