On the Shoulders of Non-Giants: Stellar Guards Lift Little Rock Parkview, North Little Rock programsPosted: February 22, 2013
Two years ago, as an eighth-grader, Kevaughn Allen decided to seriously prepare for high school competition.
So he started a training regiment that would make some NBA players balk.
Every weekday, year-round, he has met his AAU coach Kahn Cotton at the North Little Rock Athletic Club at 5 a.m. For two hours, they work on skills, strength and quickness. In the offseason, Allen tacks on an afternoon session of plyometrics.
For the love of just being a kid, why does he do it?
“I just wanted to be get better as a person and as a basketball player,” Allen said. “I just didn’t want nobody else to be better than me.”
For the most part, all that sweat has paid off. Allen, one of the nation’s most promising sophomore guards, has earned scholarship offers from a host of schools including the University of Arkansas. He helps lead a North Little Rock Charging Wildcats team that has won 23 games in a row and has spent nearly all the season ranked #1 in the state.
He has teamed with fellow guard Dayshawn Watkins to form one of the state’s best backcourts. The duo combines for about 36 points and 10 assists a game, and has already helped NLR defeat other top teams around the state – Jonesboro, Little Rock Hall, Fayetteville, Jacksonville, Clarksville.
Their statistics, though, wouldn’t fuel as many wins were it not for an on-court chemistry springing from off-court friendship. Last season was hard on Watkins. The point guard had just transferred from North Pulaski and had trouble jelling with new teammates. “It wasn’t easy for me to get used to my teammates, and it wasn’t easy for them to get used to me,” Watkins told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Tim Cooper in December 2012. “We liked each other, but we didn’t always have the chemistry on the court.”
Last Saturday, during Arkansas’ 73-71 win against Missouri, Hog fans glimpsed on the court of Bud Walton Arena what they hope will become a common occurrence in the future – a scrambling, clawing squad which regularly knocks out the best SEC teams.
A critical part of that future might have also been glimpsed among the fans themselves. Two Razorback recruits who rank among the nation’s best guards in their classes attended the game, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Richard Davenport. Freshman Adrian Moore (6-4, 170 pounds) of Conway is ranked by Future150.com as the No. 4 shooting guard in his class. Sophomore Kevaughn Allen (6-3, 170) of North Little Rock is ranked as the No. 7 shooting guard. Last summer, ESPN ranked him as the nation’s No. 21 player in the class of 2015. Arkansas has already offered scholarships to both players.
I caught up with Allen, along with some of the state’s other top guards, in a feature article for this week’s Sync magazine. Allen has roughly 15 scholarships offers, from schools like Florida, Nebraska, Connecticut and Louisville. So far, he’s taken three unofficial visits: Arkansas, Baylor and Mississippi State. Allen doesn’t yet have a Top 5 or anything like that, but says his favorite player is former Razorback and Little Rock native Joe Johnson. Allen met Johnson after seeing him play at the Dunbar Summer Recreational Basketball League.
I also profiled Little Rock Parkview junior Anton Beard, who recently reopened his recruitment after decommitting from Missouri. ”I just wanted to see all my options,” the 6-0 combo guard said. “I think I committed a little bit too early. Me and my family decided that wasn’t what was best.” His Parkview coach, Al Flangian, added one factor in Beard’s decision was uncertainty swirling around the future of the Mizzou basketball program and its head coach Frank Haith. Haith had long faced allegations of unethical conduct stemming from his previous job at Miami. A Miami booster and convicted felon, Nevin Shapiro, alleged he paid $10,000 to the family of a Hurricane recruit during Haith’s 2004-11 Miami stint.
Or at least they seem to be.
After an at-times rocky conference season, the 6A state champs appear poised to defend their title heading into the start of next season’s state championship. After three consecutive wins, the Little Rock Parkview Patriots (20-5, 8-5) seem to have regained the momentum with which they tore through one of the nation’s most prestigious holiday hoops tournaments nearly two months ago.
On Dec. 30, Parkview stood at the top of the Mid-South basketball world. Head Coach Al Flanigan and his small but tenacious Patriots had just become the first team outside of Texas to win the north Texas-based Whataburger Tournament since 1992. Already #1 in Arkansas, Parkview was now breaking into some national top-25 rankings. There was even talk of Parkview returning to the same lofty national status achieved 20 years earlier, when Derek Fisher, Maurice Robinson, Dion Cross, Kenneth Taylor and Jamal Lindsey finished a 29-1 record, a perfect 14-0 in conference – and at one point achieved a #4 national ranking.
In early January, all that stood between this season’s Patriots matching those ’92 Patriots was a hellacious meat-grinder of a conference schedule – a 7A/6A East gamut that ranks among the toughest in state history.
Besides Parkview, three words: Hall, Jacksonville, Jonesboro. Other conference teams – West Memphis, Marion – aren’t exactly pushovers, either. Each of these teams has multiple players who will go on to play to play college ball; the conference’s eight teams altogether produced 17 college players who graduated last year, according to VYPE magazine.
Parkview struggled early on, losing half of its first 10 conference games. Four of those losses came to archrivals Jacksonville and Hall. But after that last loss to Hall, on Feb. 10, the team has gelled to reel off three straight wins: 69-26 vs. Searcy, 55-39 vs. Jonesboro and 51-34 vs. Marion. A Parkview win at West Memphis on Friday could lock up a #3 seed heading into the state tournament. [more discussion of that game and others in central Arkansas at ARPreps' weekly prepscast].
Not surprisingly, Parkview co-captains Emmanuel Adoyi, a senior, and Nebraska commit I.J Ready, a junior, have led the way. Sophomore guard Anton Beard, who ESPN reports has offers from UConn, Arkansas and Georgetown among others, also stars. Here’s the damage they’ve done through 25 games:
Points per game: 8.1
FG%: 48.6 (72-148)
3-Pt FG% 33.3 (1-3)
FT%: 68.1 (62-91)
Total Rebounds: 220 (Offensive 91 Defensive 129)
Points per game: 18.0
FG%: 56.3 (138-245)
3-Pt FG% 30.7 (35-114)
FT%: 85.8% (73-85)
Total Rebounds: 42 (Offensive 7 Defensive 35)
Points per game: 16.5
FG%: 57.9 (124-214)
3-Pt FG% 30.1 (22-73)
FT%: 66.2 (100-151)
Total Rebounds: 108 (Offensive 43 Defensive 65)
- Stats courtesy of Parkview assistant coach Champ Watson
There’s a lot of stuff online about central Arkansas high school basketball. I’m one of the few people eager to actually wade through it all. I did so, and give you essential previews of Friday’s big games in 6A and 7A:
Hall @ Parkview
As good as it gets in Arkansas hoops. Detailed breakdown at ARPreps.com Prepscast. Also, Buzz 103.7 FM will broadcast the game as its featured matchup of the week.
[UPDATE - Hall won 63-56. For Hall, Bobby Portis had 14 points, five rebounds and five blocks. Javan Perry (13 pts), Jobe Dillard (11 pts) and Aaron Walton (10 points) make up the other high scorers. Anton Beard led Parkview with 20 points. I.J. Ready started slowly (was defended by Quan Jones) but heated up toward the end, finishing with 17 points. Emanuel Adoyi scored seven points before fouling out]
On Tuesday, Hall (11-3, 2-0) beat Marion 60-49. Arkansas commit Bobby Portis scored 17 points, and Jobe Dillard added 12 points.
Parkview (13-1, 1-1) lost at home 74-63 to Jacksonville.
The 74 points are the most the Patriots have allowed this season. No other Arkansas team has scored more than 60 on Parkview (13-1, 1-1) this season.
Jacksonville (11-3, 1-1) led 18-9 after one quarter and 40-23 at halftime.
“I can’t remember when someone jumped on us like that, especially at home,” Parkview Coach Al Flanigan said. “We didn’t play any defense, but I give Coach Joyner’s crew a lot of credit. They played well… Parkview sophomore Anton Beard led all scorers with 27 points and he also made six steals. Junior guard I.J. Ready was held to 14 points and Emmanuel Adoyi added 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. ” – Tim Cooper, via ARPreps.com
Here’s KATV video of Parkview’s I.J. Ready against Jacksonville.
Cabot @ North Little Rock
Cabot boys (9-2, 0-2) lost 55-52 to Catholic. Fox 16 video highlights from that game here (look at upper right corner)
North Little Rock boys (10-4, 1-1) beat Conway 72-53
Tyree Hollister, who had five 3-pointers, led a balanced North Little Rock attack with 21 points. Thomas Alexander added 12, Cody Ware 11 and Gary Vines 10 … via Conway’s Log Cabin Democrat
Cabot girls (13-4, 2-0) -
[Arkansas signee] Melissa Wolff and the Cabot Lady Panthers warmed up for Friday’s showdown with North Little Rock by winning at Mount St. Mary 66-38 on Tuesday in Little Rock. Wolff scored a game-high 17 points and came up with five steals and four assists for the No. 5 Lady Panthers – Tim Cooper, ArPreps.com basketball
North Little Rock girls (14-2, 2-0) beat Conway 60-40:
A key for NLR was the defensive play of LaShaun Brooks, who shut down Chambers the second half.
“That was big for us,” said NLR coach Daryl Fimple. “She’s capable of playing that kind of defense.”
Chambers led Conway with 13 points and Foster added 11. Xena King led NLR with 13 points. Lexus Williams had 10 and Kaprecia Slocum nine.” via Conway’s Log Cabin Democrat.
And here’s a KATV video feature on Lexus Williams, the Lady Charging Wildcats’ 6-1 senior who’s committed to Southern Methodist University.