Case of ASU Deja Vu Leads Arkansas Basketball Transfer Tracker

Desi Sills, Derrian Ford, Arkansas basketball, transfer portal
photo credit: KSU Athletics / Twitter

The transfer portal has yielded several good players for the Arkansas basketball program, but it works both ways.

In addition to Eric Musselman bringing in several transfers each year, he has also seen many players leave the team via the portal.

So far this offseason, three Razorbacks have entered the transfer portal and two of them have already landed at a new school. This tracker will consistently be updated as developments happen.

Best of Arkansas Sports has also checked in on nine other former Arkansas basketball players who previously transferred out – some of which have played at multiple schools since leaving Fayetteville.

Razorbacks in the Transfer Portal

Barry Dunning Jr. — UAB
Stats: 16 G/1 GS, 0.3 points (25.0% FG, 50.0% FT), 0.2 rebounds

Part of the Razorbacks’ heralded 2022 signing class, Barry Dunning Jr. was a four-star recruit and two-time Gatorade Player of the Year in Alabama. He got some meaningful minutes early in the season and even started against Troy, but for the most part, his action came in mop-up duty. Four of his five points were late in the blowout loss to UConn in the Sweet 16.

Dunning originally announced he would return to Arkansas for his sophomore year, but ended up entering the portal less than a week later. A few days after his name appeared the portal, he released a statement thanking his teammates, the fans and his parents.

Dunning will return to his home state to finish his career, signing with UAB. With the Blazers, he’ll play for former Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy, who guided them to a runner-up finish in the NIT and 29 wins last season. He is the first of Arkansas’ three transfers to find a new school.

Derrian Ford — Arkansas State
Stats: 21 G/0 GS, 0.7 points (40.0% FG, 87.5% FT), 0.5 rebounds, 0.4 assists

Another four-star recruit in that touted 2022 class, Derrian Ford was also a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year in his state — which just happened to be Arkansas, as he was highly successful at Magnolia High. Despite those accolades, Ford played sparingly as a freshman, but did land on the SEC Community Service Team for his off-the-court work.

Much like Dunning, he originally announced he would return to Arkansas for his sophomore year, but eventually ended up in the transfer portal. Although he took a visit to Vanderbilt, Ford opted to stay in the Natural State by transferring to Arkansas State.

It’s a similar route as another former heralded in-state standout, as Jonesboro product Desi Sills played for the Red Wolves after leaving the Razorbacks. He used that one year to springboard himself back into major college basketball, as he transferred a second time and landed at Kansas State.

Makhel Mitchell — undecided
Stats: 30 G/9 GS, 3.6 points (63.5% FG, 45.5% FT), 3.2 rebounds, 1.5 blocks

Also a newcomer this past season, Makhel Mitchell joined the Arkansas basketball team — along with his twin brother, Makhi — as a transfer from Rhode Island. He originally began his career as a four-star signee at Maryland, but didn’t play much. In two seasons with the Rams, he averaged 10.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in 24.6 minutes.

While his brother was a mainstay in the Razorbacks’ rotation, Makhel Mitchell’s playing time in Fayetteville was sporadic. He started a handful of games when they wanted to go big, but also didn’t play at all in some games. When he was on the court, Mitchell’s best attribute was rim protection, as his 4.7 blocks per 40 minutes was the best mark by an Arkansas player since Moses Kingsley’s freshman year in 2013-14.

Things could obviously change, but as of right now, it appears that only Makhel Mitchell is moving on, while Makhi Mitchell remains in Fayetteville. That would be significant because the pair has played together their entire lives.

Previous Arkansas Basketball Transfers

Reggie Chaney — Houston
Stats: 35 G/1 GS, 3.0 points (66.2% FG, 43.8% FT), 2.7 rebounds

Despite not having great numbers and not even playing the most among Houston’s bench players, Reggie Chaney was named the AAC Sixth Man of the Year. A fifth-year super senior, he helped the Cougars spend the entire season in the top five — including several weeks at No. 1 — and earn a 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Interestingly, arguably his best games of the year came on big stages. He had an 8-point, 7-rebound performance in 23 minutes off the bench against Alabama back on Dec. 10 and ended his career with a 6-point, 5-rebound effort in 17 minutes against Miami (Fla.) in the Elite Eight.

Ethan Henderson — Texas A&M
Stats: N/A

After starting 15 games and averaging 2.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 13.3 minutes in his first season at Texas A&M, Ethan Henderson didn’t play at all for the Aggies this year. He was away from the team for most, if not all, of the season, but it wasn’t because of injury or disciplinary reasons, according to head coach Buzz Williams, who declined to go into detail about his absence.

Justice Hill — LSU / Loyola Marymount
Stats: 30 G/17 GS, 5.6 points (29.0% FG, 25.7% 3PT, 57.6% FT), 1.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists

Following Matt McMahon to LSU, things couldn’t have started much better for Justice Hill. The Tigers started the season 11-1 and he was among the nation’s leaders in assist-to-turnover ratio, averaging 4.2 assists and only 1.3 turnovers while also putting up 8.7 points.

It all came crashing down in SEC play, though. Even including a conference-opening win over Arkansas, Hill averaged only 3.6 points, 1.7 assists and 1.4 turnovers the rest of the season. He left the team for personal reasons at one point and not only did he lose his starting job, but his playing time dwindled down the stretch.

That led to him entering the transfer portal and ultimately landing at Loyola Marymount earlier this month. Including his one semester at Arkansas, it will be his fifth college. Prior to playing for McMahon for two seasons at Murray State, he played one year at Salt Lake C.C.

Abayomi Iyiola — Kansas State
Stats: 31 G/9 GS, 3.4 points (55.9% FG, 76.9% FT), 2.8 rebounds

It was a roller coaster of a career for Abayomi Iyiola. He put up good numbers in two seasons at Stetson, but then appeared in only one game in two years at Arkansas because he had to sit out his first season and then he tore his ACL. He spent one year at Hofstra, where he infamously got his revenge on the Razorbacks in an upset win at Simmons Bank Arena, before transferring to Kansas State for his sixth and final season of college basketball.

Iyiola actually had some pretty good moments for the Wildcats early in the year, including nine starts in the first 15 games and back-to-back double-digit scoring efforts against West Virginia and Texas right around New Year’s, but he had only one game in double figures the rest of the season.

His playing time almost completely evaporated down the stretch, as he averaged only 5.3 minutes over Kansas State’s final nine games. That includes playing just 15 total minutes in the Wildcats’ run to the Elite Eight.

Chance Moore — Missouri State
Stats: 31 G/3 GS, 10.6 points (43.0% FG, 34.2% 3PT, 60.7% FT), 3.9 rebounds

After getting only eight total minutes of playing time in his lone season at Arkansas, Chance Moore dropped down to the mid-major level and had a lot of success at Missouri State. He was the Bears’ second-leading scorer despite mostly coming off the bench and playing only 21.8 minutes per game.

However, Moore’s play was inconsistent. While he had nine games with 16-plus points, he also had eight games in which he scored five or less. His best game might have been in a matchup against another former Arkansas basketball player, as he notched a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds against BYU on Nov. 16. Moore ended the year on a high note, finishing with 10 points and 7 rebounds in 24 minutes against Southern Illinois in the MVC Tournament.

Jaxson Robinson — BYU
Stats: 33 G/30 GS, 8.5 points (38.6% FG, 34.3% 3PT, 68.0% FT), 2.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists

Among all of the former Razorbacks still playing college basketball, Jaxson Robinson might have been able to help the ‘22-‘23 Hogs the most. At 34.3%, his 3-point shooting doesn’t jump off the page, but he showed an ability to get hot in some big games.

Against eventual Elite Eight participants Gonzaga and Creighton, plus the Pac-12’s USC, Robinson knocked down 12 of 22 (54.5%) attempts from beyond the arc and averaged 14.7 points. However, against NCAA Tournament teams St. Mary’s (twice) and South Dakota State, he made just 1 of 9 and scored a total of seven points.

KK Robinson — Texas A&M / undecided
Stats: 18 G/0 GS, 1.8 points (47.6% FG, 22.2% 3PT, 64.7% FT)

In his first season away from Arkansas, KK Robinson was a non-factor at Texas A&M, appearing in only 18 of 35 games. His best game was a 12-point effort in just 10 minutes against South Carolina on Jan. 14, but he didn’t enter the game until midway through the second half when the Aggies were already up by 43.

From that point on, he played in only six more games, totaling just 2 points in 13 minutes. Not surprisingly, he has entered the transfer portal again and has yet to land somewhere new.

Desi Sills — Kansas State
Stats: 35 G/9 GS, 8.7 points (44.9% FG, 22.8% 3PT, 76.1% FT), 3.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists

A self-described “certified bucket,” Desi Sills ended his five-year college career with a bang. After one season at Arkansas State, he transferred to Kansas State and was its sixth man for much of the season — including when he scored 24 points in a big win over Kansas on Jan. 17.

The Wildcats moved him into the starting lineup for the final nine games and he responded by increasing his scoring average to 9.3 points. During that stretch, he flirted with a triple-double in the regular-season finale against Oklahoma, finishing with 15 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists, and averaged 8.8 points in four NCAA Tournament games, including a 12-point effort against Kentucky in the second round.

Over his five-year career, which began with three seasons at Arkansas, the Jonesboro native appeared in 161 games and scored 1,415 points.

Connor Vanover — Oral Roberts / undecided
Stats: 34 G/34 GS, 12.7 points (51.7% FG, 32.4% 3PT, 81.4% FT), 7.2 rebounds, 3.2 blocks

Dropping down to the mid-major level may have been just what Connor Vanover needed, as he enjoyed a fantastic season at Oral Roberts. He earned first-team all-conference accolades and was named the Summit League Defensive Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year.

Vanover played a major role in the Golden Eagles becoming just the second team in the Summit League’s 41-year history to go undefeated in conference play, finishing second nationally in blocks per game (3.2). He flirted with a triple-double against Western Illinois on Feb. 11, putting up 12 points, 14 rebounds and 8 blocks in 29 minutes, and was dominant in the Summit League Tournament, averaging 15.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks in three games.

Winning that title earned Oral Roberts a trip to the NCAA Tournament as a 12 seed. It was a trendy upset pick, but lost in the first round to Duke 74-51. Vanover had 6 points, 6 rebounds and 1 block in the loss. But, hey, at least this time around he got to play. The previous season, Vanover didn’t get off the bench in Arkansas’ season-ending loss to the Blue Devils in the Elite Eight – or any of the final 19 games of the season, for that matter.

Much like KK Robinson and Justice Hill, Vanover entered the transfer portal this offseason and will end his collegiate career at a fourth different school — unless he decides to stay in the NBA Draft, which he has also declared for.

Arkansas Basketball Transfers

PlayerNew SchoolPointsReboundsOther
Reggie ChaneyHouston3.02.766.7% FG
Ethan HendersonTexas A&MN/AN/AN/A
Justice HillLSU5.61.62.7 ast.
Abayomi IyiolaKansas State3.42.855.9% FG
Chance MooreMissouri State10.63.934.2% 3PT
Jaxson RobinsonBYU8.52.934.3% 3PT
KK RobinsonTexas A&M1.80.60.6 ast.
Desi SillsKansas State8.73.52.2 ast.
Connor VanoverOral Roberts12.77.23.2 blk.


More coverage of Arkansas basketball and the transfer portal from BoAS…

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