FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Chicago combo guard Patrick Beverley has signed with Arkansas, head coach Stan Heath announced on Wednesday.
Beverley, 6-2, 175, visited the area this past weekend and chose the Razorbacks after also considering Michigan and St. John’s, among others.
“To have a player of Patrick’s ability available this late in the game is rare,” Heath says. “We are very excited about him joining our team. He’s an exciting player. He plays hard on both ends of the court. He’s a very good shooter with deep range and he has the ability to play both guard positions.
“We identified a few players late and we really feel like we got the player we wanted,” Heath says.
Beverley averaged 34 points, 7.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 5.0 steals at Marshall High School, leading his team to a third-place finish in Class AA.
“To average 34 points in a Chicago public school league, which has great competition, speaks highly of his ability,” Heath says.
Beverley led the Chicago area in scoring during the regular season. He scored 40 or more points nine times and made nine threes in a career-high 48-point outing.
Selected to play in the Roundball Classic, a national all-star game played in the United Center at Chicago on April 8, he had 13 points, six assists and three steals in helping the West beat the East, 118-102.
Heath is not planning to sign anyone else.
“All of our energy and focus is now on the 2007 class,” he says.
Beverley joins UA’s early period signing class, which includes freshmen forward Michael Washington (6-10, 230) and guard Stefan Welsh (6-3, 180), and junior guard/forward Sonny Weems (6-6, 200).
Washington is a former star at McGehee (Ark.) High School who moved to Texas and played at Cleveland Heritage Christian last year before going to Genesis One Christian School in Mendenhall, Miss., this season.
Washington was ranked the No. 1 junior in Texas by one recruiting service last year after averaging 26 points, 14 rebounds, eight blocked shots, four assists and three steals for a 23-9 squad. He shot 78 percent from the field and 79 percent from the line. Rivals.com rates him as the No. 23 player in the 2006 class and the No. 5 power forward. He is listed as the No. 71 prospect in the nation by Scout.com and No. 106 by Basketball Times.
A 2004 all-state selection in Arkansas and a 2005 all-state selection in Texas, he signed with the Hogs after also being recruited by North Carolina, Illinois, Arizona, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Oklahoma and Baylor, among others.
At the International Sports Invitational in San Diego last summer, he played for the USA Youth Development Festival Blue Team. He averaged 8.5 points and five rebounds in four games, helping his team go 3-1 and win the silver medal. He shot 64.7 percent from the floor and (11-17) and 57.9 percent at the line (11-19).
At McGehee (Ark.) High School, he averaged 21.7 points, 12.3 rebounds, 3.2 blocked shots, 1.7 assists and 1.2 steals on a 15-15 team.
Welsh prepped at Newport News (Va.) Woodside High School before going to Hargrave Military Academy this year. He averaged 20 points as a senior at Woodside. Rated the No. 69 player in the nation by Basketball Times and No. 98 by Scout.com, he signed with UA after also considering Xavier, Virginia, Marquette, Tennessee, Boston College, Providence and Rutgers.
Last summer, Welsh averaged 25 points a game in the Super Showcase in Orlando after leading his team to the Nike Peach Jam title.
Weems, who helped lead Arkansas-Fort Smith to the National Junior College Athletic Association national championship this year, was the No. 1 junior college player in the nation, according to both Juco Junction (Rivals.com), and Street and Smith’s. Street and Smith’s was a preseason ranking while Juco Junction has him listed No. 3 on its current list.
Weems had seven points and three steals in the 68-59 championship game victory over Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College. He averaged 14 points for the tournament as was named to the all-tournament team. Weems, who had 22 points in the 75-71 semifinal victory over Highland College, averaged 15.7 points for the season, helping lead UAFS to a 33-3 record, the Bi-State Conference East Division title and the NJCAA Region II championship. He was an honorable mention All-American by the National Junior College Athletic Association.
The West Memphis, Ark., native averaged 17 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals as a freshman in earning third-team All-America honors in addition to making all-conference and all-region first teams for head coach Jeremy Cox.
Weems led UAFS to a 29-4 record as a freshman, the Bi-State Conference East Division title and a second-place finish in the Region II tournament. He chose Arkansas after also considering Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Memphis and Baylor, among others.
Weems, who high-jumped 6-10 in high school, led West Memphis to the Class 5A state championship in 2004. He was a double-figure scorer and averaged a team-best 14 rebounds as the Blue Devils ended the season with a 26-game winning streak.