Assigning Probabilities to Hawkins and Robinson Becoming Hogs after Wagner News

KK Robinson, Coleman Hawkins, Arkansas basketball, transfer portal
photo credit: Little Rock Athletics / Illinois Athletics

The Arkansas basketball roster has come a long way from John Calipari’s declaration that there was no team during his April 10 introductory press conference.

Calipari was able to get three players from his original Class of 2024 at Kentucky to flip with him – Boogie Fland, Karter Knox and Billy Richmond.

In the portal, he brought Zvonimir Ivisic and Adou Thiero with him from Kentucky and, based on a report from Richard Davenport on Sunday night, it looks like DJ Wagner will be heading to the Hill from Lexington too. Calipari has also landed former Tennessee big man Jonas Aidoo and Florida Atlantic guard Johnell Davis.

That leaves five scholarship slots open for Calipari to play with. In recent media sessions, the Hall of Fame coach has been coy on what exactly he’s going to do with them.

Remaining Possibilities for Arkansas Basketball

Arkansas will need to add at least one more player to meet Calipari’s wishes for an eight- or nine-player rotation.

Before the report of DJ Wagner’s commitment, the folks at College Basketball Report projected where they expect the remaining top 25 transfers to land before the 2024-25 season begins in earnest in the fall:

Let’s have some fun and break each of them down:

Coleman Hawkins

(No. 2 on their list), formerly of Illinois

Hawkins played against Arkansas in the 2023 NCAA Tournament’s first round, where his Fighting Illini fell to the Razorbacks, 73-63 in an 8-9 seed tilt.

This past year, the 6’10” stretch big man was a vital piece of a Illinois team that earned a 3 seed and went all the way to the Elite Eight before losing to eventual national champion UConn.

Just a few days ago, it was widely thought that the two front-runners were North Carolina and Arkansas. But on Thursday it was announced that Ven Allen-Lubin, the former 6’8″ Vandy power forward, was headed to the Tarheels, which would seem to make him slightly less likely to head to Chapel Hill.

College Basketball Report has him becoming a Razorback, but that’s only if he pulls his name out of the NBA Draft by the June 16 deadline. He has scheduled pre-draft workouts already with the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings. “I think it’s more likely than not that he stays in the draft,” says college basketball analyst Aaron Torres.

Certainly he would help bolster Arkansas’ frontcourt with his tournament experience, and is able to guard almost every position on the floor. “It appears Arkansas will go full-speed ahead after this kid if he in fact comes back to college basketball,” Torres added.

Likelihood of being a Razorback: 50-50

KK Robinson

(No. 20 on their list), formerly of Little Rock

Robinson would be doing the Jimmy Whitt of playing for Arkansas, transferring, and then finding his way back, although Whitt only played for SMU before donning Hog gear again.

Most recently, the central Arkansas native was at Little Rock, helping the Trojans win the Ohio Valley regular-season title before losing in the conference tournament championship game, costing them the automatic bid to the NCAAs.

He spent a forgettable year at Texas A&M where he never seemingly got into Buzz Williams’ rotation with the Aggies.

With Wagner on board, Robinson isn’t as needed in the backcourt. However, he would still provide needed depth and experience, along with some extra motivation, we can presume: wanting to make a better showing repping his flagship home state program than the last time around.

Likelihood of being a Razorback: 35 percent

D.J. Wagner

(No. 10 on their list), formerly of Kentucky

Wagner is a Calipari legacy, with his father having played for him early in his Memphis tenure, and then played for him himself with the Wildcats last year.

He didn’t declare for the NBA Draft, and his options appeared limited now that it’s almost June and a variety of teams he was interested in have already either filled their rosters or no longer have an interest in Wagner.

A few days ago, college basketball analyst Aaron Torres said he thinks that Arkansas still has the best shot of getting him not only because of the aforementioned material, but that he would make all of the other Arkansas pieces fit together.

Plus, his familiarity with Calipari and his coaching staff would make the transition relatively seamless.

Richard Davenport, the long-time Arkansas recruiting reporter, wouldn’t have reported Wagner becoming the next Hog unless he had corroborated this with multiple sources. Consider this all but a done deal at this point.

Likelihood of being a Razorback: 99 percent

Other Highly Unlikely Transfer Portal Possibilities

At one point, Arkansas was also linked to JT Toppin (No. 3 on their list), former Razorback Jaxson Robinson (No. 6 on their list) and Wooga Poplar (No. 8 on their list).

Toppin is projected to Texas Tech by CBK, Robinson to play for his old BYU coach in Mark Pope at Kentucky, and Poplar to Villanova, which has really fallen off since Jay Wright retired and went into broadcasting.

Keyon Menifield is No. 17 on their list and projected to West Virginia, which seems like an odd fit but maybe not, as Darian DeVries takes control of the program and attempts to change the culture.

Trevon Brazile is another player that theoretically could also return to the Razorbacks, although he has worked out for some NBA teams and had an impressive combine with his measurables going off the charts.

That being said, another publication’s brain trust thinks that Brazile isn’t a lock to even be taken in the second round, and would benefit with another year of college to develop consistency and prove the injuries are behind him.


Aaron Torres believes bringing Coleman Hawkins into Arkansas basketball isn’t a good idea compared to bringing in a “clear back up.” More starting at 6:35 below:


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