Walsh’s pledge likely gives men’s basketball coach Eric Musselman and the Razorbacks a top-three recruiting class, alongside Duke and Kentucky.
“The difference was the coaching staff and especially Coach Musselman,” Walsh told ESPN. “It’s a staff that has NBA experience. The fans are wild and it’s the only game in town. The program competes for championships. I want to win a national championship when I am there.”
“Coach Musselman thinks I should only be there for a year,” he said. “They have a plan for me from day one until the end of the season and that was important to me. They had a huge plan on a whiteboard that was the size of a wall. To know they believe in me that much meant a lot. Their plan for me is to come in and play impactful minutes. To play one through four and utilize my versatility. The NIL (name, image and likeness) was a factor, and it’s nice to know it is there, but my goal is to be in the NBA.”
A 6-foot-7 small forward from Texas who plays at Link Year Prep (Missouri), Walsh is ranked No. 7 overall in the ESPN 100 for the 2022 class — and is the No. 2 player at his position. He had a strong summer for the Drive Nation program on the Nike EYBL circuit, averaging 12.3 points, 7.4 points and 3.3 assists, shooting better than 50% inside the arc. Walsh tallied three double-doubles, including a 17-point, 10-rebound, 4-assist effort against fellow top-50 prospect Cameron Whitmore and Team Melo.
Walsh, who has a 41-inch vertical and a 7-foot-3 wingspan, is one of the best two-way players in the high school game. He impacts the game with his size and explosive vertical jump, both of which allow him to rebound effectively and finish plays. He is a strong defender and driver who competes.
Walsh scores with skill and opportunity, and he is at his best in transition. His jumper from deep has improved, as has a tough pull-up jumper inside the arc. He crashes the offensive glass for second-chance points and moves well without the ball.
Walsh is the fifth ESPN 100 commitment for Musselman in the 2022 class, following top-10 prospect Nick Smith and ESPN 100 four-stars Derrian Ford, Barry Dunning and Joseph Pinion. Smith (No. 6) and Walsh are the highest-ranked recruits Arkansas has landed since the ESPN recruiting database began in 2007.