A few notes from Musselman's availability today

We talked to Eric Musselman for 20+ minutes this afternoon:

• There are tickets available for the game Sunday. There’s a small allotment because Arkansas students are on fall break.

• Trey Wade and Kamani Johnson will not play against East Central. Wade is working his way back from an injury to a tendon in his right knee. He got a workout in prior to the Red-White game and looked good, but was nowhere near full speed. Musselman said Wade will go about 30 minutes non-contact in Saturday’s practice and the hope is for him to be ready by opening night.

Musselman did not give a reason for Johnson not playing this weekend. Opening night looks likely for him, Musselman said. EDIT: Added a note at the bottom on Johnson and removed the previously written line.

• The projected starting 5 for the game is Davonte Davis, JD Notae, Au’Diese Toney, Stanley Umude and Jaylin Williams. Musselman was adamant, though, that this 5 can change given there is practice today and Saturday. He will probably cap his rotation at 9 players for the first stretch of the game.

• Musselman said this first exhibition would not be happening if Max Pendery, a former GA of his with the Razorbacks, was not the head coach at East Central. He said Max did a tremendous job in his time at Arkansas and added it is really cool for him to have a former GA make an impact at another program and become a head coach so quickly.

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That lineup works for me. Three seniors and two sophs. We’ll see how long it takes for someone else to play their way in, or out.

Settling on a top 8 by the time SEC play starts this year is going to be very interesting … in Muss’ first two years, his # 9, 10 & 11 were:

2019-20: Jeantal Cylla, Jamario Bell, Emeka Obukwelu
2020-21: Vance Jackson, Ethan Henderson, Emeka Obukwelu

Who the heck is # 9, 10 & 11 for the 2021-22 squad?

Wax

I think Devo, JD and Jaylin are safe in the starting lineup for the long.

My only question on that is Lykes playing his way in. Which might leave a three guard lineup, counting Umude and Toney as forwards. Or maybe moving JD back to microwave off the bench.

My guess on the top 9 for now: Those 5, Lykes, Jaxson, CV and Kamani once he’s out of the doghouse. Then at some point you deal with a healthy KK and Wade. Moore has a hill to climb.

I’d throw Umude in there too. I know it’ll be different for him facing better teams each night than he’s accustomed to seeing, but he’s talented enough to adapt quickly, I think. Really high on him.

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I agree. The reason I said not safe is because of him having to adjust. So I was thinking he may lose his spot but regain it quickly. Of course I am hoping he does not lose spot at all because that would mean he is delivering what we expect of him.

That would not be good for JD. He is the returning leading scorer, has paid his dues coming off the bench, is a senior and perhaps his last chance to start at P6 school. I expect JD to lead us in scoring. Let’s not do to him what happened to Macon for part of a season. If he loses his spot it should be because he is failing as a starter.

Lykes could crack the lineup, but I think that would be at the expense of Toney.

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Precisely what he did last season. I agree with you since you put it that way. Muss started him against Auburn after our 4th SEC loss in 5 games. JD played so poorly that Muss only gave him 11 minutes in the game, and didn’t start him the rest of the season, even when we had injuries.

I’ve said all this pre-season that Muss will give him a chance to start because his talent deserves starter status. Last season he played sooo much better off the bench. Hopefully that won’t be the case again this season. He will get his minutes either way. Muss’ decision will be what’s best for the team and for JD. And Lykes’ play may have a say in this also.

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I could be misreading the situation, but I think Musselman might feel more comfortable starting Notae, too, because he can bring Chris Lykes off the bench. Although Lykes still has some growing to do in terms of depth of knowledge of the offense, Musselman has said multiple times he is a guy who can score 6-8 points in a flash. Different players, but that about them is similar.

Should note this: Kamani Johnson is dealing with a wrist injury.

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What about KK, I was told he was questionable on Sunday?

I don’t think we’ll see him. Got to get that foot right.

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So I guess KK still not 100%?? I thought he was moving very well the other day.

Yeah, that won’t happen.

Right now, I’m going to say KK, Wade, and Vanover for 9-11.

I’d guess Lykes or Notae will end up being the 6th man. You’re probably right about JD in the starting lineup through the holidays. But, if Notae remains a starter, he’d better cut way down on the turnovers.

I’ll be pleasantly surprised to see JD average less than 2 turnovers a game. I won’t be surprised to see him win 6th man of the year again.

Good call. Chance Moore could be in that mix too. Or maybe he is #12.

One other possibility is Johnson instead of Wade.

Another candidate for 6th man could be Jaxon Robinson. He could fill that Notae role from last year.

I’m thinking we (me too) are maybe overlooking Wade a bit. Muss said he may be ready for our first game. If he comes back 100% healthy, he may work his way into the top 8.

He led a good Wichita St team (11-2 in the AAC and beat Houston) in rebounding and had a 2 to 1 Assist to TO ratio. That team also made the NCAA tourney.

He’s kind of the forgotten transfer after the big 3, but he was a solid player on a very good high mid major team. He may end up being a solid contributor for the Hogs.

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