Basketball Recruiting

Head coach Eric Musselman coaches Nov. 16 during the Razorbacks’ game against Montana. The Hogs have remained undefeated so far this season with a 7-0 record.

Within a few months of coming to Fayetteville, Arkansas’s new men’s basketball head coach has managed to land one of the highest rated recruiting classes in Razorback basketball history.

By the start of December, Eric Musselman has accrued a wealth of talent that is already being dubbed Arkansas’s “Fantastic Four.” K.K. Robinson, Moses Moody, Davonte Davis and Jaylin Williams, all four-star recruits, make up the newest crop of incoming Razorback basketball athletes.

When Arkansas hired Eric Musselman in the spring, the Razorbacks had only one commitment for the 2019 recruiting class: Justice Hill, who is no longer enrolled at Arkansas. 

With the signing of K.K. Robinson on Thanksgiving Day, Musselman and his staff completed a recruiting class that has taken the state by storm. 

Davis said that he was recruited much harder once Musselman took over the program, showing that Musselman made recruiting a priority as soon as he took over the program. 

Arguably the most highly anticipated recruit in the state of Arkansas since the likes of Malik Monk and Bobby Portis is Moses Moody. Though Moody has played at the prestigious Montverde Academy in Florida for his junior and senior seasons, North Little Rock is his home. 

Moody is rated as a four-star prospect and he is 29th in the ESPN top 100.

Moody said Musselman was a big factor in his commitment.

“I just love his aggressive mentally and the way he approaches the game and how energetic he is,” Moody said. “He’s really modern. He’s really trying to turn the program around and take it in a positive direction.”

Moody averaged 17.7 points and 3.9 rebounds for the Bradley Beal Elite on the Nike EYBL circuit this spring and summer. In Montverde Academy’s first game of the season, he shot 100% from the field for 22 points.

Davis, who was originally committed to Oklahoma State University but decommitted in October, is rated 80th on the ESPN top 100. The six-foot-four guard out of Jacksonville, Arkansas, is rated the No. 3 player in the state of Arkansas by 247sports.

Davis announced his commitment to the Hogs on Oct. 12 and signed his letter of intent on Nov. 19.

The three-time Arkansas All-State selection averaged 18.5 points, five rebounds and six assists per game as a junior for Jacksonville High. Davis was named to the All-Arkansas first team by USA Today as a junior.

“The coaching staff was wonderful, and the culture of the school is amazing,” Davis said.

Jaylin Williams made a name for himself by averaging 16 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks during his junior season for Fort Smith Northside. He led the Grizzlies to a state championship victory over K.K. Robinson and the Bryant Hornets.

Williams, a former teammate of Razorback star shooting guard Isaiah Joe, stands at six-feet-nine inches and is classified as a stretch five, meaning he is big but can shoot well.

His recruiting stock took a big leap over the summer while he played for the Woodz Elite, along with future teammate Davis. Williams started appearing on many recruiting boards, and is now rated as 87th on the ESPN top 100.

“I want to be more diverse than what other big men are,” Williams said. “I know I’m good down low, so I try to work on my outside shot to expand the floor, or being able to grab the rebound and take it full court to make an open decision for my teammates."

Robinson, from Bryant, Arkansas, shot up in recruiting rankings over the summer just like Williams. He is currently enrolled at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia.

He is rated as 90th on the ESPN top 100 and the 20th best point guard in the country, though 247sports has him rated as 73rd overall and the 14th best point guard. 

Robinson’s commitment propelled the Hogs from the No. 8 recruiting class in the nation to No. 5.

In his last season at Nevada, Musselman’s five starters were all graduate transfers, and he had 10 total transfer players on the roster. He only had three players recruited out of high school on his roster.

Immediately after being hired, Musselman attracted four transfers to Fayetteville, giving the Hogs some new blood for a team that went 18-16 last season. 

Jimmy Whitt Jr., a former Hog, left SMU to return to Fayetteville. Jeantal Cylla transferred in from UNC Wilmington to play forward for the Razorbacks. 

Two transfer players are ineligible to play this season but will provide depth next season. Connor Vanover left California to come home to Arkansas and JD Notae transferred in from Jacksonville University.

Though Musselman is known for having success with transfers, it is the “Fantastic Four” that is causing Razorback basketball fans to look to the future. 

The Razorbacks are off to a 7-0 start this season, and aside from the transfers Musselman brought in, the team is made of Anderson’s players. It is clear that with his NBA background and his grassroots in basketball that Musselman can coach, but he is showing he can recruit too. 

Hog fans have seen minor success in recent history with a few small NCAA tournament runs, but Eric Musselman might be the key to taking Arkansas back to the top of the college basketball world.

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