Who Have Razorbacks Contacted Since Dead Period Ended?

Calipari, staff immediately get to work contacting nation's best juniors as recruiting never really ends
Arkansas Razorbacks coach John Calipari at his intrductory press conference in Bud Walton Arena on April 10, 2024, in Fayetteville, Ark.
Arkansas Razorbacks coach John Calipari at his intrductory press conference in Bud Walton Arena on April 10, 2024, in Fayetteville, Ark. / Walt Beazley-Arkansas Communications
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — John Calipari and his freshly-assembled first staff at Arkansas were given the green light at midnight Saturday to recruit rising juniors. The aura which surrounds Calipari around from school to school will continue with the Razorbacks. When it comes to putting young men in the NBA, he does it better than any other coach in college basketball.

It took about a halfday before the Hogs reached out to 6-10 forward Sam Funches. He is considered the top prospect in the nation by ESPN but not all recruiting sites are as high on him. Funchess is ranked as the No. 14 overall prospect by On3's Industry Ranking which averages all four recruiting services data. The Mississippi native plays his basketball for Germantown High School in a suburb of Jackson which is in a region that has historically produced great prospects.

Funches is considered an all around basketball player capable of playing multiple postions on the floor at times. He averaged around 19 points per game to go along with 11 rebounds and over six blocks per game as a true stretch-big during his sophomore year. Other notable offers include North Carolina, Alabama, Kansas, Texas, Indiana, LSU, Ole Miss, Memphis and Mississippi State.

Little Rock Christian small forward JJ Andrews is a Razorbacks legacy (his father Stacy played football in the early 2000's). The 6-6, 215 pound forward is rated a 4-star by ESPN at No. 13 overall but is considered a consensus top-25 prospect by all four major recruiting outlets. Andrews has also heard from Oklahoma, LSU, Missouri, Marquette, Memphis and NC State.

Andrews' physical frame is intriguing to most programs around the country. He led the Warriors to its second consecutive Arkansas Class 4A state championship this season, finishing the season with 21 points and 10 rebounds per game.

In typical Caipari style, No. 1 prospects are made a priority wherever he coaches. During his time at Kentucky, the top overall prospect signed with the Wildcats on four occasions. He signed at least one top three prospect eight times. The top player in the country is Tyran Stokes, according to ESPN. The 6-7, 225 pound small forward is a physical athlete and prolific scorer.

During his recent trip to Kansas City for Nike EYBL play, he scored 41 points while also grabbing 17 rebounds. Stokes also poured out 29 points in another game enroute to averaging 24 points, five rebounds and two assists during Memorial Day weekend play. He has offers from Arkansas, USC, UCF, Texas A&M, Alabama, Auburn, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Xavier, Arizona State, Texas, Texas Tech and Ole Miss

Gritty 4-star point guard Deron Rippey was contacted by the Arkansas staff. The 6-1, 175 pound spark plug is considered a to-40 prospect nationally by recruiting services and top-5 point guard. Other notable programs to contact Rippey are Michigan, Kansas, Rutgers, Indiana, Auburn, Virginia and Syracuse.

Sharpshooter Aidan Chronister is a consensus top-60 prospect and top prospect in the state of Kansas. He recently transferred to Sunrise Christian after playing at Rogers through his sophomore season. Missouri and Oklahoma have received visits from Chronister but hasn't visited Fayetteville since Calipari was hired as coach which could change given the new contact between staff and prospect.

Florida 5-star Alex Constanza heard from the Razorbacks very early Saturday along. The 6-8, 215 pound small forward has terrific size to play multiple positions at the college level. He is ranked as high as No. 3 by ESPN and No. 6 by On3. All recruiting outlets list him as a top-15 talent nationally. Other programs who contaced Constanza are Kentucky, Florida, Miami, Arizona State, Baylor and South Carolina.

Constanza played in 28 games as a sophomore, scoring 14 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block per game. He made 49% of his shots from the field for Westminster Academy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He made 35% of his three point attempts last season. However, he drilled 45% of his threes as a freshman on 78 attempts. During his sophomore season, Constanza improved his free throw percentage to 84% which is up from 71% the year prior. He is nearly automatic near the rim knocking down 59% of his 2-point attempts.


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Jacob Davis