By Kevin McPherson
LITTLE ROCK — He was the first class of 2021 prospect who Eric Musselman offered a scholarship to shortly after taking over the reins as Head Hog roughly 16 months ago, and now national Top 50 Trey Alexander acknowledges his Razorbacks recruiting is picking up momentum.
“I’ve been talking to Arkansas a lot,” Alexander said on Thursday. “We’ve talked almost daily. Great conversations.”
Alexander (6-4 combo guard, Heritage Hall in Oklahoma, composite national No. 41 / 4-star prospect) said he is closing in on releasing a list of his favorite college suitors.
“I’m coming out with a top ten next month,” he said.
Alexander holds offers from the Hogs, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Florida State, Oklahoma State, Auburn, Georgia, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, and Wake Forest among others.
Already the all-time leading scorer at Heritage Hall before his senior season, Alexander picked up his Arkansas offer on April 16, 2019, and he took an unofficial visit to Arkansas nearly four months later (August 2019).
“It was great,” Alexander told Hoville.net just after that visit to Fayetteville. “It was fun and I had some great talks with the coaches, they are very down to earth. They have a very beautiful campus and some great coaches.”
Alexander is related to former Arkansas track-and-field Hall of Famer and Olympic gold medalist Mike Conley, Sr., as well as his son, NBA star guard Mike Conley, Jr., of the Utah Jazz.
“I’m very close to the Conley family,” Alexander said in an April 2019 interview. “Mike Conley is my cousin and we go down there like a couple of times each year (to visit).”
With the mainstream shoe-company grassroots circuits (Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour) shut down in the spring and summer of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Alexander and other top-shelf seniors-to-be forged their recruiting paths during 2019 circuit play. Alexander led 16U Team Giffin to the Nike E16 Peach Jam championship in mid-July 2019 in North Augusta, S.C., a run that included Alexander’s driving buzzer-beater to send the title game into overtime en route to a 75-73 win in double-overtime vs. 16U Team Takeover.
Arkansas’s coaching staff was on hand daily to watch Alexander play during the 2019 Nike Peach Jam.
Alexander also led 16U Team Griffin to the finals of the Nike EYBL E16 session in Dallas in May 2019. In June 2019, he was recognized as one of the standout performers at the prestigious Nike Elite 100 Camp in St. Louis. In April 2019, he was in Fayetteville for a grassroots event that included a 12-point scoring effort in 16U Team Griffin’s 29-point victory over Arkansas-based 16U Woodz Elite.
Alexander averaged 19 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals for 16U Team Griffin during the 2019 spring/summer grassroots season.
Alexander is a true combo guard, meaning he’s effective as a primary handler / facilitator or playing off the ball as a shooting guard. His dribble-drive game to set up fadeaway mid-range jumpers, runners and floaters in the paint, or getting all the way to the rim are as good as there is in the country, and he’s a capable three-point shooter. Alexander is tough and reliable in the clutch as an aggressive on-ball shot-creator, often taking over close games with a finish or an assist.
Alexander would not only offer the mix of skill and versatility that Musselman prefers, but he could help fill an expected backcourt void at Arkansas in ’20-21.
Musselman and Arkansas are likely to lose 3 or 4 versatile guards and combo forwards following the 2020-21 season. Senior-graduate transfers Jalen Tate (6-6 combo guard), Vance Jackson, Jr. (6-9 combo forward), and Justin Smith (6-7 combo forward) will all be departing after exhausting their collegiate playing eligibility, and freshman Moses Moody (6-6 guard / wing) has potential to become Arkansas’ first one-and-done with a 2021 NBA Draft declaration being a reasonable possibility in less than a year.
Within the past couple of weeks, Musselman added 2021 commitments from ESPN Top 50 prospect Chance Moore (6-5 wing, McEachern School in Georgia) and 247Sports.com’s No. 2-ranked junior college prospect Akol Mawein (6-9 combo forward, Navarro College).
Additionally, ESPN Top 50 prospect Johnathan Lawson (6-6 guard / wing, Memphis Wooddale) named Arkansas among his Top 5 schools on Friday.