Arkansas Guard Desi Sills Enters Transfer Portal

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INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – MARCH 29: Desi Sills #3 of the Arkansas Razorbacks elevates for a dunk against the Baylor Bears during the first half in the Elite Eight round of the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas junior guard and Jonesboro native Desi Sills announced on Wednesday that he intends to enter the transfer portal. His announcement comes less than 48 hours after the 10th-ranked Razorbacks’ 81-72 loss to No. 3 Baylor in the NCAA tournament Elite Eight on Monday.

A preseason All SEC second-team pick after averaging 10.6 points in 31.2 minutes per game as a sophomore in 2019-20, Sills (6-1 guard) made 15 starts in ’20-21 but found himself in a diminished role off the bench in the second half of the season as his playing time in 11 of Arkansas’ final 15 games was 15 minutes or less. However, he did see an increase in his role and playing time in the Hogs’ Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games, averaging 29.5 minutes, 2.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.5 steals in those two outings.

Sills will have two more seasons of playing eligibility.

Barring a change of plans to remain at Arkansas, Sills ends his Razorbacks career with 47 starts in 98 games played while totaling 758 points, 225 rebounds, 148 assists, 84 steals, and 11 blocks. In ’20-21, he averaged 7.5 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.0 steal in 20.7 minutes per game while shooting 43.0% from the field (including 31.8% from 3) and 67.6% from the free throw line.

Sills’ career-high scoring mark of 23 points helped the Hogs to a 97-85 road win over Auburn in the SEC opener on Dec. 30, and he also notched 22 points to help Arkansas overcome a 19-point deficit at home against Auburn for a 75-73 home win on Jan. 20. Sills recorded a double-double — 16 points and 10 rebounds — in the Razorbacks’ 87-76 come-from-behind win over Oral Roberts on Dec. 20, then in the teams’ rematch on Saturday in the Sweet 16 he played 28 minutes with 2 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals as Arkansas once again overcame a 12-point second-half deficit to defeat the Golden Eagles, 72-70, and advance to the Elite Eight. In what appears to be his final games as a Hog, Sills played 31 minutes and finished with 2 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal in the aforementioned 81-72 loss against Baylor on Monday in the NCAAT South Region finals in Indianapolis.

Sills started 24 of 32 games as a sophomore in ’19-20 and averaged 10.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 31.2 minutes per game while shooting 42.5% from the field (including 32.9% from 3) and 64.8% from the free throw line. As a freshman in ’18-19 playing for previous Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson, Sills started 8 of 34 games and averaged 5.3 points, 1.7 assists, and 1.3 rebounds in 16.9 minutes per game while shooting 44.0% from the field (including an Arkansas freshman record 46.0% from 3) and 70.2% from the free throw line.

Sills, a back-to-back state champion at Jonesboro in ’16-17 and ’17-18, was part of a 6-player high school recruiting class signed in 2018 at Arkansas by Anderson. From that class, only junior forward Ethan Henderson of Little Rock remains on the Arkansas roster.

With three senior-grad transfers — Justin Smith, Jalen Tate, and Vance Jackson, Jr. — presumably moving on along with freshman guard Moses Moody of Little Rock, who seems likely to enter the 2021 NBA Draft, the departure of Sills means Arkansas is likely to have 5 open scholarships for ’21-22. Two of those are spoken for as 2021 signees Chance Moore (6-5 wing, McEacher School in Georgia) and Akol Mawein (6-9 combo forward, Navarro College) are set to join the team in the coming months. With Smith, Tate, and Jackson each having the option to return due to the NCAA granting an extra season of eligibility because of the covid-19 pandemic, none of the trio has announced his intentions for next season. Moody has made no announcements at this time, either.

The way the roster is structured now and assuming all of Moody, Sills, and Tate will indeed move on with no more backcourt departures, the Hogs’ guard corps in ’21-22 would include junior JD Notae, sophomores Davonate “Devo” Davis and Khalen “KK” Robinson, and the incoming Moore.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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