#39 Arkansas Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Arkansas Razorbacks
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #39
Conference Rank: #8 SEC
 Arkansas Logo
This offseason Arkansas moved on from Coach Mike Anderson despite back-to-back 20-win seasons before last year’s 18-16 campaign. The Razorbacks replaced Anderson with Eric Musselman, who had led Nevada to three straight NCAA Tournaments, including an Elite Eight run in 2018. All-SEC center Daniel Gafford is now in the NBA, but Arkansas returns their other four starters from last season. Musselman proved he could win big in the mid-major ranks, but the SEC will be a new challenge.
2018-19 Record: 18-16, 8-10
2018-19 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Eric Musselman
Coach Record: 0-0 at Arkansas, 110-34 overall
Key Departed Players:
Daniel Gafford, Center, 16.9 ppg
Keyshawn Embery-Simpson, Guard, 4.1 ppg

Gabe Osabuohien, Forward, 3.1 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Isaiah Joe, Sophomore, Guard, 13.9 ppg
Mason Jones, Junior, Guard, 13.6 ppg
Jalen Harris, Junior, Guard, 7.6 ppg
Adrio Bailey, Senior, Forward, 5.6 ppg
Reggie Chaney, Sophomore, Forward, 5.4 ppg

Desi Sills, Sophomore, Guard, 5.3 ppg
Ethan Henderson, Sophomore, Forward, 0.9 ppg
Key New Players:
Emeka Obukwelu, Junior, Forward, Transfer from Division III
Jeantal Cylla, Senior, Forward, Transfer from UNC Wilmington
Jimmy Whitt, Senior, Guard, Transfer from SMU
Arkansas returns their second through seventh leading scorers from last season. Isaiah Joe is the top returning scorer after a strong freshman season that resulted in a spot on the SEC All-Freshman Team. Joe set the school record for 3-pointers made in a season with 113 (3.3 per game). He was efficient as well, leading the SEC in three-point percentage at 41.4%. Joe is more than just a shooter though as he averaged 13.9 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists and a team-high 1.5 steals. Mason Jones had an impressive first season with Arkansas. The former JuCo player averaged 13.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists. Jones came off the bench for the final eight games of the season but should be back in the starting lineup as arguably the team’s best player. Jalen Harris provided a steady hand at the point guard spot for the Razorbacks last season. Harris led the team in assists with 5.6 per game and was 15th in the NCAA in assist-to-turnover ratio. Adrio Bailey is the final returning starter. Bailey averaged 5.6 points and 3.0 rebounds in 18.6 minutes per game last year. Bailey was the primary starter, but he split time with Reggie Chaney in the frontcourt. Chaney was just a freshman last season, but he was third on the team in rebounding (3.5 per game) and second in blocked shots (1.4 per game). With Daniel Gafford in the NBA, Chaney should see a much bigger role as a sophomore. Desi Sills also had a solid freshman campaign, especially towards the end of the season. Sills started the final eight games of the year and scored in double-digits in four of those contests. Ethan Henderson didn’t play much as a freshman, but the 6-foot-8 forward should see more action this season. Eric Musselman turned Nevada into a strong program with transfers, and he adds a few this season as well. Jimmy Whitt is actually in his second stint with the Razorbacks after playing in 32 games at Arkansas as a freshman. Whitt then spent his next two seasons at SMU where he started 63 games. Last season, Whitt averaged 12.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.4 steals. Jeantal Cylla is also a grad transfer from UNC Wilmington who has started 87 games in his collegiate career. Last season, Cylla averaged 13.7 points and 4.6 rebounds and he will provide experience and depth in the frontcourt. Lastly, Emeka Obukwelu is a Division III transfer who was recruited to Arkansas by Mike Anderson. Two years ago Obukwelu earned All-Conference honors as he averaged 19.6 points and 7.8 rebounds. The level of competition will be much stiffer in the SEC, but Obukwelu gives Musselman another strong presence at forward. Arkansas is starting a new chapter with Eric Musselman, and there’s a solid chance his first year with the Razorbacks results in an NCAA Tournament appearance.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.3 (104th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 72.3 (197, 10)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.6 (166, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.4 (95, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.6 (187, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.5 (167, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 66.8 (306, 13)
Rebound Margin: -4.6 (328, 14)
Assists Per Game: 16.0 (22, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.2 (205, 7)