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Nearly 1,200 Division-I basketball players have entered the transfer portal since March 13, and Arkansas has interest in practically every single one. Not really, but the Razorbacks are casting a wide net.
The transfer portal has changed the game forever and head coach Eric Musselman is all-in.
Even before the portal became what it is today, Musselman has put a large focus on transfers. He turned Nevada into the go-to destination for top talent that needed a fresh start and new opportunity, and took the Wolfpack into three-straight NCAA Tournaments as a top-25 team.
That trend has continued in Fayetteville, and it’s a lot easier today than it was then.
I promise I wouldn’t be sitting here if it wasn’t for the transfer portal. I kind of felt like at Nevada we were at the forefront of the transfer portal. Really interesting because eight years ago when somebody was transferring, the process was a lot different.
You had to go through your compliance office and there was a lot of paperwork involved. And I can promise you there was not much competition. The competition now for transfers is as fierce as any recruiting landscape that you could be a part of. But it was not that way for three years, especially because guys had to sit out.”— Eric Musselman ahead of the Sweet 16
Although Musselman supplements his roster with high schoolers, largely from the Natural State, his focus is on transfers. Arkansas has had at least seven transfers on its roster in each of the last three years.
As the 58-year-old turns his attention toward 2023/24, his approach is no different. More than 20% of Division-I scholarship players have entered the portal since it opened last month— about 2.5/3 players per team.
That is where Musselman and his staff go to work. Over the course of the last four (ish) weeks, the Razorbacks have contacted 86 different players in the transfer portal.
SEC hoops junkie Ben Brandon has kept track of every single one. All 86, as of Tuesday afternoon.
How does that compare? Other SEC programs aren’t sure exactly how many players they have contacted, but two head coaches within the Western division estimate that it is no more than 40, maybe 50. Arkansas isn’t too far off from doubling those numbers, if it hasn’t already.
Is it time to declare Musselman as the Portal King of college hoops? That title should have long been crowned.