By Kevin McPherson
LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Razorbacks have added a commitment from Wichita State freshman transfer Ricky Council IV, who publicly made his commitment announcement via Instagram on Friday.
Council (6-6, 205, guard/wing, native of Durham, N.C.) took an official visit to Arkansas last week, arriving in Fayetteville on Thursday, May 5, with his Mom and brother for his OV that concluded on Saturday, May 7. Arkansas coaches traveled to meet in person with Council in late April prior to him scheduling the OV. The Hogs were quick to reach out to Council once he first entered the portal on April 21.
He chose Arkansas over Kansas, Alabama, Mississippi State, Iowa State, and Georgia Tech.
Council effectively played two freshman seasons at WSU — earning American Athletic Conference Sixth Man of the Year honors in 2021-22 after being named to the AAC all freshman team in ’20-21 — due to the NCAA’s extra-year-of-eligibility exception resulting from the covid pandemic.
He’ll have three years to play with immediate eligibility. He had also declared for the NBA Draft in early April while leaving available his option to return to college, and it’s expected he’ll withdraw from the draft by the June 1 deadline.
With the departure of Arkansas sophomore wing Jaxson Robinson on Thursday, the Hogs’ had an available scholarship for Council and now are maxed at 13 players (11 newcomers, 2 returnees) on scholarship. Should star forward / center Jaylin Williams withdraw from the NBA Draft by the June 1 deadline to return to Arkansas, the Hogs will be one over the limit at that point.
Council started 7 of the 28 games he played in during the ’21-22 campaign, averaging 12.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.1 steals in 26.6 minutes per game while shooting 43.7% field goals, including 30.6% from 3, and 84.9% from the free throw line.
Council had nine games of scoring 17 or more points last season, including three games of reaching at least 20 points. His career high of 31 points was scored in an 84-79 home win over Central Florida on Jan. 26.
In his first season at WSU in ’20-21, Council helped the Shockers qualify for the NCAA tournament as an 11-seed in the First Four play-in game. He averaged 7.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.0 assist in ’20-21.
Council was teammates at WSU for one season with former Arkansas forward Trey Wade, who just completed his college career with the Hogs after transferring from WSU following the ’20-21 campaign.
Council is a strong, athletic, and determined slasher who is decisive catching on the wings and putting the ball on the deck to carve a path into the paint and to the rim to finish. Not a primary handler type, but his craft in his dribble set-up game to create shots in both mid-range and behind the three-point arc is good, which means he’s not just relying on the creativity and facilitating of others. Three-point shooting is a work in progress in terms of efficiency. Has the size, range, athleticism, and physicality combination to be a plus-defender who can man up on multiple positions on the perimeter.