By Kevin McPherson
LITTLE ROCK — A couple of key details emerged from Arkansas men’s basketball Pro Day held on Wednesday, Oct. 11, inside the performance center in Fayetteville, specifically that star sophomore forward Trevon Brazile was cleared for live, full-contact 5-on-5 scrimmaging and that Brazile’s play was impressive with 30 or so NBA scouts and front-office personnel representing at least 23 NBA teams on hand to evaluate the 2023-24 Razorbacks.
Not only did Brazile perform well according to sources, one scout described his play to Hogville as “exceptional.” Brazile’s return to live, full-contact 5-on-5 scrimmaging came a few days ahead of fifth-year head coach Eric Musselman’s expressed timeline. The 6-10 stretch-4 with a 7-4 wingspan last played in a game in early December 2022 — his ninth outing as a Hog — due to a knee injury that required surgery and forced him to not only miss the team’s final 27 games of ’22-23, but also caused him to be a limited participant in Arkansas’ practices in June, July, August, September, and part of October.
Brazile’s availability for 14th-ranked Arkansas’ two fast-approaching home exhibition games — against Division II Texas-Tyler on Friday, Oct. 20, and against Big Ten powerhouse and 3rd-ranked Purdue on Saturday, Oct. 28 — remains a matter of speculation.
The Hogs open their 31-game regular season against Alcorn State on Nov. 6 at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, which Musselman recently stated was the most reliable target date for a Brazile return to game action.
Senior guard Davonte “Devo” Davis also received positive reviews for his performance at Pro Day, with one source telling Hogville that Davis put in overtime on-court work following Pro Day practice.
Meanwhile, a scout source confirmed that junior transfer guard Khalif Battle — he missed the team’s Red/White Showcase intra-squad scrimmage on Oct. 4 due to a nagging foot ailment, although tests have proven to be negative related to a substantial injury — did NOT take part in Pro Day.
Projected as a Top 6-7 rotation piece if not a day-one starter when he was a prized Hog pledge coming out of the transfer portal in April, Battle has missed significant portions of practice in the summer and during fall camp. Battle did return to practice on Monday, Oct. 16, which increases the chances for his availability to play during the two exhibition games. Musselman’s top player-rotation could still be impacted in the short term as Battle resumes full participation.
Here’s the latest on other recent Hoop Hogs developments as the start of the regular season is now just three weeks away …
– Arkansas opened at No. 14 in both the Associated Press preseason Top 25 poll (released on Monday) and KenPom.com‘s first Division 1 ratings (released on Sunday) for the 2023-24 season (for more on Arkansas’ preseason rankings including matchups against preseason-ranked teams, click the link to our Hogville coverage: https://forums.hogville.net/index.php?topic=759550.0)
– Musselman on Friday announced the addition of Matt White as the men’s basketball senior advisor to the head coach. White, a businessman and leadership author, worked in a similar capacity at Nevada during Musselman’s four seasons with the Wolf Pack (2015-2019).
– In case you missed it, Hogville’s coverage of the Razorbacks’ annual Red/White game included game details, game video highlights, quotes, and more (linked here: https://forums.hogville.net/index.php?topic=759049.0). We also followed up with our article focusing on three likely priorities for Musselman as his team moves past the Red/White scrimmage and into the two October exhibition tilts (linked here: https://forums.hogville.net/index.php?topic=759377.0).
– For a review of Arkansas’ ’23-24 schedule, check out our Hogville article detailing playing dates for all 31 regular-season games, both exhibition games, and the Red-White game. (linked here: https://forums.hogville.net/index.php?topic=756493.0).
– For a look at Arkansas’ ’23-24 roster as well as my initial Top 7 player-rotation projections and a deep dive on 14 players on the roster — you can check out all of that content here at Hogville (linked: https://forums.hogville.net/index.php?topic=756999.0).
* Razorbacks recruiting
– It very well could be that Musselman has wrapped up his 2024 high school recruiting class with two highly regarded commitments — Jalen Shelley (6-8 combo forward, Link Academy in Branson, Missouri, ESPN national No. 43 / 4-star prospect) and Isaiah Elohim (6-5 guard/wing, Sierra Canyon in Calif., Rivals national No. 34 / 4-star prospect). Check out our Hogville coverage on these two recent pledges including analysis, commitment articles, and zoom interviews (linked here: https://forums.hogville.net/index.php?topic=759119.msg14143742#msg14143742).
– Musselman and his coaching staff pivoted late last week to casting a region-and-classification-specific net with scholarship offers to a quartet of 2025 Hog recruits in Texas: Kayden “Bugg” Edwards (6-3 guard, Duncanville, Texas, Rivals national No. 55 / 4-star prospect, took unofficial visit to Arkansas for Hogs’ home win over Ole Miss in January 2023); Hudson Greer (6-6 wing/small forward, Austin, Texas, ESPN national No. 30 / 4-star prospect); Jermaine O’Neal, Jr. (6-5 wing, Dynasty Prep in Dallas, Rivals national No. 50 / 4-star prospect); and Parker Jefferson (6-10 center, Waxahachie, Texas, Rivals national No. 73 / 4-star prospect, took unofficial visit to Arkansas in fall of 2022, his parents both played on Razorback sports teams in the 1990s).
– A trio of in-state Arkansas targets took part in the prestigious Coach Wootten’s Top 150 Camp in Las Vegas last week — 2025 Terrion Burgess (6-9 combo forward, Benton, 17U Arkansas Hawks, 247Sports national No. 33 / 4-star prospect); 2026 JaShawn “JJ” Andrews (6-6 wing, Little Rock Christian Academy, composite national No. 17 / 5-star prospect); and 2026 Jacob Lanier (6-6 guard, Maumelle, On3 national No. 28 / 4-star prospect). Wootten Camp is a McDonald’s All American showcase platform. Andrews also took part in USA Basketball’s junior national team mini camp in early October.
– A couple of in-state Arkansas targets — 2025 Isaiah Sealy (6-6 guard, Springdale, ESPN national No. 47 / 4-star prospect) and 2026 Aidan Chronister (6-7 wing, Rogers, 17U AAO Flight, 247Sports national No. 29 / 4-star prospect) — were unofficial visitors who were in attendance at Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville on Oct. 4 for Arkansas’ Red/White Showcase intra-squad scrimmage.
– A couple of in-state Arkansas targets — the aforementioned Burgess and Chronister — showed well during their high school practices that Hogville was able to attend in early October. Linked below are their video highlights and interviews from those practices …