It’s been an interesting ride so far for fans and media as we monitor the roster situation.
Normally, we’ll see plenty of departures and rumors of many transfers looking to visit Arkansas. That hasn’t been the case so far.
Right now, Arkansas has seen two of their stars declare for the NBA Draft while one rides the fence until he receives a grade that is sufficient for a final decision.
Nick Smith, Jr. is an exceptional talent and a can’t miss one in the eyes of some NBA Scouts before the season started. Although he suffered an injury, Smith is still considered a lottery pick but not as high as originally thought.
Smith could still become the second lottery pick for Arkansas since Musselman became head coach. This season, the North Little Rock product averaged 12.5 points, two rebounds and two assists in 17 games.
Of course, he had his moments and many fans think “he needs another year or two because he isn’t ready.” The NBA drafts players based off potential. Young players with higher ceilings with abilities that have yet to be tapped into at the high school, college or G-League levels.
Ricky Council IV graced Arkansas for one season in typical Musselman transfer style. The junior came off a sixth man of the year award last season for Wichita State in the American Athletic Conference.
Council started off flaming hot this season as the lead guard scoring in double figures in all but one of the first 18 games. He entered conference play as the league scoring leader but fell off slightly with the emergence of Davonte Davis and return on Smith.
The former Shocker shot the ball well averaging 43-percent from the field, 79-percent from the charity stripe but only 27-percent from three.
I’m kind of a surprising fashion, Davis (also known as Devo) had quite the breakout season. The third year guard out of Jacksonville, (Ark.) improved his overall game so well that it gained the attention of not only his coaching staff but turned heads of scouts with his decision to test the waters of the NBA Combine and Draft.
As a junior, Davis made the jump to become a consistent 3 pt shooter (34.6%) and 41% from the field. All while nearly quadrupling his shots taken in all parts of the court.
His overall tenacity on defense and leadership qualities have always been there. That’s what makes him hotter than ever as a pro prospect in the eyes of scouts.
Brazile was a dunking machine who could also stretch the floor as a mismatch nightmare anywhere on the court. The Missouri transfer averaged 12 points and six rebounds per game during non-conference play.
During his time on the court, Brazile scored 20 points three times this season with a high of 23 against San Jose State. His return bolsters the Razorback frontcourt with athleticism, shot making and highlight reel Sportscenter top plays.
The Arizona State transfer was a walking bucket in limited action this season. Graham played in 31 games this season for 291 minutes. The 6’9 forward made 74 of 113 shots (66%), grabbed 77 rebounds, recorded 14 assists, 14 blocks and 12 steals.
His per 40 minute averages are just as stellar:
22.1 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 2 assists and 67% from the field.
Periodically, his defense would be up to Musselman’s standard to deserve some run. With Graham’s announced return there will definitely be work out in to shore up the deficiencies.
If Graham can improve enough defensively Arkansas will have a hard time keeping him off the floor next season.
During the late night of Wednesday, Jackson Collier of Rivals reported Pinion would return for his second season as a Razorback.
The Morrilton, (Ark.) native shot 44% from the field, 38% from three and 7-7 from the line.
Keyon Menifield announced on Tuesday that he would transfer to Arkansas from Washington in the PAC 12.
The PAC-12 all-freshman averaged 10.0 points, 3.1 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game for the Huskies.
Menifield shot 41-percent from the field, 33-percent from three and 70 percent at the free throw line this season. He could benefit tremendously under Musselman and should be the man to run the point next season with Anthony Black’s expected departure for the NBA.
Current roster for 2023-24:
- Anthony Black
- Jordan Walsh
- Trevon Brazile
- Jalen Graham
- Joseph Pinion
- Makhi Mitchell
- Makhel Mitchell
- Derrian Ford
- Barry Dunning, Jr.
- Layden Blocker
- Baye Fall
- Keyon Menifield
Who could be the next addition to the roster out of the transfer portal?
Thursday, Arkansas had a 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.
The 6’5 wing. Averaged 17.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.0 steals per game on 41.0 from the field, 35.0 from three and and 89.8 from the charity stripe.
The Hogs will also host Butler transfer Jayden Taylor for a visit this weekend.
The Indianapolis native averaged 12 points and 4 rebounds this season for the Bulldogs. Taylor shot 46-percent from the field, 32-percent from three and 77-percent from the line.
Arkansas has also contacted and met with Michigan transfer big man Hunter Dickinson.
The 7’1 big man averaged 18.5 points, 9.0 reb and 1.8 blocks while shooting 56-percent from the field, 42-percent from three and 72-percent from the line.
Finally, the newest intriguing name to surface as a transfer contact is Cal State Fullerton’s Latrell Wrightsell Jr.
He averaged 16.3PPG, 4.5RPG and 2.4APG this season.