By Kevin McPherson
LITTLE ROCK — Iowa grad-transfer Isaiah Moss (6-5, 208, shooting guard / wing, native of Chicago) has committed to Arkansas, marking the third transfer to pledge to new Razorbacks head coach Eric Musselman.
Moss released a statement on Twitter announcing his decision.
“I want to thank all the coaches that have taken the time to show interest in me. I feel truly blessed to have experienced this whole process. I want to thank my family and friends for being with me during this time and providing me with the best support. With that being said, I have decided to continue my athletic and educational pursuits at the University of Arkansas, and I look forward my future as a Razorback!”
Moss, ranked No. 20 among ESPN.com’s Top 40 grad-transfer prospects, announced his intentions to transfer from Iowa on May 2 before visiting Arkansas with his parents over the weekend of May 10-12. He also visited Kansas while considering visits to Arizona State and Oregon. Moss reportedly was also receiving interest from Louisville, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Iowa State, and Illinois.
Moss joins North Carolina-Wilmington grad-transfer Jeantal Cylla (6-7 forward who committed to the Hogs on April 20 during his visit to Arkansas) and California-Berkeley freshman-transfer and Little Rock native Connor Vanover (7-3 stretch-5 who visited Arkansas May 9-10 before committing to the Hogs on Wednesday, May 15) to form Musselman’s 2019 spring class.
Joe Johnson Arkansas Hawks chairman Bill Ingram — who has seen several of his high-school-aged grassroots basketball players sign to play at high-major programs like Arkansas, Kansas, Auburn, and Mississippi State in just the past three recruiting cycles alone — recognizes the latest trend of college grad-transfers having a huge impact on spring recruiting, something that Musselman embraced in his four seasons as head coach at Nevada and continues to pursue so far in his short time at the helm at Arkansas.
“Obviously, (Musselman) is living up to his reputation,” Ingram said. “When you’re bringing in seniors, you’ve got guys who can be leaders and possible starters.”
A fourth-year junior in 2018-19, Moss started 96 games for the Hawkeyes in his three seasons playing in Iowa City, IA, and had a career scoring-average of 8.9 points. He started all 35 games and was fifth on the team in scoring last season, averaging 9.2 points to go with 2.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 24.1 minutes per game. He was also second on the team in steals (32).
Moss ranked fourth in the Big Ten in 3-point shooting percentage going 48 of 114 for 42.1% in ’18-19, and he was good from the free throw line as well (79.1%). Moss’s two best career scoring games — 32 points and 23 points — both came against Minnesota. In his final game of the ’18-19 season, Moss finished with 16 points (6-of-12 field goals, including 3-of-5 from 3), 5 rebounds, and 2 steals in 29 minutes in Iowa’s 83-77 overtime loss against Tennessee in the NCAA tournament Round of 32 on March 24.
Moss becomes the third Hogs backcourt player who stands at least 6-5, matching the height of SEC All Freshman shooting guard Isaiah Joe and sophomore wing Mason Jones.
The Hogs now have a backcourt with size that brings serious firepower from distance as Joe (Arkansas’s second-leading scorer and SEC All Freshman team after finishing the regular season as the SEC’s leader in made 3s and 3-point field goal percentage), Jones (Hogs’ third leading scorer), freshman Desi Sills (46.0% from 3), and Moss (again, he ranked fourth in the Big 10 in 3-point field goal percentage) combined to make 266-of-658 from 3 in ’18-19 for a collective 40.4% (with 3 of the 4 guards shooting at least 41.4%).
In Musselman’s pace-and-space offense — which looks to promote ball-movement via passing, 3-point shot attempts in bulk, and wide driving lanes for slashes to the basket that either lead to high-percentage shots at the cup or free-throw attempts — having depth in terms of perimeter shooting prowess will not only put stress on defenders trying to cover up the shooters, it should help create those coveted driving opportunities for downhill slashers like sophomore-transfer guard Jalen Harris and freshman forward Reggie Chaney.
“I would like to thank my teammates and coaches, and all the fans for being there for me,” Moss said via a University of Iowa athletic department press release issued on Thursday, May 2, when he announced he was leaving the Hawkeyes. “The last four years have been a great experience.”
Linked is a highlight reel of Moss from the ’17-18 season when he scored 19 points in a consecutive 96-second span of being on the court against Minnesota …
HISTORY! Never Been Done Before: 19 pts in 96 seconds Isaiah Moss of the Iowa Hawkeyes scores 19 points in 96 seconds against the Minnesota Golden Gophers