UALR gets commit to sign from Mt. San Jacinto's Eric Lawton

   UALR is expected to announce a second signing in the spring period later this week. Mount San Jacinto College guard Eric Lawton has giving the Trojans a verbal commitment.
   Lawson was a teammate with UALR senior guard D’Andre Williams last season at Mount San Jacinto in California. He was rated a 3-star recruit by Rivals out of high school.

   Lawton visited this past weekend after Scott City, Kan., guard Ron Baker visited Wichita State. Baker, who told those involved in his recruiting that Wichita State was out of the picture because they passed on him early, changed his mind last week. He committed to Wichita State over the weekend and will walk on and red shirt this season. He’ll sign with the Shockers in November and go on scholarship the following year.
   Lawton was a part of a highly rated recruiting class at San Diego State in the 2008-2009 season. But the NCAA didn’t clear him and he eventually landed at San Jacinto State. This is from the story San Diego State wrote when he signed with them at that time:
"Eric is a combo-guard who has the ability to create his own shot," Fisher said. "He is athletic, and very fast and will be a wonderful addition to the program."
Lawton, from West Valley High School in Hemet, Calif., is a 6-1, 160-pound guard who led West Valley to the 2008 CIF Southern Section Division III-AA title and a spot in the CIF Southern California Division I State Basketball Championships. Overall, West Valley finished the 2007-08 season with a 25-4 record and a 12-1 mark in the Sunbelt League. Individually, Lawton averaged 20.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.7 steals as a junior. His season led to him being named the Division III-A co-player of the year by the Southern California Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association and to the all-area second-team by The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, Calif.
   At that time, ESPN rated him a 90 and had a lot of good things to say about him:

   Last season, he played along side current Trojan D’Andre Williams. This season, he averaged 14.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.3 steals. He shot 40.4 percent from the field, 30.8 percent from the three-point line and 70 percent at the free throw line. He got to the line 113 times in 27 games last season.
   UALR signed Will Neighbour, James White and Reggie Fondren in the fall signing period. Taggart Lockhart signed last week and Lawton is expected to sign this week. UALR is still waiting for the signature of Michael Javes, who committed earlier this year.

   There are still more than two weeks remaining in the spring signing period.

"No. 1" on UALR's wish list? Probably not that high

   We just saw this on Arkansas Sports 360:
While UALR has secured one spring signee in 6-foot-5 guard/forward Taggart Lockhart, the Trojans have to lament the big one that got away. No question Hooper Vint, the 6-11 center from Van Buren, was No. 1 on the UALR wish list, but Vint chose Texas-El Paso on Wednesday, the first day of the spring signing period.
   No doubt UALR wanted Hooper Vint (he visited campus last weekend and was offered a scholarship). But to say he was the No. 1 target this Spring probably isn’t accurate.
   Once UALR signed James White in the fall and got a commitment to sign from Michael Javes in the winter, UALR’s needs drastically shifted away from big men. If Vint had signed with UALR instead of UTEP, UALR would have had to delete somebody from the roster.
   That’s because UALR needs guards. One hole was plugged this week with the signing of Taggart Lockhart. The other remains open. At the top of the board appears to be Ron Baker of Scott City, Kan. He visited UALR last weekend and is visiting South Dakota State this weekend. He’s expected to make a decision after that. Baker was named first team all-state in Kansas and scored the game-winning basket in the state championship game. UALR’s coaches have been back-and-forth to Western Kansas several times this year. Baker has apparently turned away other schools (Wichita State among them) in the recruiting process because UALR and SDSU were the first schools after him.
   Vint said in an interview this week that UTEP has a young team and he thinks he can step in and play immediately there. It’s not clear that would have happened at UALR. Marlon Louzeiro and Gus Leeper both played solid minutes down the stretch last season and a healthy Courtney Jackson and Eric Kibi should also be contributors. UALR’s already signed White, who appears to have the ability to compete for minutes. Javes has consistently impressed those who have been able to see him this year. And of course there’s Will Neighbour, who is expected to earn immediate minutes. Could Vint have beat out that group for minutes next season? Maybe. Most high school players believe they can. But he didn’t take that chance.

   But UALR has already secured enough height to compete. Now it needs another sharp-shooter.
   As was written on Monday, the biggest loss for UALR concerning Vint is the time it spent recruiting him. Assistant Coach Joe Kleine, and really the entire coaching staff, has been to see him dozens of times in the past four years. And adding a local kid, especially one who is 6-11, would have been nice.

Talihina's Taggart Lockhart appears to fit UALR's style

A quick chat with UALR signee Taggart Lockhart reveals that he’s Coach Steve Shields’ type of player.
Taggart Lockhart kisses the Oklahoma
State Championship trophy.
“He thinks I’m physical enough and shoot the ball well enough that I can play down low and outside and being 6-5 helps. I’ve got the height over some of the little guards,” Lockhart said on Wednesday in an exclusive interview with Burn The Horse.
Lockhart is a 6-5 guard from Talihina, Okla., where he helped lead the school to its first state championship. He averaged 18.4 points and 9.43 rebounds and has received numerous all-state honors in Oklahoma. He’s also going to play in the state’s small school all-star game later this year.
Coming off a NCAA Tournament appearance, UALR is looking to re-load with the loss of seniors Solomon Bozeman, Matt Mouzy, Alex Garcia-Mendoza, Montrell Thornton and Derrick Bails. In the fall UALR signed Will Neighbour, James White and Reggie Fondren. UALR also has a commitment to sign from Arlington (Fla.) Country Day’s Michael Javes. And indications are that UALR is waiting to hear from Ron Baker of Fort Scott, Kan., for its last available scholarship. Baker is visiting South Dakota State this weekend and is expected to make a decision next week.
Talihina lost in the state championship game in both his sophomore and junior years before breaking through this year.
“It was heartbreaking the first two years, but we came through and finally pulled it off. It was a big relief for us. I know the fans really loved it in Talihina, a little town, the first one that we’ve had in this town,” Lockhart said. “It was a great feeling.”
Lockhart played in Class 2A in Oklahoma and was being recruited by smaller-level schools before exploding onto the recruiting scene with big games against bigger schools last December.  UALR was aware of him and Lockhart became one of their top recruiting targets.
He made an unofficial visit to UALR when the Trojans faced North Texas in early March.
“It was close to home. That was a plus. The facilities are awesome. And they made the Big Dance, that’s another plus,” Lockhart said. “No matter who you’re playing for, you want to compete for the national championship.”
Lockhart provides some flexibility as well. UALR has lost 3 guard Alex Garcia-Mendoza and 2 guards Solomon Bozeman and Matt Mouzy to graduation. He likely slots in at the 3 behind senior Tramar Sutherland, but can play both positions.
“He said that he’d like for me to come in and be a 3 and run some 2 as well. Mainly my strength is getting down low to bang with the bigger guys,” Lockhart said. “He said he thought if I came in and worked hard that I could get 15 to 20 minutes as a freshman. That was another plus of coming here.”

Taggart Lockhart's signing with UALR is now official

UALR has received the documents and Talihina, Okla., guard Taggart Lockhart is now officially a UALR Trojan. Burn The Horse hopes to speak to Lockhart this evening. Until then, here's the offcial release from UALR.

Talihina's Taggart Lockhart signed with UALR this morning

   We like when these things get done early in the day. First thing this morning, Talihina, Okla., guard Taggart Lockhart put pen to paper and signed his National Letter of Intent to play basketball at UALR.
   Lockhart will be a 6-6 freshman wing next season.
He led Talihina to an Oklahoma state championship this season after finishing runner-up the previous two seasons.
   I don't think UALR has received the paperwork yet, but they should later this morning. More later.

UALR men expected to sign one player on Wednesday

   Wednesday marks the start of the Spring Signing Period for National Letters of Intent and UALR is expected to sign one player.
Talihina, Okla., guard Taggart Lockhart is expected to sign on Wednesday morning. Lockhart committed to UALR in late March.
   UALR has one other commitment in Michael Javes of Arlington (Fla.) Country Day. Javes likely will sign sometime next week.
Student-athletes are able to sign binding letters in the four-week period.
   UALR has three scholarships available this Spring. The Trojans are also expected to sign a shooting guard.
   Will Neighbour of Daytona State, Reggie Fondren of Northwest Mississippi CC, and James White of Jonesboro, Ga. signed with UALR in the Fall period.

Tulsa Shock makes Chastity Reed UALR's first-ever WNBA Draft selection


UALR's Chastity Reed selected with first pick of the third round of WNBA Draft

UALR's Chastity Reed became the school's first-ever WNBA Draft pick when the Tulsa Shock selected her with the first pick of the third round.
Tulsa Coach Nolan Richardson was at the Jack Stephens Center twice this season to see Reed, UALR's all-time leading scorer and rebounder, play.

UALR roster shaping up for 2011-2012 season

UALR still has one scholarship to give this Spring:

James White (6-8) signed in Fall
Taggart Lockhart (6-5) signing in Spring
Michael Javes (6-10) signing in Spring
Logan Quinn (5-10) walk-on (redshirted last year)
Neal Barlow (6-5) walk-on

Chuck Guy (5-10)
Gus Leeper (6-9)
Will Neighbour (6-10) signed in Fall

Reggie Fondren (6-3) signed in Fall

Marlon Louzeiro (6-7)
Courtney Jackson (6-6)
D’Andre Williams (5-10)
Eric Kibi (6-6)
Tramar Sutherland (6-3)

Hearing Van Buren's Hooper Vint is headed to UTEP

   Did a quick Internet search and we haven't seen this anywhere as of yet. That makes Burn the Horse the first to report that Van Buren post player Hooper Vint has decided to sign with UTEP.
   Vint visited UALR this past weekend and made his decision Sunday night.
   Signing Vint would have been a luxury for UALR with the number of big men expected to be on campus this Spring. It also would have put UALR one over the NCAA limit of 13 scholarships. But the Trojans have spent considerable time over the years recruiting Vint.
   Vint's father, Bobby Vint, has been UALR's radio color commentator for years.
   UALR is still expected to sign Taggart Lockhart on Wednesday. Recruit Michael Javes is expected to sign at some point during the month-long signing period, which begins on Wednesday.
   UALR is also looking to sign a shooting guard with its last-remaining scholarship.
   Vint will play for UTEP Coach Tim Floyd, who has been linked to several job openings, this season. He chose UTEP over UALR and Nebraska, though sources indicated Nebraska no longer was in the picture.
   If he had chosen UALR he would have had to compete with senior Marlon Louzeiro, sophomore Gus Leeper and freshman Michael Javes for playing time.

UALR expected to sign two on Wednesday; hope for more later in Spring period

   The Spring Signing Period for National Letters of Intent begins on Wednesday and runs for about a month. But don't expect everything to get tied up by Wednesday or even this week.
   While that generally happens in the Fall Signing Period, the Spring period typically is more drawn out. That occurs mostly because recruits are still actively taking visits.
   Here's what we expect to happen this week:
   On Wednesday or Thursday, UALR is expected to sign high schoolers Michael Javes and Taggart Lockhart. That will bring UALR's signing total to five (joining Fall signees Will Neighbour, James White and Reggie Fondren).
   UALR had two recruits visit last weekend. One has completed his visits and is expected to make a decision sometime this week. If that happens, that player could sign with the school of his choice sometime this week.
   The other recruit has one more visit to take and will take it next weekend. A decision is expected after that.
   If those two players sign, that will likely end the recruiting period for UALR. If they don't UALR would still have one of its 13 scholarships available.
   We haven't heard of any Spring commitments for the UALR women. They signed four players in the Fall period and that would leave them one short of the NCAA women's maximum of 15 if everyone returns that is scheduled to return.

UALR's Chastity Reed expected to be selected in Monday's WNBA Draft


The WNBA will hold its draft tomorrow and UALR’s Chastity Reed is expected to become the Trojans’ first-ever selection. But where she’s selected in the three rounds remains cloudy. There are 12 WNBA teams and three rounds, meaning 36 players will be selected.
Draft Site has her no. 14 to Minnesota Second pick in second round

It appears the Tulsa Shock have her listed among the top 15 available players. Of course, Tulsa Coach Nolan Richardson came to watch Reed play at least twice at the Jack Stephens Center this season:

The Seattle Storm also list her among the top available players.

ESPN doesn’t list her in their top 20 but does say she’s on the bubble:

On the other hand, here’s another site that doesn’t even list Reed. It should be noted that they list only two rounds and there are three:

Newly-crowned National Champs to visit Little Rock, UALR next season

   Texas A&M won the NCAA Women's Championship with a victory over Notre Dame on Tuesday night. They'll be in the Jack Stephens Center this season.
   UALR has a home-and-home contract with Texas A&M that began last season. A&M thumped UALR in the opening week of the season en route to the National Championship. The return game is scheduled to take place in the 2011-2012 season at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock.
   Of course, the Stephens Center will also host the first and second rounds of the 2012 NCAA Women's Tournament.

UALR recruiting news should start to pick up later this week

   We should start to hear some more recruiting news from UALR later this week.
Right now there is an NCAA-mandated "Dead Period" that is in place so that coaches will attend the convention at the Final Four in Houston. That period ends at noon on Wednesday.
Coaches will then be able to once again contact prospects until April 10.
   From April 11-13 it is once again a dead period leading up to signing day on April 13. The spring signing period then lasts a month.
   UALR has already signed Will Neighbour, James White and Reggie Fondren. Interestingly, White will be a freshman, Neighbour a sophomore and Fondren a junior.
   UALR also has commitments to sign from two high school players: Michael Javes and Taggart Lockhart.
    It is believed the Trojans are still in search of a shooting guard for their final available recruiting slot.

Reports are that former UALR Coach Porter Moser will get the Loyola-Chicago job

Reports are that Porter Moser will be named the basketball coach at Loyola-Chicago.
Moser was an assistant coach at UALR under both Wimp Sanderson and Sidney Moncrief and the head coach at UALR for three seasons, winning 18 games each season. He then went onto be the head coach at Illinois State for four years. After being fired, he has been the associate head coach at Saint Louis the past four years.,0,7495756.story