It’s been a slow process so far for Eric Musselman this spring following the NCAA Tournament when it comes to bringing in new transfers out of the portal. There have been several players that have entered the portal and included the Razorbacks in their “top schools” but none have yet to call the Hogs as their next destination.
In the past we have seen Arkansas bring in transfers and see them have success right immediately whether they were from power conference programs or mid majors. If you can play basketball at a high level it doesn’t matter where you come from Musselman will find you. Take for instance Justin Smith from the 2020-21 squad that went to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1995, if it wasn’t for his athletic prowess and determination to be great the Hogs may not have been as good as they were that season. Smith had an ok career with the Hoosiers but maxed out his potential as a Hog by 13.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 55-percent from the field and 30 minutes per game. All of those were career highs and his impact was shown when he missed four games due to injury.
Other impact transfers under Musselman at Arkansas include Jimmy Whitt, Jalen Tate, JD Notae, Stanley Umude, Chris Lykes, Trey Wade, Au’Diese Toney Ricky Council IV, Makhel and Makhi Mitchell, Jalen Graham and Trevon Brazile. Each player with their individual talents and accolades from previous programs molded into future professionals in a way only the head Hog can.
So, who is next? When will Arkansas finally see a few transfers commit to the Razorbacks? We shouldn’t have to wait much longer with a Thursday visit from Temple transfer Khalif Battle. The 6’5 guard is a very good scorer that started his career at Butler as a freshman before moving onto Temple.
Temple transfer Khalif Battle (@khalifbattle24) will be visiting Arkansas Thursday, he tells me.— JC Hoops (@JacksonCollier) April 3, 2023
6-foot-5 wing. Averaged 17.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.0 steals per game on 41.0 fg%, 35.0 3fg%, and 89.8 FT%.
With the return of Trevon Brazile as a capable stretch forward scorer, Arkansas would still gladly take a few elite shooters-scorers out of the portal whether it be at guard or forward. One of the biggest keys you see in the sat line is Battle shot nearly 90-percent from the stripe which was something that cost the Razorbacks close games throughout the regular season.
Another guard that has been in the portal and that I’ve kept an eye on over the past couple of weeks is the development of the Primo Spears situation out of Georgetown. The sophomore would be on his third school in three seasons if he decides to leave the Hoyas program. Spears can score the ball well while also keeping his teammates involved throughout the game. He wasn’t on a very good team this year as Georgetown only won seven games this past season and only two in Big East play.
The 6’3 combo guard could play point for the Hogs next season alongside incoming five star Layden Blocker rotating with him.
Georgetown transfer Primo Spears announced he cut his list to four programs:— 24/7 High School Hoops (@247HSHoops) April 3, 2023
Spears recently had an in-home visit with TCU. He averaged 16PPG, 5.3APG and 3RPG last season for the Hoyas. pic.twitter.com/KOISdV4wRt
Assuming that Spears visits all four schools in his top four list Arkansas should be in pretty good shape to land the talented guard from Connecticut.
Finally, there was quite the surprising name of a player who hit the portal on Monday in Max Abmas. The talented guard has spent the past four seasons with Oral Roberts and has exceeded all expectations while also helping elevate the Golden Eagles program ceiling to NCAA Tournaments including a Sweet Sixteen run in 2021.
BREAKING: Oral Roberts' Max Abmas has gone portaling, the portal told @stadium.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) April 3, 2023
Abmas has shown himself to be quite the scorer in the Summit League where he’s averaged 20.8 points, 43.7-percent from the field, 38-percent from three and 88-percent from the free throw line.
Finally, the Hogs will likely look for another big with the graduation of Kamani Johnson. There have been plenty of offers out there from Arkansas to respective bigs but nothing worth note as of yet. Portal combat is a specialty that Musselman excels in and Hog fans should feel comfortable knowing he will absolutely get who he wants.
Current roster make-up:
Ricky Council IV
Barry Dunning, Jr.
Nick Smith, Jr.
*= maintains eligibility if he decides to return