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Florida Offers One-Handed Guard Preferred Walk-On Spot

Zach HodskinsBecause of a birth defect, Alpharetta, Georgia high-school guard Zach Hodskins has no left hand or forearm.  That would seem to rule out a basketball career, right? Wrong.   At a camp in June,  one recruiting site named him the most impressive prospect.  His talent has caught the eye of college coaches as well.  Florida coach Billy Donovan has offered Hoskins a preferred walk-on spot.  According to Yahoo!, the offer would guarantee Hodskins a spot on the team without a full scholarship starting in the 2014-15 season.

No word yet if Hodskins will accept the offer.  Both the University of Alabama-Birmingham and Birmingham Southern have reportedly considered offering the Georgia guard a scholarship.

If you haven’t seen Hodskins in action yet, check out the video below and you can see why his ability has caught the eye of college recruiters. (H/T OnlyGators.com)

 

 

 

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In-State Lineman Chooses Georgia

Georgia received a commitment on Wednesday from offensive lineman Chester Brown from Bradwell Institute in Hinesville, Ga.

Brown chose Georgia over offers from Georgia State and South Alabama. He also received interested from Alabama-Birmingham, Southern Miss and Troy.

Brown’s commitment to the Bulldogs should come as no surprise. He told ESPN.com last week he would commit to Georgia if he received his parents’ blessing.

“I really like Georgia,” Brown told ESPN.com. “I really like the coaches. They all put God first and they are good Christian people. Plus, the program is unbelievable.”

It was an offer Brown hoped to receive before he officially did on last week. Bradwell coach Jim Walsh Jr. told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Brown’s goal was to play for the in-state school.

“I think Chester kind of wanted to stay close to home, when it all came down to it,” Walsh Jr. said. “For Chester, the opportunity for his parents to come and watch his games was very important. He has a great family nucleus.”
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Alabama Receives 14th Commitment For 2012 Class

Alabama has received a commitment from defensive lineman Darren Lake from Sumter County High School in York, Ala.

Lake, who is Alabama’s 14th commitment for the 2012 class, received a scholarship offer from Alabama earlier this month. He gave his pledge to the Crimson Tide after competing in a camp in Tuscaloosa during the weekend.

“I talked with Coach Nick Saban and he said he was happy to have me and he wanted me to work on my grades,” Lake told 247Sports.com. “It feels great to commit to Alabama. I chose Alabama because it’s close to home and is a good program. I think I did great today. There were a lot of other really good players there, but I thought I did pretty good.”

Lake chose Alabama over an offer from rival Tennessee. Auburn, Mississippi State and Alabama-Birmingham had also shown interest.

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Arkansas Welcomes Back Patsatsia

Arkansas
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FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas hosts Troy on Saturday and welcomes back former player Levan Patsatsia in the process.

No, it’s not as hyped as the return of Sunday Adebayo with Memphis more than a decade ago, but it isn’t every day you see a former Razorbacks player come back to Bud Walton Arena as a member of another team.

Patsatsia was a member of John Pelphrey’s first recruiting class at Arkansas lettered in 2007-08 as a seldom-used reserve. The Georgian-native averaged just 2.1 minutes per game in nine appearances that season before transferring to Pensacola Junior College.

That isn’t the story at Troy, however. Patsatsia is averaging 13.8 points per game for the Trojans (1-5) this season and has started every game.

“He’s a tremendous kid and we’re appreciative of all the things he did for us here,” Pelphrey said. “It’s not all bad sometimes when guys make decisions to go some place else. He’s done very well for himself. It doesn’t mean it’s not unfortunate because it is. He is a big part of their basketball team.”

Troy is coming off a 78-57 loss to Alabama-Birmingham on Monday. Arkansas won’t be the first opponent from the SEC for the Trojans, who lost at Alabama and at Mississippi State in overtime.

The Razorbacks (4-1) are coming off an 84-74 win over Oklahoma on Wednesday. The game against Troy will mark the first weekend game this season at Bud Walton Arena.

For more visit WholeHogSports.com. You can follow Matt Jones on Twitter @NWAMatt.

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Hogs Earn Division’s Signature Win

Arkansas
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FAYETTEVILLE - Beating a 3-4 foe from a power conference might not sound like much, but the SEC West will take whatever it can get on the hardwood these days.

So Arkansas picked up its division’s signature win to this point on Wednesday night, downing Oklahoma 84-74 at Bud Walton Arena. The win improved the SEC West to 22-14 on the young season.

While the football division is strong, the basketball side of things has been anything-but this year. The division’s teams have suffered embarrassing defeat after embarrassing defeat this year to the likes of Nicholls State, Samford, Campbell, Florida Atlantic, Dayton and St. Peter’s.

The Razorbacks (4-1) haven’t been immune to tough losses, falling 70-65 in overtime to Alabama-Birmingham last Friday in North Little Rock. But the Blazers have made postseason noise in recent years, so that loss fails in comparison to some others in the west.

All the while, the league’s eastern division is collectively strong. Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, Vanderbilt and Georgia are all expected to compete for NCAA Tournament bids this season, and are a combined 30-7 thus far.

The win over the Sooners was a fairly convincing one for the young Razorbacks. Despite being outrebounded by nearly double, Arkansas controlled the pace of the game by hitting 51 percent of its shots and scoring 28 points off 22 turnovers.

The Razorbacks committed just 12 turnovers in the win and hit 23 of 26 free throw attempts.

Oklahoma led briefly in the game’s first minute, but never afterward. Arkansas at one point stretched its lead to 17 points in the second half and never let the Sooners within seven points after the intermission.

It was as dominant a performance against quality competition as the SEC West has seen this season and leaves the Razorbacks tied with Mississippi State for the best record early in the season.

If Arkansas can continue to build on wins like Wednesday night’s and return injured players to full-strength, it isn’t too much of a stretch to think a season of rebuilding might just yield some hardware in the end.

For more visit WholeHogSports.com. You can follow Matt Jones on Twitter @NWAMatt.

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Arkansas-Oklahoma Lacks Hype

Arkansas
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FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas and Oklahoma meet tonight at Bud Walton Arena, but it doesn’t have the same appeal as when these two storied basketball programs have met in the past.

Both programs have come upon hard times in the last couple of years. Following a trip to the Elite Eight two seasons ago, Oklahoma failed to make the postseason last season and lost several of its top players following the season.

Arkansas has had back-to-back losing campaigns and has failed to draw more than 7,000 fans to an on-campus game this year.

Despite coming back from seven points down with just more than a minute to play last Friday, the Razorbacks were unable to beat Alabama-Birmingham, falling 70-65 in overtime at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock. It was an ugly game for Arkansas (3-1), which shot 38 percent from the floor, including 3 of 21 from 3-point range.

The Sooners (3-3) are coming off a week-long break after losing three straight in their trip to the Maui Invitational last week to Kentucky, Virginia and Division-II host school Chaminade. It’s is a young team, and as Bob Holt pointed out in this morning’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Oklahoma has just one senior and nine newcomers this year.

“Any win for us right now would be big,” Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel said earlier this week.

The match-up is the last in the current four-year agreement between the two schools, though Razorbacks coach John Pelphrey said he wouldn’t rule out the border rivals renewing the series next season.

Arkansas leads the all-time series 13-11, though Oklahoma has won six of the last seven meetings, including a 67-47 win last year.

For more visit WholeHogSports.com. You can follow Matt Jones on Twitter @NWAMatt.

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