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Andy Hodges

Musselman puts together 2020 class that is highest ranked in a long time

It’s been a couple of decades since the Razorbacks were ranked as high as this year’s No. 6 composite ranking and don’t be surprised to see all four guys on the floor together.

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The final piece to Eric Musselman’s first real recruiting class came in Monday when KK Robinson got his paperwork in, giving Arkansas a No. 6-rated class in the composite rankings.

In case you’re wondering it’s been a couple of decades since the Razorbacks were in that category. Mike Anderson’s best ranking was No. 19 in 2013, his second class in Fayetteville.

Musselman knows how to recruit and works at it. The NBA background he and his staff have is part of it.

“Of course,” signee Jaylin Williams said on an Instagram interview with Musselman and his wife, Danyelle. “Knowing that coach Muss and coach (Corey) Williams and the other coaches all have NBA experience knowing that they know what to do to make sure I can try and get to the next level is a great feeling for a recruit or commit.”

All of that’s a big plus but it would be worthless without the unrelenting work Musselman and his staff put into recruiting.

There is SOMETHING coming out about recruiting from the Hogs these days 365 days a year. It’s not just men’s basketball, either.

Flying under the radar somewhat was women’s coach Mike Neighbors picking up the signature of the top-rated graduate transfer in the entire country when Destiny Slocum was officially announced Monday.

Musselman, though, has taken it to an entirely new level.

Robinson (Bryant) was expected to sign Saturday but his paperwork didn’t get announced until Monday and it completed a class that included Williams (Fort Smith Northside, Moses Moody (Little Rock) and Devo Davis (Jacksonville).

Robinson and Moody finished their high school path out of state at prep schools, but both made it clear the Razorbacks had the home edge.

They join some experienced guys in graduate transfers Vance Jackson and Jalen Tate.

Landing all those guys inside the state was a big deal for Musselman in just his second year.

“It’s not often you come into a state with that many guys and be able to land all of them,” Musselman said in a teleconference late Monday afternoon.

It hasn’t happened in recent years in Arkansas with some big names managing to escape out of state. The previous staff was more noted for the ones that went out of state.

Musselman is working to close the borders.

And don’t be surprised if all four freshmen end up on the floor at the same time. Musselman isn’t afraid of that.

“The same thing in the NBA,” he said Monday. “If you have really good rookies you play ’em. We’re going to play the guys that are the best and fit together. Whoever fits the best will be the guys that earn the rotation and earn the minutes.”

The bottom line to that is if they can play, they will. He made it clear he has the depth this year to probably get more guys on the floor than last season, so mistakes may land folks on the bench quicker.

None of it guarantees a single win, but there will be a lot of new faces … and they can play.

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