Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is the host of Recruiting Thursday, a weekly radio show that airs from 7 to 8 p.m. on 92.1 FM in Fayetteville; 93.7 FM in Little Rock; 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home; and 106.9 FM in Arkadelphia.
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Top 10 NCAA scorer commits to Arkansas
South Dakota's Stanley Umude is shown during a game against Arkansas on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Fayetteville.
Stanley Umude, a guard/forward from South Dakota and one of the top players in the NCAA transfer portal, plans to transfer to Arkansas as a graduate transfer.
Umude, 6-6, 210 pounds, was the nation’s ninth-leading scorer this season and averaged 21.6 points per game. He also averaged seven rebounds, scored in double figures in every game but one. He had a career-high 41 points in a win over South Dakota State.
Umude shot 46.3% from the floor, 32.6% from three-point range and 82.7% at the free throw line.
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“We are excited to welcome Stanley to the Razorback family,” Arkansas coach Eric Musselman said. “He brings great versatility and was extremely well-coached at South Dakota by Todd Lee. He has a lot of experience and has a winning background. We feel the addition of Stanley and Au’Diese (Toney) on the wings will give us the ability to play position-less basketball.”
Umude entered the transfer portal March 26 after a four-year career for the Coyotes in which he accumulated 1,408 points, 526 rebounds and 168 assists. Umude is a career 46.7% shooter, including 33.2% from three-point range and 75.1% at the line.
Busting Brackets and The Athletic list him the No. 34 available transfer.
Umude said he was sold on the success of Musselman.
“I think the fit was good for me,” Umude said. “With Coach Musselman, I know he’s a former NBA coach. He’s got experience getting guys to the NBA and really developing especially transfers. Considering everything I’m trying to get done as far as winning as many games as possible and making (an) NCAA Tournament run and ultimately making it to the NBA, I just think this is the route to take.
“I think it clicked for me when I had a Zoom with Coach Musselman and how detailed they were on doing homework on my game and just making sure I knew that I was a priority. I think that’s when I knew this was the move to make.”
Umude explained how Musselman wants to use him.
“I’m going to be used on the perimeter talking advantages of mismatches and some isolations," Umude said, "and getting out and running in transition and turning defense into offense."
Umude was voted preseason Summit League player of the year as a junior. He averaged 16.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists per game and was named second team All-Summit League in 2019-20. He shot 45.9% from the floor, 33.3 from three-point range and 74.5% at the line.
He had 13 points, 8 rebounds and blocked 1 shot in South Dakota’s 77-56 loss to Arkansas in Bud Walton Arena in November 2019. Coyotes coach Todd Lee worked for Musselman as an assistant for the Rapid City Thrillers of the CBA.
Lee’s relationship with Musselman helped the Razorbacks, but wasn’t a deciding factor in Umude’s decision.
“It really didn't play that much of a role,” Umude said. “I asked Coach Lee about Coach Musselman and how he is as a person. He gave me good feedback on that. To me, he’s a good guy. He loves winning. That’s what I'm trying to do.”
As a sophomore, Umude was a first-team All-Summit League performer after averaging 14.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists. He made 18 starts in 32 games and shot 49.1% from the field, 35.1% from three and 70.1% at the free throw line.
He attended San Antonio Warren High School and averaged 23.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 2.1 assists per game as a senior.
Umude is the third transfer to sign with Arkansas for the 2021-22 season. Former Miami guard Chris Lykes committed to the Razorbacks on Wednesday. He was the No. 6 available transfer, according to Busting Brackets, and The Athletic listed him at No. 30.
Busting Brackets also rates former Pittsburgh guard/forward Au’Diese Toney the No. 16 transfer, and The Athletic rated him the No. 44 transfer before he signed with Arkansas last week.
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