Hogs Leaving Las Vegas with 6th Commit in Reggie Chaney!


With five highly regarded commitments already on board, the Arkansas Razorbacks were playing with house money when they ventured out to Las Vegas a handful of times in September and October in pursuit of prized 2018 recruit Reggie Chaney.

They say the house always wins in Sin City, but count Mike Anderson and his hoop Hogs among the fortunate few who departed the desert as big winners when Chaney committed to Arkansas via Twitter today, presumably filling the sixth and final scholarship for the class of 2018. 

If Anderson rolled snake-eyes in June when 5-star Reggie Perry de-committed, that misfortune turned quickly as the Head Hog responded by stacking up three coveted, out-of-state prospects over the past six weeks to go along with the three acclaimed in-state ballers who committed to Arkansas over a year ago.

Chaney — a 6-8, 225-pound power forward at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas by way of his hometown of Frisco, TX — joins Arkansans Ethan HendersonIsaiah Joe, and Desi Sills, as well as Keyshawn Embery (Oklahoma City) and Jordan Phillips (Arlington, TX) to round out Arkansas’s stellar 2018 class. All six commits plan to sign with the Razorbacks in the early signing period that begins Wednesday, Nov. 8.

Looking back to early September, the Hogs were not only working hard for the commitments of Embery and Phillips, but they were frequently trekking out west  — almost weekly — to court Chaney with assistant coach / lead-recruiter Scotty Thurman heading the charge. During his most-recent trip (on Wednesday) to see Chaney at Findlay Prep, Thurman apparently sealed the deal.

“It was good,” Chaney said of Thurman’s visit, emphasizing that the two of them had a “good talk.”

Chaney told me soon after he released his Final 8 that Arkansas, Texas A&M, and TCU made up his Top 3. He chose the Hogs over offers from the Aggies and Horned Frogs, as well as offers from Oklahoma State and Wichita State. He took official visits to all five of those schools, beginning with Arkansas in mid-September. He visited on the same weekend as Phillips, who’s also from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and a former spring/summer grassroots basketball teammate of Chaney’s. 

That visit impressed both players, and it surprised Chaney.

“It went really well, I liked it a lot,” Chaney remembered. “I was surprised by the nice facilities (UA) had.”

Similar to Phillips’ experience, Chaney was made to feel like part of the Hog family.

“The (Hog) players, we created a bond right off the bat, wasn’t awkward or anything,” Chaney said before adding that he has relatives who reside in Arkansas. “I’ve got family there. I have two aunts, an uncle, and cousins in Little Rock.”

And what about the Hog coaches? What role did they play in making a lasting impression during his Fayetteville visit?

“They welcomed me in,” Chaney said. “They told me they wanted me to be like a Bobby Portis type of player, inside and out.”

That’s quite a compliment, and a bold vision for his role with the Hogs given that Portis started every game during his two years on his way to becoming two-time All SEC, SEC Player of the Year, and 2nd-team All American.

Chaney, who’s built like a defensive end, averaged a hearty 11-plus-points and 7-plus-rebounds playing on a loaded RM5 Elite 17U squad on the 2017 Nike EYBL spring/summer circuit. He not only has good bounce, but he’s quick and nimble with good handles for a solidly built power forward — a combo that allows him to blow by other forwards before exploding to the basket. 

His highlights reveal a blue-collar finisher and rebounder, but one national scout/analyst told me Chaney has improved and expanded his mid-range game, something defenders will have to account for which should allow him to pick and choose when to drive or pull-up. Chaney said he has recently extended his range out to the 3-point line, so if Arkansas coaches are comparing him to Portis, maybe they see that evolution in his game, too. Defensively, he’s strong and holds his ground against taller match-ups inside, and his quickness allows him to poach steals out on the floor and away from the basket.

As to the fit in Anderson’s Fastest 40 system, Chaney’s talent, size, and athleticism seem perfect for it. Just projecting the Hogs’ roster personnel for the 2018-19 season, Chaney becomes a much-needed fifth frontline piece on a squad that will feature as many as eight guards/wings (and possibly nine if 2019 Hog commit Justice Hill re-classes to 2018). 

Maybe more importantly, when looking at the other four frontliners who are expected to be on that ’18-19 team — Daniel Gafford, Adrio Bailey, Gabe Osabuohien, and Ethan Henderson — they all seem more defensively geared with their offense likely to come mostly from running the floor, hustle plays/putbacks, lobs, and as a result of the creativity of others … so, a forward like Chaney — if he can create some offense, inside and out — would be a complement to the strengths of the other bigs.

Chaney becomes the Hogs’ fourth 2018 pledge who is ranked in at least one of the four major recruiting service’s national Top 100. He’s ranked national No. 89 / a 4-star prospect according to 247Sports.com, and ESPN also rates him a 4-star prospect. Henderson (ESPN No. 88 / 4-star and 247Sports No. 99 / 4-star), Joe (247Sports No. 93 / 4-star and Rivals.com 4-star), and Embery (Rivals.com Top 100 / 4-star and Scout.com Top 100 / 4-star) are the other Hog commits included in the national Top 100 prospect rankings. As for team recruiting rankings, Arkansas’s ’18 class fell somewhere in Top 10-20 range among the major services prior to the Chaney commitment, so expect a bump in their team rankings.

By adding both Chaney and Phillips in recent weeks, Anderson and his staff have firmly planted their flag in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to close out this ’18 recruiting cycle. Additionally, Arkansas offered Urban DFW Elite’s Kaden Archie (Midlothian, TX) back in the summer, and though he named Arkansas among his Final 8, Archie chose TCU recently. His teammate at Urban DFW Elite, Feron Hunt (DeSoto, TX), was another player the Hogs took a long look at and came close to offering. 


reggie chaney


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