Arkansas adjusting to new hoops recruiting landscape

By: Dudley E. Dawson
Published: Thursday, March 19, 2020
A basketball sits in a rack at Bud Walton Arena in this undated photo.
Photo by Andy Shupe
A basketball sits in a rack at Bud Walton Arena in this undated photo.

— The NCAA basketball recruiting process may be in flux because of concerns over coronavirus, but at least it is the same for everyone, Arkansas coach Eric Musselman said.

While the Razorbacks have their 2020 class in focus, 2021 and 2022 recruiting classes are certain to be impacted by the absence of spring and, potentially, summer basketball AAU tournaments.

“The one good thing is that everybody is on the same level playing field,” Musselman said during a teleconference on Thursday. “It certainly affects your evaluation. Again, who knows how the rest of the summer plays out. Certainly you hope everything gets back to normal at some point.”

Nike’s EYBL, Adidas’ The Gauntlet and the Under Armour Association have already called off events scheduled for April.

“If the summer is wiped out or there’s no summer at all then September evals become important when guys are at their high school,” Musselman said. “I guess from a recruiting and evaluation standpoint we just have to see how these next couple of months play out. I think you’re going to have to work at a little bit different pace.

"Maybe in September you’ll see multiple, multiple guys and maybe your format or your plan gets adjusted.”

Musselman is doing whatever he can to get the Arkansas brand publicity during this time.

“I’m trying to get on as many podcasts as I can. I did a video thing with Coaching U yesterday and I’ve done some radio stuff,” Musselman said. “Just trying to spread our brand the best that we can.”

Musselman has also done videos of a press conference without an audience and a practice without players that have received some national attention.

“The videos are great for recruits and it’s kind of branding thing,” Musselman said. “It’s interesting to get text messages. I got a text message this morning from someone that works for the New York Jets. Phil Nevin from the Yankees texted me on it.

"When SportsCenter picks something up it’s a great thing from a recruiting standpoint as well.”

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