HawgBeat Hoops Mailbag w/ JC Hoops: 1/7/23


The new year has arrived and the No. 13 Arkansas Razorbacks sit at 12-2 (1-1) with a ranked road matchup at No. 22 Auburn on Saturday.

Recruiting is heating up for the 2024 cycle, there is some noise surrounding a certain 2023 prospect, and the Razorbacks and coach Eric Musselman are still looking to solidify their rotation after two key injuries.

As always, every single question from The Trough message board at HawgBeat.com is answered on the board, while the best questions from Twitter are chosen. If you want to guarantee an answer, subscribe to HawgBeat.com.

What is your honest guess on Ian Jackson? If we somehow get Holland & Jackson wants to reclassify, could we take Jackson too? – @Sir OinksAlot on HawgBeat

My most honest guess would be that Jackson ends up at Kentucky, but that’s subject to change. Arkansas gets him on campus next Wednesday against Alabama with a stripe out and an insane environment. Musselman is throwing the kitchen sink at him, and I’ll never count out Musselman on the recruiting trail.

I don’t think Musselman is in the business of turning away five stars, either. I think if the one to commit second would be okay playing with the one to commit first (if that’s even what happens), it would be a situation similar to this past class where Musselman landed three four-stars and then took three five-stars because he ended up being able to.

Do you think Muss will start going a little harder after shooting on the recruiting trail/portal? I know length and versatility are top priorities for him, but he has to adjust a little bit right? – @Chuck Roper on HawgBeat

I think he has to. Layden Blocker will probably be one of the better shooters he’s signed out of high school outside of Nick Smith, Moses Moody, and Joseph Pinion, and he’s looking at guys like Jase Richardson and Dink Pate, among others, in the 2024 class, and those guys are snipers.

I’ve said it before: eight of the last 10 national champions have at least one 40% or better three point shooter and the other two had multiple 37%+ shooters. At this point, Final Four and National Championship are the next steps — he has to address that area.

What % would you give these guys to leave to go pro: Walsh, Council, and Brazile. – @PorkshankRedemption on HawgBeat

Walsh – 85% gone; Council – 80%; Brazile – 25%

These are speculative, but I think this is where I land on these percentages.

Jordan Walsh is a 6-foot-7 athletic freak who is a very good and versatile defender. Lately, he’s played with more confidence and has been a more complete offensive threat and capable scorer. On top of that, he’s crashing the offensive glass with authority and overall just a very solid rebounder. While he’s still very raw, all of the above will have NBA execs drooling wanting to take a chance on him in the first round.

Ricky Council IV is in an interesting spot. I don’t know how much he can improve as a player from where he is in the college ranks other than working on his shooting form. If that is, in fact, the case, he might be better off leaving after this year. The catch is that NIL gives players that are on the edge of NBA status the ability to stick around in college and be compensated for their talents better than the G League or initial European contracts. Still up in the air here, but lean towards him trying his hand at the pros, but always subject to change.

Brazile was on his way to being a first round draft pick before suffering a season-ending ACL injury. This is more opinion than anything, but I think the injury and the timeline for recovery puts him in a spot where he would likely not be a first round pick or even a high second round pick. He might fall to the mid-to-late second round. If that is the case, I think the chances of Brazile coming back to try to play himself into a first round position again would be in his best interest.

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