Revealing the All-Musselman Teams for Arkansas Basketball (So Far)

Davonte Davis, Moses Moody, Mason Jones, Arkansas basketball, Eric Musselman
photo credit: Arkansas Athletics

It didn’t take long for Eric Musselman to establish himself as one of the best coaches in the country. After coaching the SEC co-Player of the Year Mason Jones in his first season at the helm of Arkansas basketball, which was cut short by the pandemic, he has led the Razorbacks to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament each of the last three years – including two consecutive Elite Eight appearances in 2021 and 2022.

Clearly, his on-court game plan and mid-game adjustments have played a huge role in that postseason success, but no team can have an extended stretch like the one Arkansas is seeing without bringing in a certain level of talent. Tournament success and extremely talented players go hand in hand, and that has certainly been the case at Arkansas over the last several seasons.

In this ranking, we look at which players have performed the best during their time playing under Musselman at Arkansas based on stats, accolades, team winning percentage and postseason success. Draft position is also accounted for since that is impacted by college performance, but NBA careers and collegiate performance outside of Arkansas are not included in the ranking process.

It’s also worth noting that only stats accumulated while playing at Arkansas and under Musselman are considered. That means players who spent time playing for Mike Anderson before sticking around after Musselman was hired (Isaiah Joe, Mason Jones, Desi Sills, etc.) don’t get a boost for their previous accomplishments.

Honorable Mention All-Musselman for Arkansas Basketball

Jordan Walsh | Trevon Brazile | Adrio Bailey | Chris Lykes | Nick Smith Jr.

These players all barely missed the cut for the All-Musselman teams. Some simply due to a lack of total games, like Smith and Brazile, while others had solid to above-average careers with Arkansas basketball, but fell just short of the mark set by the players on the third team.

Reminder: This isn’t a list of the *best* players that have played for Eric Musselman, but rather who had the best careers based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to stats, accolades, win percentage, NCAAT success and fan favoritism.

All-Musselman Third Team

G – Jimmy Whitt | 32 games, 14.0 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 2.2 APG

After starting his career with the Hogs in 2015-16, Jimmy Whitt returned to Fayetteville for his final collegiate season in 2019-20. He became the first high-impact transfer of Musselman’s tenure with Arkansas basketball. He was the definition of a “glue guy” who simply made winning plays on both ends of the court – exactly the type of player that Musselman has since shown a preference for when filling out his roster.

G – Isaiah Joe | 26 games, 16.9 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 34% 3P, 89% FT
Accolades: Drafted 49th Overall

Yes, the third team does feel low for Razorback great Isaiah Joe, but hear me out. Joe’s historic freshman season came under former coach Mike Anderson. During Joe’s second season, he suffered an injury that kept him sidelined for several games. His shooting percentages saw a drastic decline – likely in part due to the injury he suffered – and his season was cut short by the pandemic in the midst of an SEC Tournament run. Coincidentally, the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 also played a huge role in Joe’s decision to enter the NBA Draft after his lone season under Musselman despite initially announcing his return for one more year.

G – Au’Diese Toney | 36 games, 10.5 PPG, 5.2 RPG
Accolades: Elite Eight

Au’Diese Toney didn’t necessarily light up the stat sheet, but he played his role to perfection in the 2021-22 season. Known more as an all-around athlete and defensive stopper, he’ll perhaps be remembered most for his ability to guard the opposing team’s best perimeter player, including the likes of NBA rookie standout Andrew Nembhard when Arkansas upset No. 1 Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 of the 2021 NCAA Tournament. He also had an iconic chase-down block to seal that victory over the Zags.

F – Stanley Umude | 37 games, 11.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 37% 3P
Accolades: Elite Eight

Another member of the 2022-22 Elite Eight team, Stanley Umude came on strong late in the season to propel the Hogs on a lengthy hot streak that lasted well into the NCAA Tournament. Over his last 16 games in an Arkansas basketball uniform, the South Dakota transfer averaged 14.4 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting 47% from the field and nearly 42% from behind the 3-point line.

F – Makhi Mitchell | 36 games, 7.0 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.1 APG, 1.4 BPG
Accolades: Sweet 16

Makhi Mitchell slides into the final spot on the All-Musselman third team thanks to his consistent contributions during his first year with the Hogs. He appeared in all 36 games – including 31 starts – and tallied 10 double-digit scoring games with a pair of double-doubles to go along with 1.4 blocks per game. While not the flashiest of players on this list, Mitchell’s steady presence and experience helped stabilize the young Razorback team in 2022-23 when they struggled offensively at times, and now he’s returning for a second season under Musselman.

All-Musselman Second Team

G – Anthony Black | 36 games, 12.8 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 3.9 APG, 2.1 SPG
Accolades: SEC All-Freshman Team, Second-Team All-SEC, Sweet 16, Drafted 6th Overall

It took only one season for Anthony Black to become an all-time fan favorite for the Hogs. A combination of elite statistical contributions, his unique hairstyle, infectious smile and passion for the game made him an easy player to root for. Though the overall 2022-23 season didn’t go as planned, Black’s elite defense, playmaking and overall talent level were on full display, earning him second-team All-SEC honors as a freshman before being drafted in the lottery in the 2023 NBA Draft.

G – Desi Sills | 64 games, 579 total points, 9.0 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.0 SPG
Accolades: Elite Eight

Desi Sills always embodied the competitive spirit that comes with being an Arkansas Razorback for the three years he spent with the program – two of which came under Eric Musselman. Even after Anderson was dismissed, Sills stuck around under the new head coach and became a contributing factor on the 2020-21 team that broke the streak of losing in the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. He started the first nine games of that Elite Eight campaign averaging 14.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.9 steals on 53% shooting from the floor and 42% shooting from beyond the arc.

G – Jalen Tate | 32 games, 11.0 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.1 SPG, 34% 3P
Accolades: Elite Eight

Jalen Tate could arguably go down as one of the most underrated transfers in program history. Not only are his stats impressive – including double-digit points, nearly four rebounds and assists per game, and over 34% long-range shooting – the 6-foot-6 transfer also provided a certain level of steadiness and maturity in the backcourt that doesn’t come around often at the college level. His level-headedness played a huge role in several wins down the stretch of his lone season with the Hogs, including a few wins in the NCAA Tournament on his way to an Elite Eight appearance.

F – Ricky Council IV | 36 games, 16.1 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2.3 APG
Accolades: Second-Team All-SEC, Sweet 16

The latest in a seemingly never-ending line of high-impact transfers, Ricky Council IV led Arkansas in scoring during his lone season with the program. The team overall experienced an abundance of struggles caused by injuries and roster construction, but Council’s overwhelming production was a welcome surprise. Along with leading a Sweet 16 squad, his unreal dunking abilities will not soon be forgotten.

F – Justin Smith | 28 games, 13.6 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.8 APG, 55% FG
Accolades: Elite Eight, All-NCAA Tournament Second Team (B/R)

Justin Smith is the one player in this second-team group with the best argument to be bumped up to the first team. Not only did he have a phenomenal regular season playing both the power forward and center positions for Arkansas all season, but he put together one of the best statistical performances in Razorback history in the first round of the NCAA Tournament with 27 points, 12 rebounds and 5 steals on 50% shooting.

Smith was one of the most important contributors on Arkansas’ first team to reach the Elite Eight in 25 years. His impact on the program during its biggest period of growth in nearly three decades is undeniable – so why isn’t he on the first team? Simply put, the two forwards who did make the first team had a bigger impact on the Razorbacks and couldn’t be slotted in any lower. It had little to do with any shortcomings on Smith’s part.

All-Musselman First Team

G – JD Notae | 68 games, 1070 total points, 15.7 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.9 SPG
Accolades: First-team All-SEC, SEC Sixth Man of the Year, Elite Eight (x2)

Notae is one of the few members on this list that participated in multiple seasons with the Hogs. He even spent a third year under Musselman as a transfer before the new rule gave first-time transfers instant eligibility. In the two seasons he played, Notae earned an SEC Sixth Man of the Year award and a first-team All-SEC nod while amassing more than 1,000 points with Arkansas basketball. He finished just one point shy of 2,000 in his collegiate career.

Notae was a vital piece of the first Razorback team to make it out of the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament in 25 years in 2020-21. Then, the next year, he became arguably the most important player on the roster and a contender for SEC Player of the Year as a senior, averaging 18.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.3 steals on his way to a second consecutive Elite Eight appearance.

G – Mason Jones | 31 games, 683 total points, 22.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 3.4 APG, 1.6 SPG, 35% 3P
Accolades: First-team All-SEC, SEC co-Player of the Year (AP)

The roster in 2019-20 was thin enough that a mid-season injury to Isaiah Joe nearly knocked them out of NCAAT contention, but Mason Jones still managed to average 22.0 points – including nine 30-point games and two 40-point games – to go along with 5.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists, helping him earn SEC co-Player of the Year honors from the AP.

Jones tallied the seventh- and 11th-highest single-game point totals in Razorback history – including four of the top six single-game point totals in an SEC game for the Hogs. He had the seventh-best single-season point total and per-game average in Arkansas history, along with the sixth-highest scoring average over an Arkansas career. Despite not getting his chance at the NCAA Tournament because of the pandemic, no one can dispute the fact that Jones had one of the best individual seasons in Arkansas basketball history.

G – Davonte Davis | 102 games, 941 total points, 9.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 2.5 APG
Accolades: SEC All-Defensive Team, Elite Eight (x2), Sweet 16

Davonte Davis – known simply as Devo – is the embodiment of what it means to be a Razorback. The soon-to-be senior is the only player on this list that played under Musselman for three years, with more than 100 games played, and he’s already announced his return for a fourth season. His three years so far just so happen to be one of the best three-year stretches in the history of Arkansas basketball, highlighted by two consecutive Elite Eights and a Sweet 16 appearance.

The 6-foot-4 guard will go down in Razorback history as a walking highlight real, headlined by his game-winning shot against Oral Roberts in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, his emphatic exclamation point as the lights went out in Bud Walton Arena when Arkansas knocked off No. 1 Auburn and his inspiring second-half performance to help the Hogs beat 1-seeded Kansas in the 2023 NCAA Tournament – and he’s not done yet.

F – Moses Moody | 32 games, 16.8 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.6 APG, 36% 3P
Accolades: First-team All-SEC, SEC Freshman of the Year, SEC All-Freshman Team, Elite Eight, Drafted 14th Overall, First one-and-done prospect in UA history

Moses Moody came to Fayetteville the same year as Davis and the next player on the list, headlining what was – at the time – arguably the best recruiting class in Arkansas basketball history. He proceeded to lead the Hogs in scoring with nearly 17 points per game while also acting as a “glue guy” at times, taking charges, getting offensive rebounds and diving after loose balls – not plays you always see from a star player.

Moody amassed a near-perfect freshman season, earning both SEC Freshman of the Year and first-team All-SEC honors before capping his time at Arkansas with an Elite Eight appearance – but it wasn’t just any Elite Eight appearance. Moody was the most important player on the first Razorback squad to get out of the first weekend in 26 years – a lifetime for many Arkansas basketball fans. He was also the highest NBA Draft pick (No. 14) since Ronnie Brewer Jr. went 14th overall in 2006.

F – Jaylin Williams | 63 games, 7.9 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.0 SPG
Accolades: First-team All-SEC, SEC All-Defensive Team, Elite Eight (x2), Drafted 34th Overall

His infectious smile quickly made him a fan-favorite off the court, but Jaylin Williams also put together one of the better careers on the court – not just under Musselman, but in Razorback history. He worked his way into the starting lineup late in his freshman season, just in time to become a key contributor on the 2020-21 team that broke the drought of losing in the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, helping to lead the Hogs to their first Elite Eight appearance in 25 years.

Then, as a sophomore, Williams had a true breakout season. He averaged 10.9 points and 9.8 rebounds over the entire season, including a 16-game stretch in which he put up 14.5 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. He led the Hogs, alongside JD Notae, to their second straight Elite Eight appearance. Williams was also named first-team All-SEC and landed on the SEC All-Defensive team before being drafted 34th overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Arkansas basketball fans are currently experiencing one of the greatest stretches in program history, largely thanks to the immense amount of talent Eric Musselman has brought on board.

He doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon either, with two more five-star freshmen and a talented group of experienced transfers set to take the court for the Hogs next season. Perhaps a few of the new guys will make the next version of the All-Musselman teams.

While the exact order of this list and other rankings like it is debatable, the most important takeaway is the sheer number of great players over the last several seasons that were even in consideration for the list. They’ve been the driving factor in the unprecedented run of postseason success for Arkansas basketball.


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