The excitement around the 2020 Razorbacks has largely been drummed up by the stellar freshman duo of Moses Moody and KK Robinson. However, Head Coach Eric Musselman’s talented recruiting class shows a lot of balance and he’s quietly assembled an underrated frontcourt group.
Since there isn’t a strong incumbent on the roster from last season, Musselman went out and signed four transfers with eligibility for 2020 in addition to a 4-star center to complete his recruiting class.
The most recent and potentially best fit for the program is Indiana transfer Justin Smith. Continuing his development with each successive season, Smith carved out a notable role with the Hoosiers prior to his departure. He’s showed he can command a bigger offensive load if needed, and his confidence and experience are going to be vital amongst a young backcourt.
However, the Razorbacks are adding another pair of forwards with proven production at the collegiate level. Vance Jackson (New Mexico) and Abayomi Iyiola (Stetson) each recorded multiple double-digit scoring seasons at their previous stops and have plenty of experience to bring to the table.
Jackson is a reliable shooting threat and can stretch the floor to hurt defenses away from the basket. While Iyiola doesn’t consistently have the same range as Jackson, he is a much more dangerous defender.
7’3 transfer Connor Vanover from Cal joined the program prior to last season. Although he started in half the games he played, Vanover’s minutes did not reflect this status. Yet his production for the Bears was solid and efficient.
Vanover wasn’t a huge rebounding magnet, but his scoring ability all over the floor was notable. The big man was a reliable threat from the perimeter and could add another tough dimension to the Arkansas offense.
Additionally, Vanover’s size was a difficult hurdle for opposing shooters to navigate in the lane and gives Musselman another solid rim protector to accompany his perimeter defensive tendencies.
The same expectations exist for touted freshman center Jaylin Williams. A defensive stud, Williams provides high upside, low-risk production for Coach Musselman to rely on. Williams was a double-double machine during last summer’s EYBL circuit and displayed a lot of promising production from both the perimeter and as a rebounding, rim-defending ace.
Collectively the Razorbacks are looking solid with their depth in 2020, and while they won’t be counted on as heavily as the backcourt they’re ready to produce as much as necessary to produce wins.