Now that Toney is apparently gone, these 2 players would be my top 2 picks:
Aimaq 4/5 - All around very good Big
Brandon Murray - LSU Frosh 2G - #1 ranked defensive guard in the portal. #2 overall defensive player. We contacted, not sure of level of interest from either side. Identical size of Toney and good shooter.
This would give us an amazingly solid top 8 players. 4 at the 1, 2, and 3 spots and 4 at the 3, 4, and 5 spots. Murray could play the 2 and 3 and Jordan can play the 3 & 4.
247’s write up of how Brandon would fit at Arkansas:
“Arkansas has a loaded recruiting class and plenty of talented guards returning, so they probably couldn’t guarantee Murray that he’s hands-down the No. 1 guy. But if Murray wants to win a National Championship, Arkansas can sell back-to-back Elite Eight appearances and a roster that should be built to win at a high level in 2022-23. Murray would likely thrive in Arkansas, and Musselman would love the defensive switchability Murray would provide.”
Great “wish list”, but I don’t think we take either choice because of fit … Murray is Devo with a little better shot (and I look for Devo to improve his % again) and Aimaq is a step slow – better than CV, though – and misses too many non-dunks.
“Lykes” him or not, Chris L had value in coming off the bench as a knock down free throw shooter and secondary ball handler … I can think of 3-4 games this year he won for the Hogs … he could also check small, quick guards (though he was at a disadvantage with big guards) … my pick for his replacement would be bringing Tyree Appleby home for his final college season with his 85% FT and nearly 40% 3PT shooting ability … I think Appleby would thrive as the first guard off the bench spelling his central Arkansas compadres Devo and Nick Jr … I also like that he is a 5th year guy with maturity and high major experience.
The remaining BIG is a little more complicated … if we think JWill is coming back, I would like to see us go hard for Omier … anyone who can convert 63%+ FG’s at high volume in D1 is a player … the fact he’s doing it so early in his basketball career tells me he still has significant upside … a rotation of JWill, Brazile, Omier and JWalsh (in small ball) at the 4/5 would be championship caliber IMO.
However, if JWill does not come back, replacing him with a BIG who has length becomes critical … KJ Williams or Johnie Broome would be candidates and, I expect, some others will surface in the next few weeks.
It’s fun to guess … Muss is the master and will find the right pieces to fit together … remember, Trey Wade didn’t sign until early June last year and he almost single handedly won the Gonzaga game for Arkansas.
I’d be fine with Broome. One reason I said Aimaq is that it appears the Hogs are actively trying to get him to visit. We don’t see that with any other player in the portal right now. To me that indicates he may now be the #1 big that Muss has on his board. It seems to me that Muss only wants portal players to visit if he’s willing to take their commitment.
I don’t know if Muss would currently accept Murray’s commitment of if he’s even interested. Murray’s been in the Portal a good while, so he may not be interested. The only reason I mentioned Murray is I see him as a great replacement for Toney, who I just found out today was leaving. I thought maybe Muss might be now looking for a replacement for Toney. Perhaps he hadn’t been looking for his replacement until Toney made it public? I’m sure Toney told Muss before making it public, but maybe not more than a day or two ago.
I’ve read that a lot and assume it’s true to some extent. However, it appears Muss is very interested in Aimaq since we’re trying to get a visit. If that’s true, I think Muss is interested because of his defense and rebounding and not expecting him to score 19 points a game like he did at Utah Valley. Aimaq was 2nd in overall rebounding only to Tshiebwe. He actually edged out Oscar for #1 in defensive rebounds in the country. I remember Muss, a few times this past season, bemoaning offensive rebounds by our opponents. He mentioned that we had to improve our defensive rebounding.
I guess we made big historical improvements, but we must have come from the depths of despair last year and this year, under Muss.
In overall team rebounding differential this season, we were 90th in the country and Utah Valley was 6th. In defensive team rebounding differential this season we were 128th and Utah Valley was 3rd.
It certainly appears that, Arkansas had been a historically bad rebounding team before Muss arrived. It appears, with Aimaq, Brazile, and JWill on next years team, we would obliterate Arkansas’ best defensive rebounding season.
where did we stand within the SEC for this? I’m pretty sure Utah Valley wouldn’t be 3rd if they played our schedule… that being said, we’ve been a very bad rebounding team for years… this year was definitely better.
Boy is that true. I just looked at 2018/19, the year before Muss got here. We were 299th in Def rebounding differential.
In the SEC, we were 6th in defensive rebounding differential. in 2018/19, we were 14th in the SEC. So in reality, Muss did make marked improvement, but we still sit at upper mid-pack. I’m sure Muss would like to see us in the top 3.
Wow, is that ever a high risk-reward job he took. I hope they gave him a huge salary. However, if he can get the best of the LSU players, he may get a big raise and save Ewing’s job if they can just win 4 or 5 conference games. On the flip side though, his job will be tied to Patrick. They fire Ewing, he’s gone too.
I’d love to have him too. I see him as more of a 3/4 than a 4\5 though. I could see both he and Aimaq or Broome, who are both 4/5s. As 339 posted, he’d be a better replacement for Toney than Murray, that I proposed. I just didn’t think he was still available.