LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Razorbacks have reached into the transfer portal for the third time in early April as they have landed another proven and highly coveted prospect in South Dakota senior-transfer Stanley Umude, who announced his commitment to the Hogs on Friday.
Umude (6-6 combo forward, native of San Antonio, Texas) actually committed to Arkansas on Wednesday as he chose the Hogs over Kansas, Arizona, Clemson, Texas, Texas A&M, and TCU as well as a host of other schools that recruited him once he hit the portal. He becomes Arkansas’ third Division 1 transfer addition in the 2021 recruiting class — all coming in the last 9 days — as he joins Pitt junior-transfer Au’Diese Toney (committed to the Hogs on Thursday, April 1) and Miami senior-transfer Chris Lykes (committed to the Hogs on Wednesday, April 7).
Due to the covid-19 pandemic exception made by the NCAA, college players will receive an extra year of eligibility, meaning Umude will have one more season of immediate playing eligibility in 2021-22.
“We are excited to welcome Stanley to the Razorback family,” Head Hog Eric Musselman said. “He brings great versatility and was extremely well-coached at South Dakota by Todd Lee. He has a lot of experience and has a winning background. We feel the addition of Stanley and Au’Diese (Toney) on the wings will give us the ability to play position-less basketball.”
A postseason All-Summit League first team selection in ’20-21, Umude started in all 25 games and averaged 21.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists in 32.3 minutes per game while shooting 47.1% from the field, including 39-of-110 from 3 for 35.6%, and 79.9% from the free throw line on a team that finished second (14-11 overall, 11-4 in the Summit League) in a respected mid-major conference. He scored 25 or more points 9 times in ’20-21, including games of scoring 30 or more points 5 times. He notched a career-high 41 points to go with 11 rebounds in a 91-78 win over Summit League champion South Dakota State on Dec. 12, 2020.
Umude becomes the fourth Arkansas commit in the last two recruiting cycles who previously either played against or was scouted as part of game preparation for an Eric Musselman-coached team. As a junior in ’19-20, Umude finished with 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 block in South Dakota’s 77-56 loss at Arkansas on Nov. 22, 2019. For the entire ’19-20 season, Umude averaged 16.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.3 blocks in 30.5 minutes per game while shooting 45.9% from the field, including 36-of-108 from 3 for 33.3%, and 74.5% from the free throw line while earning postseason second team All Summit League honors.
In 4 games against high-major opponents in his last two seasons at South Dakota, Umude had: 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 blocks against Colorado in ’20-21; 25 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists against Nebraska in ’20-21; the aforementioned 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 block against Arkansas in ’19-20; and 17 points, 13 rebounds, and 1 assist against then-No. 22 Washington in ’19-20.
In his four seasons at South Dakota, Umude started 75 times and totaled 1,520 points, 549 rebounds, 183 assists, 91 blocks, and 55 steals.
Musselman has now landed a total of 14 transfers (5 in the 2019 recruiting class, 5 in 2020, and 4 so far in 2021) and 6 high school prospects (4 in 2020, one signed in 2021, and one committed in 2022) spanning parts of five recruiting cycles overlapping his two seasons as head coach at Arkansas.
With ESPN Top 100 high school prospect Chance Moore (6-5 wing, McEachern School in Georgia) and 247Sports.com national top 5 junior college prospect Akol Mawein (6-9 combo forward, Navarro College) already signed in the November early period combined with the portal haul of Toney, Lykes, and Umude, the Hogs are now at the maximum 13 scholarship players for the ’21-22 season. That includes the recent transfer-portal departures of junior guard Desi Sills and junior forward Ethan Henderson, but there may be more roster attrition via the transfer portal or pro ball pursuits.
Umude fits the mold of position-less players that Musselman covets. He’s long and strong with skill to score in a variety of ways. He’s effective as a slasher, in post-up isolation sets, and behind the three-point arc as both a catch-and-shoot and dribble-setup threat. Expect to see Umude’s versatility lead to a 3/4-combo role in the Hogs’ rotation.