Former Arkansas men's basketball guard Joseph Pinion commits to Arkansas State

Arkansas guard Joseph Pinion (5) against Gardner-Webb during an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Nov. 10, 2023, in Fayetteville. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)

FAYETTEVILLE — Former Arkansas men’s basketball guard Joseph Pinion is staying in the Natural State.

The sophomore from Morrilton announced his commitment to Arkansas State on Saturday.

The Red Wolves finished 20-17 in coach Bryan Hodgson’s first season, losing to James Madison in the Sun Belt championship game and advancing to the College Basketball Invitational semifinals, where they lost to High Point.

Pinion announced his intention to enter the NCAA transfer portal on March 15, the day after the Razorbacks’ season-ending 80-66 loss to South Carolina at the SEC Tournament. He spent two seasons in Fayetteville, averaging 2.4 points per game in both years. This season, he shot 40% from the field in limited minutes. He was the first Arkansas player to enter the portal.

Denijay Harris, Keyon Menifield, Davonte ‘Devo’ Davis and Layden Blocker are also in the transfer portal.

He joins another former Razorback, Derrian Ford, at Arkansas State. Ford was an important piece in Hodgson’s first season in Jonesboro, averaging 10.4 points per game.

Pinion was a 4-star recruit coming out of high school and committed to Arkansas over Baylor, Creighton, DePaul, Kansas, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, TCU and others. He was a McDonald’s All-American nominee and averaged 23.4 points and 9 rebounds during his senior year at Morrilton High School.

Arkansas currently has six open scholarship roster spots. The Razorbacks got Massachusetts transfer Josh Cohen’s commitment on Friday and have reportedly had a recruiting Zoom call with George Mason’s Keyshawn Hall. Arkansas has also reportedly contacted over 70 players in the transfer portal, though how much interest there is in each is unclear.