In my initial way-too-early rankings back in April Arkansas was my number two team and really could have been number one. Unfortunately, a very busy offseason in Fayetteville ended in them losing all but one major contributor from last year’s team. But despite that, the Razorbacks still look good. They have made it to the Elite Eight two straight years and could get even farther this year.
You can look at the previous team in my rankings right here.
Preseason College Basketball Rankings: #7 Arkansas Razorbacks
The only major returnee for Arkansas is Davonte Davis. He has started on and off in his career while having two solid seasons so far in Fayetteville. He has a chance to start this season but will more likely come off of the bench.
Transfer portal wizard Eric Musselman brought in a stellar group of five transfer players. Ricky Council IV mostly came off the bench in his two years at Wichita State, but he played like a starter. Trevon Brazile had a solid freshman season at Mizzou. Both of them could be in line to start. I, personally, am a big fan of the Mitchell twins, Makhi Mitchell and Makhel Mitchell. Both of them have improved each year and are coming off of two very good years at Rhode Island after starting at Maryland.
In addition to all of the transfers, Musselman also brought in the nation’s second-best recruiting class. The six-man class includes three five-stars (One top-five recruit.) and three four-stars (Two in the top 100, one just barely outside.). The top play in their class is Nick Smith. He is the number three overall recruit in this year’s class. Smith has a unique combination of skill, size, strength, length, and basketball IQ that makes him an excellent player on both ends of the floor. The other two five stars are both inside the top 20 overall. Point guard Anthony Black has drawn comparisons to Cade Cunningham and small forward Jordan Walsh is a good, long hybrid forward. One of the other members of the class is Derrian Ford who is a physical specimen at the guard position.
There are a bunch of different starting lineup combinations that I think Arkansas could go with, but this one is probably the most likely one, at least to start off.
PF – Trevon Brazile (6.6 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.5 SPG, 1.9 BPG at Missouri)
SF – Jordan Walsh (#19 overall recruit on 247 Sports)
SG – Ricky Council IV (12.0 PPG, 5.4 APG, 1.6 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.5 BPG at Wichita State)
G – Nick Smith (#3 overall recruit on 247 Sports)
PG – Anthony Black (#18 overall recruit on 247 Sports)