By Kevin McPherson
LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Fantastic Four don’t have far to travel as the quartet of freshmen are rolling into Fayetteville on Friday to begin their college careers as Razorbacks. It’s a significant next-step in the heavily chronicled basketball journeys of the in-staters all ranked as national Top 100 prospects.
Moses Moody (6-6 shooting guard / wing, Little Rock), Khalen “KK” Robinson (6-1 combo guard, Bryant), Jaylin Williams (6-10 forward / center, Fort Smith), and Davonte “Devo” Davis (6-4 combo guard, Jacksonville) will settle in today at the University of Arkansas before officially joining their veteran Arkansas teammates on Monday to beging strength and conditioning work.
Collectively, it’s a recruiting haul hailed as a national Top 5 class and arguably the best collection of high school talent in one class to sign and make it to campus at Arkansas since the mid-1990s (a.k.a. the glory days of Hog Hoops).
“I’m very excited to move in, ready to get to work,” Davis said on Thursday. “I think it will be a very fun and exciting year for me and the Razorback family.”
Also joining the Razorback family are three graduate-transfers – Vance Jackson, Jr. (6-9 combo forward, New Mexico), Jalen Tate (6-6 combo guard, Northern Kentucky), and Justin Smith, 6-7 forward, Indiana) — that college basketball analyst Jeff Goodman ranks as the 10th-best transfer class in the nation. That trio of seniors began their treks to Fayetteville on June 3 when sophomores, juniors, and seniors were allowed to resume basketball-related strength and conditioning drills.
Thanks to head coach Eric Musselman’s virtual team meetings via Zoom, Williams said the incoming freshmen had some opportunities to interact with the new senior transfers.
“When we’re in Zoom calls as a team they’re in there joking around with each other,” Williams said on Wednesday. “It’s just little talks like that, and I’ve talked to those guys a little bit. We just can’t wait to get down there (to Fayetteville), get a bond going, get that family connection going.”
The freshmen come in already having established relationships and familiarity with four of the six returning Hogs — Arkansas natives Isaiah Joe (6-5 shooting guard, junior), Desi Sills (6-1 combo guard, junior), Ethan Henderson (6-8 forward, junior), and Connor Vanover (7-3 stretch-5, sophomore). Juniors JD Notate (6-2 combo guard) and “Baybe” Iyiola(6-8 forward) redshirted last season and round out the group of Razorback returnees.
Due to NCAA and SEC restrictions in response to the covid-19 pandemic, the total of 9 veterans have only been able to participate in strength-and-conditioning work since returning to Fayetteville in early June. Come Monday when the freshman join in, that will continue to be the plan for all 13 scholarship Hoop Hogs for the time being with July 20 being a target date to potentially increase basketball-related activities.
For more on the Arkansas Fantastic Four’s journey to Fayetteville, please click the links below that include Scouting Reports, signing day breakdowns, Zoom interviews, highlights, and much more …
* Spring signing breakdown, including Musselman’s thoughts on his new recruits, Zoom interviews with each of the Arkansas Fantastic Four after signing, and plenty of highlights and photos (published April 2020) … https://forums.hogville.net/index.php?topic=713613.0
* Arkansas Fantastic Four Scouting Report 2.0 (published March 2020) … https://forums.hogville.net/index.php?topic=711363.0
* Arkansas Fantastic Four Scouting Report (published November 2019) … https://forums.hogville.net/index.php?topic=699025.0