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Preseason College Basketball Rankings: #14 Arkansas Razorbacks

Arkansas Razorbacks

The Muss Bus first rolled into Fayetteville two years ago. And in only those two years Eric Musselman has already won 45 games there and taken the school to the Elite Eight. That run last season was their deepest NCAA tournament run since they made the Final Four in 1995. Eric Musselman’s teams usually have a lot of roster turnover from year to year. But what makes him such a good basketball coach is how he takes that and runs with it. His teams are always competitive. Expect more of that this season.

If you haven’t seen the previous team in my rankings, the #15 North Carolina Tar Heels, then you can check them out right here.

Arkansas Razorbacks Preview

The Razorbacks

Four of the six players that averaged over twenty minutes per game last season from Arkansas are gone. The biggest loss of all though is of course Moses Moody, who was an NBA lottery pick this past summer. But they return multiple key players from last year’s elite eight team. The leader of that group is the sixth man JD Notae. Notae was one of the best players in the SEC in that role last year. He averaged almost thirteen points per game off the bench, making him the team’s third-leading scorer. Expect that kind of quick offense again this year. Davonte Davis turned his game up a notch during Arkansas’ tournament run. Davis showed that he is an elite defender out on the perimeter and he averaged 13.2 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in Indianapolis.

Jaylin Williams showed improvement during conference play a season ago and will look to keep that up. Connor Vanover started 27 games last season and I expect him to remain in the starting lineup this year. He towers over opponents at seven feet three inches tall. Despite being that tall though he is on the smaller side which could give him trouble at times against bigger, more physical opponents but he’s good enough to overcome that.

This Razorbacks team is bringing in a whopping six transfers this season, and three of them should end up being game one starters. The biggest, most notable one is former Miami point guard Chris Lykes. At one point in time, I was certain that he was going to go back home to the DMV to play for Georgetown. But instead, here he is in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and he could be the team’s best player. Due to injuries, Lykes was limited to only two games a season ago. But in 2019-2020 he averaged 15.4 PPG and shot 38.1% from three. Au’Diese Toney, a shooting guard transfer from Pitt, is the next one. He averaged 14.4 PPG and 5.9 RPG last season for the Panthers and was the team’s second-leading scorer.

The third transfer that should start is South Dakota grad transfer Stanley Umude. Another guard, Umude averaged over 21 PPG and grabbed 7 rebounds for the Bearcats last season. During his four years there he earned All-Summit League honors three times. Trey Wade is a grad transfer that should contribute right away at small forward. Arkansas also brings in a top 100 recruit in SG Chance Moore.

Projected Lineup

PG – #11 Chris Lykes (15.4 PPG/ 2.1 RPG/ 2.4 APG/ 1.1 SPG at Miami during last full season in 2019-2020)

SG – #4 Davonte Davis (8.5 PPG/ 4.5 RPG/ 2.1 APG/ 1.2 SPG)

SG – #5 Au’diese Toney (14.4 PPG/ 5.9 RPG/ 2.3 APG/ 1.3 SPG at Pittsburgh)

G – #0 Stanley Umude (21.6 PPG/ 7.0 RPG/ 3.0 APG at South Dakota)

PF – #23 Connor Vanover (6.3 PPG/ 4.5 RPG/ 1.8 BPG)

Main Photo
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