Nov.25 vs Arkansas
Head Coach: Eric Musselman (first year, 0-0)
Last Season: 18-16 (8-10) – under Mike Anderson
Two key players from last years’ team return for the Razorbacks for the 2019-20 season. Sophmore guard Isaiah Joe is their top returning scorer after averaging 13.9 points as a freshman a season ago. Jones for the most part was the Razorbacks three-point specialist last season, shooting 41.4% from beyond the arch. Out of his 10.5 field goal attempts a game last season, 8.0 of them came from long distance.
Junior Mason Jones also returns for Arkansas in 2019-20 and was the Razorbacks No.3 scorer last seaon. As a sophomore, Jones averaged 13.6 points per game, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.8 assists, a strong stat line to say the least. Jones was a bit more versatile in his shot selection but like Joe was a fan of the long distance shot. He averaged 6.1 attempts for three last season while shooting 36.5%. When he decides to shoot within the perimiter, he’s strong and efficient, shooting 46.5% from near or around the basket. He was also their best free throw shooter last season, hitting 80.4% of his free throw attempts (115-of-143).
The Razorbacks biggest loss from last season was forward Daniel Gafford who is now playing for the Chicago Bulls. Gafford was one of the best players in the entire country last season. For the Razorbacks, Gafford averaged 16.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, and two blocks. The Razorbacks lost a trio of players via transfers but none of them were notable losses.
In regards to this season, the Razorbacks really don’t have any notable additions. They did bring in five transfers including two graduate transfers in Jimmy Whitt Jr (SMU) and Jeantal Cylaa (UNC Wilimington) but its’ hard to say just how impact either player will have against better talent.
The Razorbacks had a disappointing season in the eyes of some last season including the Arkansas athletic department. After sticking with Mike Anderson since the 2011-12 season, they decided a change was needed. Musselman had a tremendous tenure with Nevada but he’s definitely taking a step-up and coaching in the SEC is much harder. The Razorbacks can attack you from long range but if you’re able to limit those perimeter shots, they’ll become quite a beatable team.