Is Red Wolves basketball finally, FINALLY conference contenders?

Bryan Hodgson’s latest recruiting coup has fans wondering if the wilderness days are over.

When Derrian Ford entered the mysterious Transfer Portal on April 27th, there was some goodnatured rumbling among Red Wolves fans for A-State head coach Bryan Hodgson to make a play for the Magnolia native. Sure, Ford was making visits to Ole Miss and Vanderbilt, and yeah he was a two-time Gatorade Player of the year and a consensus top 20, 4-star comb guard. So what? If Hodgson’s such a “great recruiter,” A-State should be in the mix. Seriously, we were like Apollo demanding that Hercules perform twelve impossible labors.

Less than a month after entering the Portal, Derrian Ford announced his intentions to join the Red Wolves in Jonesboro.

Check out what 24/7 recruiting analyst Brandon Jenkins said about Ford: “Ford is a swole physical specimen of a lefty guard with a cut-up frame who has the body, speed, and agility of an elite wide receiver.” His swole! He brings to bear the size and tenacity of an elite defender, a fact underscored by Ford’s own father, who claimed that” no one [at Arkansas] wanted Derrian to guard them in practice.”

Let’s take a breath and pump the brakes lightly here. As a freshman, Ford didn’t see much hardwood on a Razorbacks team stacked with McDonald’s All-Americans and future NBA picks. He didn’t start a single game, averaging about 3.5 minutes a contest. He scored 15 points – on the season. But minutes are hard to divvy on a team featuring superstars like Davonte Davis, Nick Smith and Anthony Black.

Here’s Ford laying down some dunkage!

We’re absolutely not going to worry about Ford’s playing time. Instead, we’re going to fantasize about what Ford brings to the court. Who will be Hodgson’s starting five? Where does Derrian Ford fit with emerging star Terrance Ford and Caleb Fields, the seasoned A-State veteran? With A-State legacy Freddy Hicks and UMass transfer Dyondre Dominguez also joining the team, and Izaiyah Nelson emerging as a paint monster, is there enough ball for everyone?

LOL, who cares? There hasn’t been this much talent on a Red Wolves basketball roster ever. This isn’t the first time I’ve asked (rhetorically) if the time is finally, FINALLY now for Red Wolves basketball. But today, I feel like the answer has never felt more like a solid “yup.” Meanwhile, according to A-State powerbroker Jeff Reed, Derrian Ford reports to the team on June 9. But the excitement for the season has already begun.