Just hours after their leading scorer declared for the NBA Draft, Eric Musselman and Arkansas basketball landed their first transfer portal commitment of the offseason from Keyon Menifield Jr.
The former Washington guard, who was a member of the Pac-12’s All-Freshman Team this past season, announced his decision via Twitter on Tuesday.
Listed at 6-foot-1, 150 pounds, he chose the Razorbacks over Alabama, Louisville, Ohio State, Tennessee and a return to Washington.
At the time of his commitment, Menifield is ranked as the 19th best transfer this cycle by On3, who gives him a four-star rating and 93 grade. He also has a four-star rating from 247Sports, but he’s No. 59 overall.
Keyon Menifield Jr. at Washington
In his first collegiate season, Keyon Menifield Jr. averaged 10.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.1 steals in 28.6 minutes for the Huskies, who struggled to a 16-16 record this year. He shot 41.0% from the floor, including 33.0% from beyond the arc, and 69.8% from the free throw line.
Arguably Menifield’s best game was an overtime win over Oregon on Feb. 15, when he scored a career-high 27 points on 11 of 15 shooting while also notching seven assists and five rebounds. That assist total was one shy of his career high, as he dished eight against Arizona State on Jan. 8.
He was the only Washington player to appear in all 32 games and he started 21 of those, moving into the starting lineup for good at the start of Pac-12 play. For the season, he posted a 1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio, which led all Pac-12 freshmen.
While he did a good job of distributing and taking care of the ball, Menifield is more known for his ability to put the ball in the basket.
As a senior at Beecher High School in Flint, Mich., he averaged 26 points, 9.3 assists, 6.6 steals and 4.7 rebounds while leading the Buccaneers to a 16-1 record and the 2021 state title. He dropped 37 points in the championship game and was named the Michigan Division 3 Player of the Year.
However, that didn’t get Menifield much attention on the recruiting trail, so he reclassified to the 2022 class and went to Phoenix Prep in Arizona for a year. Before getting there, though, he played with an AAU team on the Nike EYBL circuit and led the prestigious league in scoring at 22.6 points on 46.7% shooting.
That not only earned him some three-star ratings from recruiting services, including a No. 217 overall rankings in the 247Sports Composite, but also several scholarship offers. He chose Washington over Boston College, UMass and Eastern Michigan.
When Menifield signed with the Huskies, head coach Mike Hopkins pointed to his scoring ability as to why he was excited about bringing him on.
“Keyon is one of the most talented guards in the country and we feel really lucky to have him,” Hopkins said. “He has the ability to score. He was one of the top scorers in Michigan the last two years and was the leading scorer of the Nike EYBL circuit, which not too many people can say. His ability as an explosive scorer is a huge addition.”
Arkansas Basketball and the Transfer Portal
The Razorbacks are now back up to the 13-man scholarship limit, as Keyon Menifield Jr. fills the spot vacated by Ricky Council IV, who announced his decision to enter the NBA Draft earlier in the day.
That assumes the return of Davonte Davis, who is testing the waters while maintaining his collegiate eligibility. However, if he stays in the draft, that would open up another scholarship.
Kamani Johnson has exhausted his eligibility and Nick Smith Jr. has declared for the NBA Draft, which opens the two spots for five-star freshmen Layden Blocker and Baye Fall.
Any other departures would open up more spots for Eric Musselman to fill via the transfer portal.
The most likely move is Anthony Black declaring for the NBA Draft like Smith and Council because he is a projected lottery pick and could be among the first 10 players selected.
In addition to Davis, the Razorbacks are also waiting on a decision from Jordan Walsh, who could enter the NBA Draft or return for his sophomore year.
The only player confirmed to be returning next season is Trevon Brazile, who missed most of the 2022-23 season with a torn ACL.
The Mitchell twins — Makhi and Makhel — and Jalen Graham are veterans who could potentially move on to the professional ranks, but aren’t seen as NBA Draft prospects and would likely be forced to play in the G League or overseas. The transfer portal could also be in play for those guys, as well as lightly used freshmen Joseph Pinion, Barry Dunning Jr. and Derrian Ford.
How many more players Arkansas will be able to add from the transfer portal will be decided by how many of the current Razorbacks move on. Considering Eric Musselman’s history of landing multiple transfers each offseason, that is almost certainly going to happen.
For a rundown of the transfers Musselman and his staff have reached out to, click here.
Check out some highlights of Keyon Menifield Jr., the newest Arkansas basketball player from the transfer portal:
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