Basketball is back at the Bud! The Red/White game is just around the corner and there are a ton of new faces this year on the team. We’ll be sure to break down the positions in much more detail as the regular season gets closer, but for now take a look at this primer so you’ll know who’s doing what at this weekend’s scrimmage.
Adrio Bailey (Jr. 14.2 mpg, 4.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg)
Daniel Gafford (So. 11.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.1 bpg)
Jonathan Holmes (Jr. 18 total minutes played)
Gabe Osabuohien (So. 6.8 mpg, 1.1 ppg, 1.4 rpg)
That’s not a lot.
It’s only 18 points per game including Johnny Buckets’ end of game points. There’s a clear void in leadership and production that this group will need to fill this season. There’s a ton of excitement around Gafford this year and rightly so, and if he hits a lot of the same numbers or slightly improved, that will be great. There’s a huge need for Bailey and/or Osabuohien to make a big step up this year. If they finish the year averaging 5 points and 4 rebounds a game like last year, it’s going to be a long one.
Last Year’s Redshirts
Khalil Garland (rFr. Medical Redshirt)
Our most recent update is that Garland still hasn’t been medically cleared. It’s been over 12 months now in Fayetteville and he hasn’t gotten to see the court at all. It absolutely sucks because everyone wants to see him on the court but it’s reached the stage where it’s become a question if he’s ever going to suit up for the Hogs.
Jalen Harris (Jr. 18 starts at New Mexico in 2015-16, 4.5 ppg, 2.3 apg)
He won’t light up the court with deep shooting or insane athleticism. Think Jabril Durham 2.0 on the court. When he’s on the court there will be a shift from last year’s let Daryl Macon and Jaylen Barford create something, and heading towards putting other scorers in better positions.
Ibby Ali (Fr. 6’10”, 244 lbs.)
There wasn’t a whole lot on him on any of the main recruiting services, but he was originally committed to play at Baylor before eventually enrolling with the Hogs. From what practices have been available to media, most have pointed out the physical tools are there but he still needs some polish to his game.
Reggie Cheney (Fr. 6’8”, 222 lbs.)
He played at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas with some of the best prospects in the country and was a key part of that team. He averaged 13.8 points and 7.3 rebounds for a team that sent players to Oregon, South Carolina, and Cal this year. ESPN ranked him as a 4-star and he hung around the 150 range of prospects on Rivals and 247Sports.
Keyshawn Embery (Fr. 6’3”, 202 lbs.)
The highest rated recruit based on 247Sports and Rivals and ESPN both list him as a 4-star. If you’re wondering who will bear a lot of the scoring load, it could be Embery who averaged over 26 points per game in the Oklahoma High School circuit.
Ethan Henderson (Fr. 6’8”, 210 lbs.)
247Sports and ESPN lists him as the top player from the state of Arkansas. Mike Anderson has said he’s working on getting the game to slow down for him, but once he does he might have the highest ceiling in this class.
Isaiah Joe (Fr. 6’5”, 167 lbs.)
If anyone else has a claim on the top player in the state, it was Joe who was named Arkansas’ Gatorade Player of the Year. He averaged over 22 points per game for Fort Smith Northside and shot over 57% from deep at the 2017 Adidas Summer Championships at Las Vegas.
Mason Jones (So. 6’5”, 207 lbs.)
The only JUCO product in this class, Jones will have three years of eligibility with the Hogs. He also has an outside shot and averaged over 15 points per game at Connors State JUCO, the same one that produced Arlando Cook.
Jordan Phillips (Fr. 6’7”, 209 lbs.)
Another wing player with a lot of size that could have a bigger impact on the defensive end, but had to have surgery due to a torn meniscus and won’t be healthy to start the season.
Desi Sills (Fr. 6’2”, 196 lbs.)
He wasn’t the highest rated guy from the three recruiting services, but led Jonesboro to back-to-back state titles, including one over Gafford’s El Dorado team. He might be a little undersized but it sounds like Anderson loves his game.