Latest Hogs’ Transfer Prospects List Involved Big Ten vs AAC Debate

Ven Allen-Lubin, Coleman Hawkins, Kasean Pryor, Arkansas basketball, transfer portal
photo credit: Vanderbilt Athletics / Illinois Athletics / USF Athletics

For the first time since John Calipari became the Arkansas basketball coach, a Monday came and went without a new addition to his 2024-25 roster.

The run of Monday commitments started with Kentucky transfer Zvonimir Ivisic on April 15 and then included five-star recruit Karter Knox (April 22), Tennessee transfer Jonas Aidoo (April 29) and Kentucky transfer Adou Thiero (May 6).

The Razorbacks mixed in a few high-profile additions on other days of the week, also signing a pair of five-star recruits in Boogie Fland and Billy Richmond III, as well as heralded FAU transfer Johnell Davis.

All signs were pointing to Kentucky transfer DJ Wagner continuing that trend, as he was in town for an official visit over the weekend, but the clock struck midnight with no public commitment.

He’s still on the board, though, and one of the two players generating the most buzz in the transfer portal when it comes to the Arkansas basketball program.

Here’s a closer look at those guys, as well as eight other transfers worth familiarizing yourself with as Calipari rounds out his first roster with the Razorbacks…

Transfer Portal Options Generating the Most Buzz

DJ Wagner — Kentucky

A five-star recruit and top-6 prospect in the Class of 2023, D.J. Wagner spent his freshman year at Kentucky and earned a spot on the SEC All-Freshman Team after averaging 9.9 points and 3.3 assists.

Not only did he play for John Calipari with the Wildcats, but Wagner also seriously considered playing for Kenny Payne at Louisville when he was coming out of high school. Now both of those coaches are in Fayetteville. His father played for Calipari at Memphis, as well.

Throw in the fact that he was a high school teammate and good friend of five-star signee Billy Richmond III, a ton of signs are pointing toward Wagner heading to Fayetteville. In fact, he was in town over the weekend for an official visit. However, Wagner — who also visited Eric Musselman and USC — has not made any public announcement as of Tuesday morning.

Kasean Pryor — South Florida


One of the more intriguing prospects in the transfer portal, Kasean Pryor is a 6-foot-10 big man who hardly saw the court in two years at Boise State, spent a year in JUCO and then enjoyed a breakout season at South Florida, which won the AAC regular-season title.

He averaged 13.0 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals in 26.3 minutes, plus shot 35.2% from beyond the arc on 3.3 attempts per game.

The Razorbacks already have Kentucky transfer Zvonimir Ivisic (7-foot-2) and Tennessee transfer Jonas Aidoo (6-foot-11), but could use another big man. That would allow them to play two of them together without worrying about depth in the event of foul trouble or basic rest needs. Pryor’s skillset made him a desirable option, but now Arkansas must look elsewhere after he committed to Louisville.

Others to Know for Arkansas Basketball

*listed alphabetically*

Ven Allen-Lubin — Vanderbilt

A 6-foot-8 forward looking for his third school in as many years, Ven Allen-Lubin began his career at Notre Dame before transferring to Vanderbilt last offseason. He was a starter for the Commodores, putting up 12.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in 28.2 minutes across 26 games.

Allen-Lubin’s best ball came down the stretch, as he upped his averages to 15.9 points and 7.3 rebounds in Vanderbilt’s final 10 games. That includes back-to-back double-doubles to close the season — 25 and 11 against Florida and 21 and 10 against Arkansas in the SEC Tournament. He also had 19 points and 12 rebounds against the Razorbacks during the regular season, going 9 of 10 from the floor.

Adding yet another transfer from the SEC would be nice, but it’s unclear just how much of a player Arkansas is in his recruitment. Allen-Lubin is visiting North Carolina this week.

Coleman Hawkins — Illinois

Perhaps the biggest debate amongst Arkansas basketball fans the last few days was whether they’d rather have the aforementioned Kasean Pryor as a third big man or Coleman Hawkins from Illinois. With Pryor committing to Louisville, it now seems as though Hawkins is the obvious next option.

However, he’s currently going through the NBA Draft Combine for the second time and could opt to begin his professional career. That is not a given, though. In fact, 247Sports’ Isaac Trotter has predicted he’ll return to college basketball for a super senior season.

Getting him to play alongside Ivisic and Aidoo would be big for the Razorbacks because he’s another big body – listed at 6-foot-10 – and averaged 12.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.1 blocks in 31.6 minutes for a top-10 Illinois team that reached the Elite Eight last season. He also developed an outside shot last year, shooting 36.9% on 4.6 attempts from deep after shooting just 28.1% over his first three seasons.

Arthur Kaluma — Kansas State

After two seasons as a starter at Creighton in the Big East, Arthur Kaluma transferred to Kansas State and put up even better numbers in the Big 12. Listed at 6-foot-7, 220 pounds, the forward averaged 14.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 34.5 minutes. He also shot 34.5% from 3-point range — up from 29.1% at Creighton, despite his volume increasing from 3.4 to 4.5 attempts per game.

Kaluma is also testing the NBA waters and participated in the G League Elite Camp, but was not one of the five players at that event who were then invited to the NBA Combine this week. That would seemingly indicate he’ll be back in college, where he’ll be looking for a third school.

Dillon Mitchell — Texas

Ranked as a consensus top-10 recruit coming out of Montverde Academy in the 2022 class, Dillon Mitchell didn’t quite live up to the hype at Texas. That said, he did make strides from his freshman to sophomore year. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 9.6 points and 7.5 rebounds for the Longhorns this past season.

Arkansas got a taste of his potential before he ever played a real game at Texas, as he put up 10 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 2 blocks in just 16 minutes in an exhibition game against the Razorbacks before his freshman season. One thing to note about Mitchell is he is not a 3-point threat. He missed all 8 of his attempts from beyond the arc at Texas, plus he’s a career 54.0% free throw shooter.

He is reportedly visiting Auburn this week.

Wooga Poplar — Miami (Fla.)

The Razorbacks would probably like to add another shooter to their roster and Wooga Poplar would certainly satisfy that need. The 6-foot-8 shooting guard spent the first three years of his career at Miami (Fla.), playing sparingly as a freshman before seeing his role steadily increase. This past season, Poplar enjoyed a breakout junior year in which he averaged 13.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists.

Poplar has shot 38.1% from beyond the arc the last two seasons and even saw a slight uptick in that category – from 37.5% to 38.5% – as a junior despite his attempts doubling from 2.8 to 5.6 per game. He’s an excellent free throw shooter, as well, making them at an 86.5% clip over that span.

According to Jon Rothstein, Poplar is receiving interest from quite a few big-time programs, including Arkansas, Kentucky, Kansas, Auburn and several others. He recently participated in the G League Elite Camp, but was not invited to the NBA Combine, so he’ll presumably return to college.

Jaxson Robinson — BYU

This is a name Arkansas basketball fans should remember. Eric Musselman recruited Jaxson Robinson out of high school and initially lost him to Texas A&M, only to snag him out of the transfer portal a year later. In his lone season with the Razorbacks, though, he played sparingly (10.2 min. in 16 games) and averaged only 3.4 points before hitting the portal again.

In his third stop, Robinson finally blossomed into the player he was believed to be as a top-100 recruit. As a starter for BYU, he put up 8.5 points per game and shot 34.3% from beyond the arc as a junior. Despite coming off the bench most of this past season, Robinson averaged 14.2 points and shot 35.4% from deep, earning Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year honors.

His combination of size (6-foot-7) and shooting ability have made him an intriguing NBA Draft prospect, leading to a combine invitation, but Robinson could choose to use his extra year of eligibility and play another year in college. If he does so, Kentucky would be the obvious favorite to land him because of Mark Pope, but Kansas and Arkansas have also emerged as potential landing spots. If the Razorbacks land him, it’d be similar to Jimmy Whitt returning to Fayetteville after leaving to play at SMU.

JT Toppin — New Mexico

Playing for Richard Pitino on a New Mexico team that went 26-10 and won the MWC Tournament, JT Toppin – who isn’t related to Obi and Jacob Toppin – was one of the best under-the-radar freshmen in the country last season. The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 12.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 1.1 steals in 26.6 minutes.

That earned him second-team All-MWC and MWC co-Freshman of the Year honors – in a league that produced six NCAA Tournament teams. A native of Dallas, Toppin also shot 62.3% from the floor and even made 34.4% of his 3-pointers, albeit on very limited attempts (11 of 32).

Given his size and skillset, Toppin has generated some interest from the next level and was invited to the NBA Combine. If he opts to stay in college, though, he’ll have plenty of suitors. ESPN ranks him as the No. 12 overall player in the transfer portal this cycle.

Jaylen Wells — Washington State

Despite spending his first two collegiate seasons at the Division II level, playing at Sonoma State, Jaylen Wells burst onto the scene as a Division I player at Washington State this season. He averaged 12.6 points while shooting 41.7% from deep on 4.9 attempts per game, plus contributed 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game.

The 6-foot-8 forward is participating in this week’s NBA Draft Combine and could emerge as a no-doubt draft pick if things go well. If that’s the case, he’ll begin his professional career. If he chooses to play another year of college ball instead, though, Wells could be the best available option to give Arkansas another shooter. Of course, he’ll be coveted by pretty much everyone else, too.


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

Facebook Comments