Darious Hall said exactly what Mike Anderson wants to hear.
The Arkansas signee is slated to join the Razorbacks next season after inking his papers to play for Anderson’s basketball team Wednesday. At 6-foot-6ish, he may have the height of a guard, but Hall is a brute at small forward. He’s the sort of player who wants to get inside, bang around to get a rebound then sprint to the other end. On defense, he wants to body up and hassle to the point of annoyance for the other player.
In other words, he’s everything Anderson covets.
“I bring the energy to the team,” Hall said. “I’m going to rebound. I get it off the rebound, push it full court. Defense, that’s my main mentality. I can score the ball if we need it. Basically it’s the energy to the team, to make sure.”
Hall is a senior at Mills High School in Little Rock and one of three commits Arkansas has in the Class of 2017. All three, by the way, are Arkansas natives, and depending on which scouting service you look at, all three are top 200 players in the nation.
Hall was the second of the trio – El Dorado’s Daniel Gafford and Parkview’s Khalil Garland are the other two players – to commit. He did so last spring, just one day after being offered a scholarship, so he considers himself a Razorbacks player through and through.
And his already-existing relationship with Gafford and Garland can only help. In fact, he and Garland have been buddies since the seventh grade, despite going to rival high schools in the state’s capital.
They’ve played together and against each other since elementary school days when Hall was at Mabelvale and Garland was at Pulaski Heights. Their most recent matchup against each other, in this state, was last year when Parkview got the best of Mills by two points. Hall wants a rematch, by the way.
“They cheated us,” Hall joked. “The foul count was lopsided.”
Hall is a different type of player than Arkansas has had in the last couple seasons. His closest comparable, at least in the Anderson era, might be Coty Clarke, an undersized forward at 6-7, 225-pound forward who played two seasons at Arkansas most recently in 2013-14. Clarke played last year in the NBA.
Hall will have to bulk up to reach Clarke’s weight – he’s 210 pounds right now, he said – but that’s common with freshmen. He already has the tenacity and want-to, though, and that will go a long way in continuing Arkansas’ resurgence back near the top of the SEC.
As for signing early?
“I always wanted to be a Hog and just was ready to get it out of the way.”