LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman is on a transfer-portal recruiting tear so far in April, but he didn’t miss a chance to watch, evaluate, then offer a scholarship to 2023 prized big man Gus Yalden over the weekend.
Yalden (6-8, 240, forward, IMG Academy in Florida, native of Appleton, Wis., composite national No. 32 / 4-star prospect) announced his Hog offer via Twitter on Wednesday, but he told Hogville.net that Musselman actually extended the offer on Saturday.
“We talked on Saturday, actually between the (Geico high school national championship tournament) games so it was kinda short but to to the point,” Yalden recalled. “Coach Musselman just said he liked my game, knew it was early in the process, wanted me to know he was going to recruit me, and that I had an offer to attend University of Arkansas and that he looked forward to building a relationship with me.”
Yalden’s twitter announcement mentioned that conversation with the Head Hog: “After a great conversation with coach Eric Musselman I’m excited to share that I have received an offer to the University of Arkansas.”
Yalden told Hogville.net he delayed announcing the offer for a few days due to team considerations.
“Out of respect to my teammates, Coach Mac, Coach Trey, and Coach JT, and all the work we put in this season leading up to the loss at Geico on Friday, I didn’t want to share the offer until today.”
Yalden also holds offers from Auburn, Missouri, Illinois, Florida State, Maryland, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, West Virginia, Stanford, Rutgers, Xavier, and Utah among others.
Yalden averaged 8.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game — includes a 17-point outing during the season — on an IMG Academy team that boasted 8 players combined from the 2021 and 2022 classes that are ranked among the national top 50 prospects. Yalden’s 4-seed IMG Academy squad defeated Milton (Ga.) in the Geico quarterfinals on Thursday, April 1, before losing to 3-seed Sunrise Christian Academy in the Geico semifinals on Friday, April 2.
In an era when big men offer more face-up perimeter skill than ever, Yalden stands out as exceptional when you see his total package of ball-handling, shooting touch from 3, ability to facilitate anywhere on the floor, footwork and instincts scoring around the basket. He has 5-star potential moving forward.