Best Fits for Next Arkansas Basketball Team: Transfer Portal Tracker

Arkansas basketball, transfer portal
photo credit: Furman Athletics / Penn Athletics

What started as a trickle has quickly turn into full-fledged flood since the college basketball transfer portal opened Monday. Arkansas, of course, need a reboot in the worst way and stands to gain a lot by choosing the right players to replace the majority of the current roster that is likely departing.

Follow along here as Best of Arkansas Sports tracks which players Eric Musselman and the Razorbacks have reportedly contacted, as well as a few other notable names in the transfer portal and even some “wish list” players who aren’t necessarily in the portal.

Arkansas Basketball Transfer Portal Contacts

The following players have reportedly been contacted by Arkansas basketball since entering the transfer portal

Pre-Transfer Portal Window

  • Feb. 21: Caleb Williams — Macalester (DIII)
    • G | 6-2
    • Stats: 25 G/25 GS, 35.7 min., 20.0 pts. (44.1% FG, 34.2% 3PT, 83.7% FT), 4.0 reb., 2.8 ast., 1.2 stl.
  • March 12: Clark Slajchert — Penn
    • G | 6-1 | 170
    • Stats: 22 G/22 GS, 34.5 min., 18.0 pts. (48.7% FG, 42.2% 3PT, 82.4% FT), 3.0 reb., 2.9 ast., 1.2 stl.
    • Notable: 2024 All-Ivy League selection
  • March 15: Marcus Foster — Furman
    • G | 6-4 | 200
    • Stats: 24 G/24 GS, 31.2 min., 17.0 pts. (42.5% FG, 29.7% 3PT, 81.3% FT), 7.5 reb., 1.8 ast., 1.0 stl.
    • Notable: 2024 All-Southern selection… Will be a sixth-year senior next year… Spent first five years at Furman
  • March 16: Jacob Crews — UT-Martin (COMMITTED TO MISSOURI)
    • G | 6-7 | 210
    • Stats: 32 G/32 GS, 33.3 min., 19.1 pts. (48.5% FG, 41.4% 3PT, 81.6% FT), 8.2 reb., 1.1 ast.
    • Notable: 2024 All-OVC selection… Began career at North Florida (two years) and spent a year in JUCO before playing last season at UT-Martin

Day 1 — March 18

  • Michael Ajayi — Pepperdine
    • G | 6-7 | 220
    • Stats: 33 G/33 GS, 34.7 min., 17.2 pts. (46.7% FG, 47.0% 3PT, 70.9% FT), 9.9 reb., 1.9 ast.
    • Notable: 2024 All-WCC selection… Began career with two years at JUCO
  • Kyrese Mullen — Hampton (RETURNING TO HAMPTON)
    • F | 6-7 | 230
    • Stats: 27 G/25 GS, 29.1 min., 14.8 pts. (45.8% FG, 29.7% 3PT, 57.3% FT), 8.4 reb., 1.5 ast.
    • Notable: 2023 CAA All-Freshman selection
  • Mikeal Brown — UNC Greensboro
    • F | 6-8 | 210
    • Stats: 28 G/28 GS, 28.3 min., 18.9 pts. (54.0% FG, 43.1% 3PT, 78.7% FT), 7.5 reb., 1.1 ast.
    • Notable: 2024 All-Southern selection… Had 17 points (6/8 FG, 1/1 3PT, 4/6 FT), 2 rebounds and 1 assist against Arkansas on Nov. 17… Began career with two years at VCU, spent last two at UNCG
  • Amari Williams — Drexel (see more below)
    • F | 6-10 | 227
    • Stats: 32 G/32 GS, 22.9 min., 12.2 pts. (51.7% FG, 33.3% 3PT, 65.5% FT), 7.8 reb., 1.9 ast., 1.8 blk.
    • Notable: Two-time CAA Defensive Player of the Year, two-time All-CAA selection, two-time CAA All-Defensive Team selection
  • Camren Hunter — Central Arkansas
    • G | 6-3 | 200
    • Stats (2022-23): 30 G/30 GS, 34.0 min., 16.9 pts. (42.3% FG, 31.1% 3PT, 78.6% FT), 5.0 reb., 3.9 ast., 1.5 stl.
    • Notable: 2023 All-ASUN selection, 2022 ASUN Rookie of the Year… Missed the 2023-24 season because of an injury… Originally from Bryant… Visited Arkansas last offseason before opting to return to UCA

Day 2 — March 19

  • De’Shayne Montgomery — Mount St. Mary’s
    • G | 6-4 | 190
    • Stats: 32 G/10 GS, 27.8 min., 13.2 pts. (53.8% FG, 41.2% 3PT, 72.8% FT), 3.5 reb., 2.0 ast., 1.7 stl.
    • Notable: 2024 MAAC Rookie of the Year
  • Brandon Johnson — East Carolina
    • F | 6-8 | 210
    • Stats: 31 G/31 GS, 34.7 min., 14.0 pts. (42.0% FG, 36.5% 3PT, 73.9% FT), 8.6 reb., 1.6 ast., 1.7 stl.
    • Notable: Began career with one year at JUCO, spent the last three years at East Carolina
  • Kylen Milton — Arkansas-Pine Bluff
    • G | 6-4 | 190
    • Stats: 29 G/29 GS, 31.8 min., 17.0 pts. (50.5% FG, 35.1% 3PT, 73.7% FT), 6.6 reb., 2.9 ast., 1.2 stl.
    • Notable: 2024 All-SWAC selection… Began college career with one year at Western Kentucky, spent last three at UAPB… Hometown is listed as Monticello, played high school ball at Conway
  • Ja’Kobi Gillespie — Belmont
    • G | 6-0 | 175
    • Stats: 25 G/24 GS, 31.4 min., 17.2 pts. (56.1% FG, 38.7% 3PT, 83.1% FT), 3.8 reb., 4.2 ast., 2.2 stl.
    • Notable: 2024 All-MVC selection, MVC All-Defensive Team selection, 2023 MVC All-Freshman Team
  • Davion Sykes — Texas State
    • F | 6-6 | 200
    • Stats: 22 G/14 GS, 28.0 min., 11.2 pts. (49.7% FG, 9.1% 3PT, 66.3% FT), 6.9 reb., 1.2 ast., 1.2 stl.
    • Notable: Went to Duncanville High School, so he played with former Arkansas standout Anthony Black
  • Brandon Love — Texas State
    • F | 6-9 | 208
    • Stats: 34 G/34 GS, 25.3 min., 10.4 pts. (54.9% FG, 53.0% FT), 5.4 reb., 1.4 blk.
  • Josh Cohen — UMass
    • F | 6-10 | 220
    • Stats: 31 G/31 GS, 28.9 min., 15.9 pts. (54.4% FG, 34.4% 3PT, 69.6% FT), 6.8 reb., 1.7 ast.
    • Notable: 2024 All-A-10 selection, 2023 NEC Player of the Year, 2023 All-NEC selection, 2022 NEC Most Improved Player… Began career with four seasons at Saint Francis (PA), played at UMass last year… Will be a sixth-year senior next season
  • Trey Edmonds — UTSA
    • F | 6-9 | 240
    • Stats: 32 G/32 GS, 22.2 min., 7.0 pts. (55.9% FG, 45.5% FT), 5.8 reb.
    • Notable: Began career with two seasons at Utah Tech, played at UTSA last year
  • Kanaan Carlyle — Stanford
    • G | 6-3 | 185
    • Stats: 23 G/16 GS, 25.7 min., 11.5 pts. (38.6% FG, 32.0% 3PT, 77.6% FT), 2.7 reb., 2.7 ast.
    • Notable: Did not play in Stanford’s game against Arkansas on Nov. 22
  • Sky Wicks — Incarnate Word
    • G | 6-6 | 200
    • Stats: 30 G/28 GS, 27.6 min., 13.7 pts. (39.6% FG, 31.1% 3PT, 72.6% FT), 6.6 reb., 1.8 ast.
    • Notable: Began career with two years at Missouri State before playing this year at Incarnate Word

Day 3 — March 20

  • A’lahn Sumler — Charleston Southern
    • G | 6-3 | 185
    • Stats: 29 G/21 GS, 29.9 min., 14.2 pts. (40.1% FG, 32.6% 3PT, 72.2% FT), 3.1 reb., 1.7 ast.
    • Notable: Began career with one year at Northern Kentucky before playing this season at Charleston Southern

Playmaking Guards Who Would Fit Arkansas

Eric Musselman likes to go after prospects against whom he’s already coached. Well, there’s one such potential candidate in JP Pegues, Marcus Foster’s teammate at Furman.

Earlier this season, Pegues led Furman against Arkansas, racking up 21 points and 6 assists. He shot only 29% from the field, but was a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw line. A playmaking guard that knows how to earn free throw attempts seems like the perfect combination for a Musselman prospect.

To reiterate, Pegues hasn’t entered the transfer portal. But he’s a junior who is clearly primed for a step up in competition, should he so choose, after putting up a line of 18.4 PPG, 4.8 APG, 4.3 RPG, 1.2 SPG, 0.2 BPG, 42% FG, 36% 3P, 88% FT this season. On top of that, he’s proven performer in March Madness:

Pegues, however, is 6-foot-1 and Musselman typically prefers taller guards. 

His two most successful guards this season – Khalf Battle and Tramon Mark – also happened to be his tallest. He needed a floor general to complement them but none of his guards in the 6-foot-1 to 6-foot-3 range – El Ellis, Keyon Menifield, Layden Blocker, Devo Davis and Keyon Menifield – panned out to be that on a steady basis. He’ll almost certainly seek a lead guard in the mold of Anthony Black, JD Notae (who’s 6’2”), Jalen Tate and even Jimmy Whitt going forward to fit this role.

Below are some of the best junior and seniors at mid-major programs this season who might fit that profile. If any enter the transfer portal, expect strong interest from Power 5 schools:

Augustas Marciulionis (6-4, Jr. | Saint Mary’s)

12.4 PPG, 5.2 APG, 3.3 RPG, 1.5 SPG, 44% FG, 34% 3P, 76% FT

Marciulionis is the son of former NBA player and Hall of Famer, Sarunas Marciulionis – and clearly, basketball IQ doesn’t fall far from the tree. The 6-foot-4 guard dished out double-digit assists four times this season on his way to finishing second in his conference in assists with 5.2 per game.

More impressively, Marciulionis was named West Coast Conference Player of the Year thanks in large part to his playmaking ability. His size is also a huge plus considering Musselman’s teams historically seem to work better with a tall guard running the show.

It also doesn’t hurt that he shot 34% from long range last season. While this isn’t an eye-popping number, it would rank him fourth on Arkansas’ roster among players who attempted at least one 3-pointer per game.

Julian Larry (6-3, Jr. | Indiana State)

10.7 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.4 SPG, 53% FG, 47% 3P, 80% FT

Larry was an elite two-way threat in the Missouri Valley conference this year, averaging nearly five assists while shooting 47% from long range. Despite his elite 3-point percentage, Larry was not a high-volume shooter this year. Instead, he led his team in assists per game and posted a 22.1% assist percentage (an estimate of the percentage of his teammates’ shots he assisted on).

For reference, no Razorbacks recorded an assist percentage above 16.5% this season, and only two were about 15% on the year.

Along with his impressive ability to move the ball and set up his teammates, it certainly adds to his case as a transfer candidate that Larry was named to the All-Defensive Team and All-MVC Third Team.

He also stands at 6-foot-3, which is about the minimum for lead guards that have typically thrived under Musselman – JD Notae being the biggest exception. Ellis, Menifield, and Blocker all stood under that height this year.

Drew Thelwell (6-3, Jr. | Morehead State)

10.0 PPG, 3.1 RPG 6.3 APG, 1.3 SPG, 0.2 BPG, 43% FG, 34% 3P, 68% FT

Thelwell averaged the most assists per game on this entire list, but his inefficient shooting could definitely raise some red flags should he take the leap to an SEC program like Arkansas.

Still, 10 points and over 6 assists per game shows a certain level of basketball IQ that can be hard to find at any level of college basketball, and 34% from long range is more than enough to be respected as a shooter, especially if there are a couple of other better shooters on the court with him most of the time.

Again, standing at roughly 6-foot-3 should help Thelwell’s case should he consider coming to Arkansas. If he were to be the smallest guy in most Razorback lineups, that would theoretically set them up to have another imposing defense – especially considering his career high 1.3 steals per game as a junior last season.

Christian Jones (6-5, So. | Illinois-Chicago)

11.4 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 4.8 APG, 0.9 SPG, 44% FG, 38% 3P, 62% FT

Standing at 6-foot-5, Jones would fit the tall-guard archetype Musselman likes particularly well. He was also among the elite passers in all of the mid-major conferences this year at just under five assists per game.

Jones’ 38% long-range shooting is a definite bonus as well. This would rank him easily first on the 2023-24 Razorback roster in terms of 3-point percentage among players averaging at least one attempt per game – he averaged 2.5 attempts last year as a sophomore.

Although, it is worth noting that his free throw percentage is relatively poor at 62% (would be 10th on this year’s Razorback team. This is a bit puzzling if not outright concerning considering his high 3-point percentage, though it likely wouldn’t be a deal breaker.

Potential Big Men Who Would Fit

No matter what, at this point, it looks like a bare cupboard up front for the Hogs next season. Makhi Mitchell played like one of the best bigs in the SEC over his final 10 games or so, but he – along with Jalen Graham and Chandler Lawson – are among the six seniors running out of eligibility.

Sure, Baye Fall is on the roster, but he recorded almost as many DNP’s as total minutes played this season. Some of that had to do with the other bigs on the roster ahead of him, but more of it had to do with his lack of physical strength and raw offensive game.

He’s a very talented player with a ridiculously long wingspan and good instincts on the defensive side of the court, but he simply wasn’t ready to consistently contribute on an SEC court. Who’s to say whether or not he will be after only one summer with Musselman – if he doesn’t hit the transfer portal first due to lack of playing time.

In short, the Razorbacks will have to extract some quality depth at the center position out of the transfer portal this summer.

For the sake of this thought experiment, we’re sticking to the mid-major college ranks (where guys like Jalen Tate and Stanley Umude came from) and looking at the most likely candidates to test out the transfer portal – even though most of them have not yet announced their intentions for next season.

Think of this as a best-case-scenario wishlist meant to highlight the types of players best suited to fit the open big man position on the Razorbacks’ roster rather than a comprehensive list of the only players they should be focused on.

Amari Williams (6-10, Sr. | Drexel)CONTACTED BY ARKANSAS

12.2 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 0.8 SPG, 1.8 BPG, 52% FG, 33% 3P, 66% FT

Perhaps a more likely candidate for the Hogs to consider than Holmes, Williams was also named Defensive Player of the Year and earned All-Defensive Team and All-Conference First Team in the Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) this year. His 6-foot-10 frame and combination of rebounding, shot blocking, and enough shooting to make defenses respect his jump shot would be a great fit alongside nearly any combination of players.

Williams had improved each of his first three years at Drexel, peaking at 13.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per game as a junior. He tallied 10 double-doubles as a junior and shot an impressive 52% from the field to go along with a career-high 2.2 blocks per game.

His slight down-tick in production is certainly something to consider, but he’s proven to be a contributing force over his last two seasons in the CAA conference. His sheer size alone would make him at least an option worth considering for the Hogs this summer.

Danny Wolf (7-0, So. | Yale)

14.4 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.3 BPG, 49% FG, 36% 3P, 72% FT

With one of the more well-rounded stat lines you’ll ever see from a true 7-footer, Danny Wolf earned his way to All-Ivy League First Team in his second season with Yale. His ability to step out and hit from long range while also recording a well-rounded defensive statline, including 1.0 steals and 1.3 blocks per game should serve him well.

Though it would be interesting to see if he would be mobile enough to thrive in Musselman’s preferred style of play. Connor Vanover – while on the far side of the mobility spectrum – struggled to stay on the floor at times when he was at Arkansas because he wasn’t quite mobile enough to play in Musselman’s system. If Wolf can maintain his hot shooting while being a defensive presence inside, he might be worth adjusting to.

Drew Cisse (6-11, Jr. | Western Illinois)

8.5 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.8 SPG, 2.0 BPG, 60% FG, 43% FT

Cisse was named Defensive Player of the Year in the Ohio Valley conference while also garnering All-OVC First Team honors. This is perhaps closer to the type of big man Musselman would prefer in his wing-centric system since Cisse impacted games solely through rebounding and defense rather than being a score-first type of player.

However, it could be a bit of a red flag that he went 0-of-1 from long range on the season and shot sub-50% from the charity stripe. Cisse went through two years at a community college and one year in a Division II program before joining Western Illinois this season. That type of experience might go a long way for Musselman, who seems to often prefer experience over youth.

Plus, at Western Illinois, he comes from a program with an actual mascot of the leathernecks. If this isn’t the kind of guy who brings grit to your team, who is?

Daniel Batcho (6-11, Jr. | Louisiana Tech)

15.2 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 0.5 SPG, 2.4 BPG, 59% FG, 67% FT

He grabbed 3.9 offensive rebounds per game this season, posting a 15.3% offensive rebound rate. That percentage is nearly as high as Trevon Brazile and Makhi Mitchell’s percentages combined. Having a presence in the post that can create second chance opportunities and help control the rebound battle will certainly be high on the Razorbacks’ priority list this summer.

Batcho is yet another big man that earned All-Defensive and All-Conference First Team honors, though he did so in Conference USA as a junior after spending two years at Texas Tech. Again, mobility will always be a big question for Musselman’s preferred style of play, but the nearly double-digit rebounding along with 2.4 blocks per game is intriguing to say the least.

Batcho might not appear like the type of big man Musselman would pursue given his 15-plus points per game this season and the fact that Arkansas rarely runs their offense through the post (barring the occasional Jalen Graham run), but Batcho earned many of his points through offensive rebounding this season.

For more “best fit” types for the Arkansas basketball program, see this:


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