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NCAAB Predictions: No. 7 Arkansas Razorbacks

This is an almost entirely new roster for Eric Mussleman to work with this season. One of the top recruiting classes in the country is joined by five incoming transfers as Arkansas comes in at No. 7 in BetUS’ countdown of the top college basketball teams in the country.

Davonte Davis and Kamani Johnson are the only returnees for the Razorbacks.

Joseph Pinion #5 of the Arkansas Razorbacks
Joseph Pinion #5 of the Arkansas Razorbacks | Chris covatta/getty images/afp

Arkansas lost its top four scorers in JD Notae, Stanley Umude, Jaylin Williams and Au’Diese Toney along with Chris Lykes, who all either graduated or declared for the NBA draft. Connor Vanover transferred to Oral Roberts and Jaxson Robinson is now at BYU while Khalen Robinson (Texas A&M) and Chance Moore (Missouri State) have also moved on. Things will certainly look much different when Arkansas takes the court.

When looking at the college basketball playoff odds, Arkansas (+1600) is tied for sixth in the odds to win the national title.

The Razorbacks came in at No. 10 in both the Associated Press and Coaches poll. No. 4 Kentucky is the only SEC team ranked ahead of them.

Arkansas was picked to finish second behind Kentucky in the SEC’s preseason poll with highly touted freshman Nick Smith being selected to the preseason All-SEC first team.

Let’s check the latest NCAAB picks, stats, injury reports, and NCAAB predictions. We’ve plenty of NCAAB expert picks for you to consider.

Arkansas Razorbacks

  • 2021-22 record: 28-9
  • 2021-22 SEC Record: 13-5
  • Coach: Eric Musselman
  • Odds to win national title: +1600

There is plenty of talent as the Razorbacks are expected to contend for the SEC title and make some noise in the NCAA Tournament as well. However, seven of the eight players who averaged more than 10 minutes per game have moved on so it could take some time for the on-court chemistry to be formed.

Nick Smith is one of the top incoming freshmen in the country while Anthony Black and Jordan Walsh are also top-20 recruits.

Smith and Black are being touted as potential top-five selections in the 2023 NBA Draft while Walsh isn’t far behind. All the freshmen are expected to play significant roles.

Those who bet online need to keep tabs on how quickly the talented freshmen adapt to the college game.

Former Missouri forward Trevor Brazile is the top-rated incoming transfer. He had eight points and eight rebounds the last time he played against Arkansas, so the Razorbacks should have a good idea what they are getting.

Ricky Council averaged 12 points and 5.4 rebounds as a sophomore at Wichita State. The 6-foot-9 Jalen Graham was a two-year starter at Arizona State who averaged 11.4 points against ranked teams a season ago.

The Mitchell brothers will help bolster the frontcourt. The 6-foot-10 Makhel averaged 10.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocked shots and the 6-foot-9 Makhi contributed 9.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks for Rhode Island during the 2021-22 season.

Arkansas Outlook

An exhibition game loss to Texas showed that there is plenty of work yet to be done. Freshman Jordan Walsh led the way with 14 points while Smith added 12. Arkansas started three freshmen and two transfers in that contest.

Freshman Joseph Pinion had a team-high 15 points in an exhibition game against Rogers State. The ability to play those two warm-up contests as well as four games in a tour of Italy back in August should be a huge help. Finding playing time for all the new arrivals could be a challenge.

Arkansas was just 5-4 in true road games last season. With just two holdovers from that team, it is hard to use anything that happened a year ago to project how the 2022-23 season is going to play out.

The three games in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, including one with Louisville, could be interesting. Non-conference matchups against Oklahoma and Baylor won’t be easy.

The Razorbacks wrap up the regular season with games against Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky.

Arkansas failed to cover against the college basketball odds in four of the last five games last season. The lone exception was the upset of Gonzaga in the NCAA tournament.

The Razorbacks have been close to punching a ticket to the Final Four the last couple of seasons and this could be a team to get there.

2022-23 Arkansas Schedule

  • Season opener: vs. North Dakota State, Nov. 7, 8 p.m. ET
  • SEC opener: at Louisiana State, Dec. 28, 9 p.m. ET

Other Games to Watch

  • vs South Dakota State, Nov. 16, 8 p.m. ET
  • vs Louisville (at Lahaina Hawaii), Nov. 21, 5 p.m. ET
  • vs Texas Tech/Creighton (at Lahaina, Hawaii), Nov. 22, time TBA
  • vs Troy, Nov. 28, 8 p.m. ET
  • vs Oklahoma (at Tulsa), Dec. 10, 1 p.m. ET
  • at Auburn, Jan. 7, 8:30 p.m. ET
  • vs Alabama, Jan. 11, 7 p.m. ET
  • vs Louisiana State, Jan. 24, 6 p.m. ET
  • at Baylor, Jan. 28, time TBA
  • at South Carolina, Feb. 4, 3:30 p.m.
  • at Kentucky, Feb. 7, 9 p.m. ET
  • vs Florida, Feb. 18, 2 p.m. ET
  • at Alabama, Feb. 25, time TBA
  • at Tennessee, Feb. 28, 9 p.m. ET
  • vs Kentucky, March 4, 2 p.m. ET

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