Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He appears weekly on The Red Zone w/ JB on 92.1 FM Fayetteville, The Morning Rush w/ Tye & Tommy on 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home, 99.5 FM in Fayetteville and The Zone w/ Justin & Wess on 103.7 FM in Little Rock.
The Recruiting Guy:
Former Arizona State forward commits to Hogs
Arizona State forward Jalen Graham (2) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Arkansas has landed its fourth basketball transfer of the offseason with the addition of All-Pac-12 forward Jalen Graham from Arizona State.
He had a prior relationship with Arkansas coach Eric Musselman while he was coaching Nevada along with assistant Gus Argenal.
"Coach Musselman and I were really close before I went to Arizona State. He was recruiting me at Nevada before he left,” Graham said. “I felt like with the way Arkansas was this year and the last two years, they were just missing a piece they needed, so I felt I could be that piece for them. I was excited to play on the SEC level, too, and prove myself.”
Graham, 6-9, 220 pounds, averaged 9.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists while starting in 22 of 29 games last season. He averaged playing 23.5 minutes per game and was voted second-team all-conference.
He has two seasons of eligibility remaining, which includes the extra year given to all players who played during the 2019-20 season.
Knowing Musselman and Argenal gave the Hogs an advantage.
"I felt like when we talked we weren’t new to each other, it was like ‘What’s good? How you been?'" Graham said. "So yeah, that for sure played a part.”
Graham scored in double figures in 13 of his final 18 games and had a career-best 19 points in a loss to Southern Cal on Feb. 3. He shot 48.6% from the field and 52.8% from the free throw line in his final season at Arizona State.
He mentioned other factors for his decision.
“Fast pace, how they play and being in the SEC,” he said. “The players they’re bringing in and just talking to Coach Muss.”
He was an ESPN 4-star prospect, was ranked the No. 26 center in the nation and No. 3 recruit in Arizona in the 2019 class out of Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix.
Graham averaged 5.3 points and 3.7 rebounds during his three-year career with the Sun Devils.
Evan Miyakawa, who does advanced college basketball analytics, rates Arkansas' incoming transfer class No. 1 nationally.
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