Former Five-Star Recruit Kel’el Ware May Lean Towards Arkansas Razorbacks
Former five-star recruit and Oregon Ducks standout Kel’el Ware has entered the NCAA transfer portal, seeking a new home after his freshman year in Eugene. A 7-foot center from North Little Rock High School in Arkansas, Ware has piqued the interest of numerous elite college basketball programs. Among these potential destinations, sources suggest that the Arkansas Razorbacks may have an edge in securing the talented big man’s services.
Former Top-Ten Recruit Attracting Massive Interest in Transfer Portal
Ware boasts an impressive resume, having been the consensus number-seven player nationally in the 2022 recruiting class. During his freshman season at Oregon, Ware appeared in 35 games with four starts, averaging 15.8 minutes, 6.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game.
He showcased his potential as a dominant paint presence and an intimidating shot blocker at the college basketball level.
Kel'el Ware with an excellent block at the rim to spot the transition attempt.
The next step in his development is adding strength and maintaining his balance after spots like these.
In a higher paced NBA guy, that'll be a crucial part for his potential success as a pro. pic.twitter.com/SExtIMz5VO
— Ersin Demir (@EDemirNBA) December 16, 2022
Since entering the transfer portal, Ware has heard from a slew of top-tier programs, including Arkansas, Missouri, LSU, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Auburn, Memphis, Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas State, Illinois, Florida State, Oklahoma State, SMU, and TCU.
With such an extensive list of interested teams, it’s clear that Ware’s decision will carry significant weight in shaping the NCAA basketball landscape.
Ware Believed to be Favoring Razorbacks
As Ware weighs his options, it’s worth noting that his ties to Arkansas could give the Razorbacks a crucial advantage in landing the coveted transfer. Ware starred alongside Nick Smith Jr. at North Little Rock High School, where the duo led the Charging Wildcats to prominence.
Smith Jr. recently declared for the NBA draft, but did complete his freshman year at Arkansas, providing a possible connection for Ware to the Razorbacks’ program.
Moreover, Ware initially committed to Oregon due to his relationship with then-Ducks assistant Chris Crutchfield, who had previously been a Hogs assistant. However, Crutchfield’s departure to become the head coach at Nebraska-Omaha may have contributed to Ware’s decision to enter the transfer portal.
Returning to his home state and joining a program that a previous teammate in Smith Jr.competed for could be a compelling proposition for the talented center.
Kel’el Ware’s decision will be crucial in determining his future in the sport, as his draft stock currently sits in a precarious position. After initially being projected as a second-round NBA draft pick, Ware’s stock has waned, with concerns that he might not be selected at all.
Selecting the right program to continue his college career will be vital in re-establishing Ware as a promising NBA prospect.
Ultimately, Ware’s potential return to his home state to play for the Arkansas Razorbacks could prove to be a winning move for both parties. The Razorbacks would add a dominant big man to their roster, while Ware could benefit from playing in a familiar environment with connections to his past.
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