By Kevin McPherson
LITTLE ROCK — UCA sophomore transfer and former Bryant High School star Camren Hunter was impressed with his unofficial visit to Arkansas on Monday and said he was made to feel like a recruiting priority by Head Hog Eric Musselman and his coaching staff.
Hunter (6-3 guard, Bryant High School, Arkansas Hawks) heard from Arkansas coaches and staffers quickly after recently hitting the transfer portal in recent days, which included a call with Musselman, and a visit was coordinated for Monday afternoon.
“I did enjoy it, I enjoyed it a lot,” Hunter. “I met the whole coaching staff in person. Got to tour of the gym, I watched the practice as they prepared for UConn. It was crazy how detailed it was. Muss said it was a low-intensity practice compared to how he usually runs things. There was no wasted movement, everything had a purpose.
“They had a presentation for me, showed me how I would fit into their style of play, went through their coaching experience, NBA experience, and certain guys who have developed at a rapid pace while being there.”
Hunter — he made the visit with his Dad and brother — said Musselman and his staff made him feel like a recruiting priority.
“He was very honest with me about my chances to get on the court, and the reasons to come be a Razorback,” Hunter said. “They expressed they would love me to be in a Razorback jersey. Muss did offer me (a scholarship).”
Butler has scheduled an in-home visit with Hunter on Wednesday.
“I do not have any other visits planned, trying to narrow my list down,” Hunter said, who added about a timeframe for a decision, “Three weeks, maybe four. I’m really just starting to evaluate things.”
Hunter said he believes he’s a fit in the Razobacks’ system.
“I play hard on both ends of the court,” he said. “Muss preaches defense, and I’ll gladly defend any day of the week. In order to win games you have to be able to defend and rebound the basketball, as well as put the ball in the hole and I can do that as well.”
Hunter has his eye on the latest NCAA Tournament run by the Hoop Hogs.
“This team has gotten better every game,” he said. “I watched it today in practice. It’s a shocker to fans and everyone else, but to those coaches and players in the locker room it was not a surprise. They put in the work and it’s showing up now.”
During his UOV to Arkansas, Hunter said he also met with the athletic trainer, the nutritionist, and visited the Jones academic facility.
In addition to Arkansas and Butler, Hunter is hearing from Auburn, Mississippi State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Boston College, Loyola-Chicago, St. Louis, Dayton, Tulane, and a host of other schools.
Hunter has started all 60 games in his time at UCA and is a two-time All Atlantic Sun conference (A-SUN) selection — third-team all conference in 2022-23 and freshman of the year in ’21-22. He’s rated by On3sports as the No. 4 point guard and the No. 26 overall prospect in the transfer portal.
He was UCA’s leading scorer in ’22-23, averaging 16.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.5 steals while shooting 42.3% on field goals, including 31.1% from 3, and 78.6% on free throws.
Hunter has experience playing on Nolan Richardson Court at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville. He was a freshman starter when the Bears lost, 97-60, to the Razorbacks on Dec. 1, 2020. Hunter had 12 points (4-of-12 field goals, including 2-of-4 from 3, and 2-of-5 free throws), 5 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 assists in 29 minutes in that game.
“Bud Walton, surreal, one of a kind,” he said of the experience. “The fans are diehard. Couldn’t hear my coach talking in the timeout when they called the Hogs.”
As a freshman at UCA in ’21-22, he averaged 14.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.5 steals while shooting 44.7% from the field, including 25.0% from 3, and 81.5% from the free throw line.
Hunter was a star guard at Bryant (’17-18 through ’20-21) where he teamed up with former Hog Khalen “KK” Robinson to form one of the most formidable backcourts in the country. In spring-and-summer grassroots play, he was an integral part of the Arkansas Hawks program and excelled playing on the competitive Adidas Gauntlet circuit (now known as the Adidas 3SSB).