Eric Musselman excited to have Devo Davis back ahead of Georgia game

Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman speaks to guard Davonte Davis, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2024, during the Razorbacks' 69-66 victory over Lipscomb at Simmons Bank Arena in North Little Rock. (Staci Vandagriff/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

FAYETTEVILLE — Last week, Arkansas men’s basketball guard Davonte “Devo” Davis approached coach Eric Musselman while he was lifting weights. The two had a meeting, lifted together, and now Davis is back with the Razorbacks after a three-game stint away from the program.

The reasoning for his time away has not been disclosed.

Musselman said he felt Davis would return to the team when he decided to step away. The fifth-year coach announced Davis’ comeback on his radio show Monday. Without a midweek game, Davis has gotten back into practice and feels he has gotten back to where he was from a conditioning standpoint, Musselman said.

Davis averages 6.3 points and 4 rebounds per game.

“We’re excited to have Devo back. I think he’s excited,” Musselman said Friday. “He’s had a great week of practice. … He's been a part of four really good years, and (I’m) certainly looking forward to having him back.”

Musselman said the team has responded well to Davis being back in practice, and he hopes for a good reception for him from fans at Bud Walton Arena on Saturday when the Razorbacks face Georgia.

“Devo’s done some incredible things as part of this program,” Musselman said. “You look at the success over the last three years, and he’s been a part of it. Hopefully everybody recognizes what he has done for the program."

Musselman said he didn’t know how much Davis would be in the game plan for Saturday, adding that he didn’t know how much of a role anyone would have yet. The Razorbacks haven't had a solidified starting five and have had several different players in and out of the rotation.

“I don’t ever go into a game thinking a player’s going to play 15 minutes or 30,” Musselman said. “I think the game dictates it, especially this year. … I really can’t tell you how many minutes Devo’s going to play other than the fact that the reason we discussed his conditioning is because, ‘If you’re going to play a lot, are you ready to do that?’”

Musselman said there aren’t any minute restrictions for Davis from the staff or any trainers.

Arkansas (11-11, 2-7 SEC) hosts Georgia (14-9, 4-6) at 5 p.m. Saturday. The Bulldogs are coming off four consecutive defeats, while the Razorbacks have dropped four of their past five games.

Musselman updates Trevon Brazile’s status

Musselman also said forward Trevon Brazile, who has missed the past three games with knee soreness, will miss Saturday’s contest against Georgia. There’s no timetable for his return.

It is not known whether the soreness is in the same knee in which Brazile tore his anterior cruciate ligament last season. He averages 8.9 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.