By: Jackson Collier of The Hawg Ball Blog. https://hawgballblog.wordpress.com/
It should be noted that I was proud of the previous headline I had, but so much news continued to break that I had to alter it and wait to publish all at once.
Head Coach Eric Musselman landed transfer big man Connor Vanover from Cal, graduate transfer wing Isaiah Moss from Iowa, and hired Associate Head Coach Chris Crutchfield from Oklahoma all in the span of a week. This leaves one coaching spot unfilled and a full roster without any further exits, though Musselman continues to recruit for the current class. As it stands, the staff and roster is as follows:
|Forwards||Adrio Bailey||Gabe Osabuohien||Reggie Chaney|
|Jeantal Cylla||Ethan Henderson|
|Guards||Isaiah Moss||Jalen Harris||Desi Sills||Justice Hill|
|Mason Jones||Isaiah Joe|
*submitted waiver to NCAA for immediate eligibility
Head Coach: Eric Musselman
Associate Head Coach: Chris Crutchfield
Assistant Coach: Corey Williams
The first addition of Jeantal Cylla added some much-needed depth at the forward position, along with a diverse offensive skillset and experience. The same can be said for both Moss and Vanover.
Moss was a three-year starter at Iowa, where he managed to start 96 of 102 games in his career. With the realistic possibility that Moss is a day-one starter at Arkansas, he could fill out a starting five with four outside scoring threats. He was a 39% three point shooter at Iowa, peaking at 42% his junior year. He is also a career 82% free throw shooter. To show exactly how dynamic of a scorer Moss is capable of being, here is a video of him scoring 19 points in 92 seconds of playing time against Minnesota.
The big bodied guard is also a well-rounded player with a 106.0 defensive rating and should fit in perfectly with the new staff and the system they plan to run. His size, at 6’5″ 210, allows him to guard any position on the floor, a key element of playing true positionless basketball like Coach Musselman hopes to accomplish. He can drive, pull up from midrange, hit the step-back jumper, consistently knock down the three, and has the ability to handle the ball and make the right passes and reads. He is a walking bucket if he sees to be. While he only averaged 9 points a game last year, Moss scored 15+ points in eight games this season, and 20+ three times. ESPN ranked Moss as the 20th best transfer for 2019, but he has all the potential to be one of the top most effective immediately eligible transfers of this class.
Connor Vanover choosing to come home and play for the Razorbacks was yet another key transfer addition for Musselman. The 7’3″ rising sophomore has a virtually unblockable jumpshot and shot 36% from the three point line his freshman year. Vanover averaged 7.5 points and 3 rebounds a game his freshman year, but those numbers don’t accurately portray how well he was playing during the latter part of the season. Highlighted by a 24-point explosion and three-point barrage against Stanford, Vanover averaged 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game through the final eleven games, playing 27.5 minutes a game.
Though Vanover would likely benefit from a year of bulking up and getting in even better shape, he has applied for a waiver to the NCAA to be immediately eligible for next season. Vanover will provide yet another outside scoring threat, as well as a rim protector and decent rebounder. He has plenty of upside, only being a sophomore, and could be a solid role player and eventual starter for the Hogs for the next three years.
These two players, along with Jeantal Cylla, have likely filled out the Razorbacks roster for the coming year, but Musselman is still recruiting. Former five star recruit Jahvon Quinerly announced his top four this morning, including Arkansas, along with Alabama, Pitt, and Georgia. Someone else would have to transfer to make room for Quinerly, or there have been talks of Khalil Garland taking a medical hardship to open up another scholarship spot while he would be able to remain in school.
Since Musselman has completed the roster, at least for now, he shifted his main area of focus to finalizing his staff. Hiring Crutchfield as Associate Head Coach leaves just one spot remaining, and fills another spot with a solid recruiter.
Crutchfield was the lead recruiter at Oklahoma for several of their recent top performers, including Trae Young and Buddy Hield. He is familiar with some teams on the AAU circuit and can attract talent. He and Corey Williams will both add experienced and effective voices to the staff, as well as aiding Musselman’s recruiting efforts even further.