Busting Brackets

Arkansas Basketball, John Calipari targeting Tennessee transfer Jonas Aidoo

Despite the moniker "off season," the current state of collegiate athletics means that in order for a program to stay competitive, there really is no off season for a coaching staff. In college basketball, even before the NCAA tournament final was over betwen UConn and Purdue, most if not all of the Division One college coaches were hard at work trying to assemble a roster for the 2024-25 season. This scenario is absolutely true in the case of the Arkansas Razorbacks, who've recruited mercurial head coach John Calipari in order to assemble a top-notch basketball team to compete on another level this upcoming season against better-known major programs in the SEC and beyond.
Zach Edey (R) of the Purdue Boilermakers in action against...
Zach Edey (R) of the Purdue Boilermakers in action against... / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Whether you love or hate John Calipari and all that he stands for in the world of men's college basketball, one thing is certain: he is a top-line recruiter and program salesman. Coach Cal built the Kentucky Wildcats around the concept of the "one and done" rule in the NCAA where players could come in and utilize playing time at UK as a stepping stone to the NBA. After all, if that's the goal of a player, John Calipari delivered on those players' hopes and dream and sold them a solid bill of goods in the process.

However, the University of Arkansas is not the University of Kentucky, where basketball is on a religious level of belief and expectations. In fact, Arkansas fans are probably more versed on football and baseball than they are on basketball because quite frankly, Fayetteville, Arkansas certainly doesn't ring the same type of hoops mystique that a Lexington, Kentucky or a Chapel Hill, North Carolina type of town does. Enter John Calipari to change the scenery and help Razorback fans find their basketball voices come this fall.

Despite the hype of the Calipari hiring, the Arkansas Razorbacks need to get down to serious business and actually build a basketball program. Arkansas missed the NCAA tournament this past season and quite honestly they don't sit brightly on the radar screen for players entering the NCAA transfer portal. Enter John Calipari to rectify that situation. In fact, in the wake of the Calipari move over to Fayetteville, the Razorbacks are already a possible target for Kentucky transfer Adou Thiero who looks to be following his previous head coach out to the edges of the SEC West. In another bold recruiting move, Arkansas is now on a top five list for Tenneesse big-man standout Jonas Aidoo who's entered the transfer portal as well.

Aidoo represents an immediate presence around the rim for the Razorbacks and the 6'11' junior transfer is coming off of a career-best season in 2023-24. Averaging 11.4 pointsm 7.3 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 1.0 assists per game, Aidoo brings multiple weapons to the table. In addition, Aidoo punished Arkansas this past February 14th with 23 points and 12 rebounds in a sound 92-63 Volunteer win over the Razorbacks. Aidoo has continued to improve his numbers this past season from his sophomore run in 2022-23 where he only averaged 5.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.

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If the numbers play out, Jonas Aidoo looks to have a career season this coming year and poses as a talented and enticing transfer to the Arkansas basketball program if John Calipari can once again play upon his recruiting magic.