LITTLE ROCK — If you’re an Arkansas Razorbacks fan and the spring can’t get here fast enough because you need more portal (as in transfer portal), you don’t even have to wait for the calendar to turn from February to March to find the Hoop Hogs reaching out to new transfer prospects.
The Hogs have contacted at least three NCAA Division 1 transfers, an effort that includes a couple of phone conversations in the last 24 hours with Florida International junior transfer Antonio Daye, Jr. (6-1, 188 pounds, native of Durham, N.C.), who entered the portal on Tuesday and thus is in the early stages of his recruiting process.
“I haven’t even been in the portal for 24 hours yet, so I haven’t gotten that far with any school,” Daye told Hogville.net. “But, I’ve talked to (Arkansas coaches) on the phone maybe twice. Coach (Clay) Moser and coach (Anthony) Ruta. I think Arkansas is an amazing program and I’m excited to get the recruiting process started with them. Everything is fresh for me so I am just getting to know the coaches and things of that sort so we will see.”
In addition to Razorbacks coaches, Daye said he’s been contacted by Florida, Missouri, North Carolina State, Pitt, Wake Forest, St. John’s, Wichita, Cincinnati, Murray State, Iona, Siena, North Carolina Central, Ohio, Georgia State, Southern Illinois, and Valparaiso.
Daye said he’s not hasn’t “fully decided yet” on a timeframe for making a decision. A junior who played in 22 games at FIU in 2020-21, Daye said he will have two years of remaining eligibility moving forward. He’d also have immediate playing eligibility in ’21-22.
Daye started 21 times this season and averaged 17.1 points, 4.7 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.4 steals in 31.6 minutes per game while shooting 45.5% from the field, including 28.9% from 3, and 69.3% from the free throw line on a team that was 9-13 with him in the lineup. He had 8 games scoring 20 or more points this season, including a season-high 28 points in a 74-70 win over Jacksonville State in early December.
In his 3 seasons at FIU, Daye totaled 989 points, 344 assists, 290 rebounds, and 140 steals in 87 games.
“A guy who loves to get after it on the defensive side!” Daye answered when asked about what he brings to the court. “I am really good in a pick-and-roll, and my passing ability is really good. I can get to the basketball at a high high level and finish through contact, and I can make shots when needed.”
Arkansas has also reached out to a couple of transfers who have entered the portal, according to recent reporting by ESPN’s Jeff Borzello — Miami freshman-transfer Matt Cross (6-7 forward; 6.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 44.9% field goals, 40% from 3, and 87.5% free throws in 26.4 minutes per outing in 14 games played in ’20-21) has heard from the Hogs, Louisville, South Carolina, Ole Miss, and Nebraska; and Robert Morris senior-transfer AJ Bramah (6-7 forward; 21.0 points, 10.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.4 steals, 51.1% field goals, and 80% free throws in 34.2 minutes per outing in 12 games played in ’20-21) has heard from the Hogs, Arizona, UConn, Washington, Utah, San Diego State, and UNLV among others. Bramah was recruited by the previous Arkansas coaching staff when he was a junior college prospect before landing at Robert Morris.
Arkansas head coach Eric Mussleman has nearly remade the entire Razorbacks roster in less than 2 years on the job in Fayetteville, mostly with Division 1 transfers as he has brought in a total of 10 to this point (9 on scholarship, 1 walk-on).