Eric Musselman has added another piece to the puzzle for a loaded 2022-23 roster at Arkansas with the commitment of Wichita State transfer Ricky Council IV, who chose the Razorbacks over a group of finalists that included Alabama, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, Kansas and Iowa State. He will have three years of eligibility.
The 6-6, 205-pound native of Durham (NC) submitted his name into the NBA draft pool and announced his intent to explore transfer options on April 21 and was prioritized by Arkansas right away. After trimming his list of suitors to six earlier last week, Council quickly set up a visit to Fayetteville and was on campus with his family Thursday through Saturday last weekend.
With Thursday’s news that sophomore wing Jaxson Robinson was entering the transfer portal, a spot opened up for Council to join the fold. Arkansas’ roster currently projects to be at the NCAA limit of 13 scholarships without accounting for All-SEC forward Jaylin Williams, who is still weighing his stay-or-go options with a trip to the NBA Draft Combine looming May 16-22.
Council — who joins Trey Wade as recent transfer additions from Wichita State — was named the AAC Sixth Man of the Year in 2021-22 after averaging 12.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.1 steals per game on 43.7% shooting from the field, 30.6% from beyond the arc and 84.9% from the charity stripe for the Shockers.
He scored in double-figures 17 times on the season, including a season-high 31 against UCF on January 26. Council also logged a pair of double-doubles for Wichita State, including a 17-point, 10-rebound effort against No. 14 Houston on February 20.
After flying under the radar during his high school recruitment — 3-star, No. 403 nat’l in the 2019 class — Council quickly carved out a role for himself in Wichita State’s rotation as a true freshman in 2020-21, averaging 7.1 points and 3.4 rebounds while shooting 44.4% from three in just under 16 minutes of action per contest for a Shockers team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. He was named to the AAC All-Freshman Team.
Council provides flexibility for the Hogs as a piece who has shown comfort off the bench but adds starter-level value on the floor. He brings more length, high-level athleticism and shot creation to a young, but wildly talented backcourt that now includes just one returner from last season’s rotation in Davonte Davis.
He becomes the 11th newcomer to enter the mix for an Arkansas program looking to take the next step following consecutive Elite Eight appearances. Arkansas was ranked No. 1 in the most recent 247Sports Way Too Early Top 25.
— American MBB (@American_MBB) February 6, 2022
Musselman has added four other transfers in the offseason in forwards Trevon Brazile (Missouri), Jalen Graham (Arizona State), Makhi Mitchell (Rhode Island) and Makhel Mitchell (Rhode Island).
The Hogs will also welcome the No. 2 incoming freshman class in the country that includes a trio of five-star, McDonald’s All-Americans in No. 1 ranked guard Nick Smith Jr. (North Little Rock, Ark.), No. 14 overall point guard Anthony Black (Duncanville, Texas) and No. 18 ranked forward Jordan Walsh (Cedar Hill, Texas).
In addition, Arkansas is bringing in three more top-100 freshmen in four-star, No. 68 ranked combo guard Derrian Ford (Magnolia, Ark.), four-star, No. 91 ranked small forward Barry Dunning (Mobile, Ala. ) and four-star, No. 94 ranked small forward Joseph Pinion (Morriton, Ark.).
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