Stetson sophomore-transfer big man Abayomi Iyiola has committed and signed to play at Arkansas
By Kevin McPherson
LITTLE ROCK — Two weeks to the day that he entered the transfer portal and professed his interest in Arkansas, Stetson sophomore-transfer Abayomi Iyiola (6-9, 210, forward, Atlanta, GA) on Monday committed and signed with the Razorbacks.
Iyiola has yet to visit Arkansas — he likely will soon — but in his first two seasons at Stetson he played under then-Hatters head coach Corey Williams, who is now an assistant coach at Arkansas. That relationship was key in bringing Iyiola to Fayetteville.
“Coach Williams is a great coach, on and off the floor,” Iyiola said on July 22 when he announced he was leaving Stetson.
On Wednesday of last week (July 31), Iyiola confirmed that his final 5 schools included Arkansas, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Washington State, and Rutgers. At the time, he also said he’d be visiting Arkansas “sometime next week.”
Barring the NCAA granting a waiver for immediate playing eligibility in 2019-20, Iyiola will have a transfer-redshirt season before having two years of playing eligibility as a fourth-year junior beginning in ’20-21.
Whether he plays this upcoming season or the following year, Iyiola at 6-9 will be the second tallest player on the roster behind the 7-foot-3 stretch-5 Vanover.
On July 22, Iyiola talked about the notion of sitting out or having immediate eligibility.
“I don’t know yet,” Iyiola said about whether or not he’d request the waiver. “It will be great if I can play immediately, but I don’t really know how transfer works.”
Iyiola started all 31 games and averaged 10.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, and 1.0 steals in 22.9 minutes per game while shooting 48.4% field goals and 73.3% free throws for the Hatters in ’18-19. His per-40-minute numbers pop: 18.8 points, 13.2 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks.
As a freshman in ’17-18, he played in 32 games and started eight times, averaging 10.1 points and 6.2 rebounds in 19.3 minutes while shooting 51.9% field goals and 67.7% free throws.
Iyiola previously talked about his strengths as a player.
“I bring energy every day, run the floor well, shoot the ball well, encourage teammates, coachable, respect my teammates,” he said.
Williams was the head coach at Stetson for six years (2013-2019). He was Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman’s first full-time assistant coaching hire when he was announced as part of the Razorbacks’ staff on April 24.
Iyiola joins North Carolina-Wilmington grad-transfer Jeantal Cylla (6-7 forward who committed to the Hogs on April 20 during his visit to Arkansas); California-Berkeley freshman-transfer and Little Rock native Connor Vanover (7-3 stretch-5 who visited Arkansas on May 9-10 before committing to the Hogs on May 15); Jacksonville sophomore-transfer JD Notae (6-2 guard who visited Arkansas on May 14-15 and committed to the Hogs on May 22); and SMU grad-transfer Jimmy Whitt, Jr. (6-3 combo guard who visited Arkansas on May 26 and committed a day later) to form a five-player transfer haul in Musselman’s initial signing class at Arkansas.
Arkansas had an open scholarship for the ’19-20 season, but now Iyiola presumably fills that to bring the Hogs’ roster to the maximum of 13 scholarship players.