LITTLE ROCK — On the same day that Arkansas star guard Mason Jones announced he’s declaring for the NBA Draft, Bowling Green grad-transfer Justin Turner — one of the hottest names in the college basketball transfer portal — narrowed his list of schools of interest on Friday to Arkansas, Missouri, Xavier, Marquette, Louisville, and Iowa State, according to multiple national media reports.
Turner (6-4, 205, Detroit, Mich., native) started 24 of 25 games and averaged 18.8 points (led his team), 4.6 assists, and 2.5 assists in 32.3 minutes while shooting 42.7% from the field (including 39-of-108 from 3 for 36.1%) and 85.1% from the free throw line on as Bowlng Green finished with the second-best record (12-6) in the Mid-American Conference as part of a 21-10 overall campaign in 2019-20.
Turner has played in each of the past four seasons at Bowling Green, but only four games as a freshman that turned into a redshirt season allowing him one more year of eligibility in ’20-21. Turner is a two-time MAC all conference performer and he declared for the 2019 NBA Draft nearly a year ago before returning to Bowling Green for his junior season.
He was comlimentary of Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman in a recent interview during college basketball analyst Jeff Goodman’s podcast.
“Coach Musselman from Arkansas … I think he’s been real, real, just passionate about the recruitment,” Turner said. “Watching film, breaking down my game, things like that.”
Even with three incoming talented freshmen guards — Moses Moody, Khalen “KK” Robinson, and Davonte Davis — it makes sense that Musselman is pouring over available guards in the portal given that the Hogs are losing three veteran guards with a combined 11 years in D1 basketball in Jones (the SEC’s leading scorer at 22.0 points per game and the league’s Co-Player of the Year), Jimmy Whitt, Jr. (out of eligibility, 12th leading scorer in SEC at more than 14 points per game), and Jalen Harris (junior transfer).
Musselman also has veteran guards in star junior-to-be Isaiah Joe, junior-to-be Desi Sills, and junior-to-be J.D. Notae in the mix. It remains to be seen whether or not Joe elects to leave early for the 2020 NBA Draft.
Another player in the portal who Arkansas has reached out to is Dwight Wilson III (6-8, 250, forward, James Madison junior transfer), who told Hogville.net on Thursday that he likes Arkansas’s program.
“Just the best situation all around,” Wilson said when asked what he’s looking for in his next destination. “Arkansas is a great basketball school, so I’m definitely interested.”
Wilson started 21 of 26 games in ’19-20 and averaged 9.8 points and 9.3 rebounds in 22.8 minutes while shooting 53.4% from the field and 50.8% from the free throw line. His per-40-minute numbers were strong = 17.1 points and 16.3 rebounds. Given Arkansas’s SEC-worst rebounding numbers in ’19-20, an infusion of Wilson’s size and rebounding prowess could benefit the Hogs’ frontline corps.
Wilson reportedly has also heard from Florida, Cincinnati, DePaul, and Tulane among others. Unless granted a waiver by the NCAA for immediate playing eligibility or a change in transfer redshirt rules, Wilson will sit out the ’20-21 season with one season to play in ’21-22.
A source confirmed that Arkansas has reached out to two more transfers in the portal: Chevez Goodwin (6-9, 225, forward, Wofford grad-transfer, 11.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, 64.0% field goals, one season of immediate playing eligibility in ’20-21) and Tyrese Martin(6-6, 205, guard, Rhode Island sophomore transfer, 12.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, 43.3% field goals, including 32.1% from 3, 66.2% free throws, sit one, play two).
CHECK OUT OTHER NAMES WHO HAVE BEEN IN CONTACT WITH ARKANSAS BELOW:
* Hayden Koval (7-0, UCA junior transfer) … a source has confirmed that Arkansas recently made initial inquries into the Prosper, TX, native who played with Razorbacks star guard Mason Jones at Link Prep (MO) in 2016-17 and was teammates this past season at UCA with 7-footer Brandon Vanover, the older brother of Arkansas redshirt sophomore and 7-3 stretch-5 Connor Vanover … another source said Koval could graduate by December 2020, which means if not granted a waiver for immediate playing eligibility to start the 2020-21 season he could potentially become immediately eligible for the spring semester as a graduate … averaged 12.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 3.1 blocks (ranked fourth in NCAA) while shooting 45.9% from the field (including 31-of-95 from 3 for 32.6%) and 73.1% from the free throw line in 2019-20 … recorded 12 career double-doubles and had one triple-double (as a freshman).
* Kevin Marfo (6-8, 245, forward, Quinnipiac junior transfer) told Rivals.com on March 23 that he has narrowed his list of schools down to 16, including Arkansas (the Hogs reached out to Marfo in mid-March after he entered the transfer portal) … Marfo averaged an NCAA-best 13.3 rebounds to go with 10.2 points and and 1.2 blocks in 28.1 minutes per game while shooting 48.4% field goals and 71.0% free throws in 2019-20.
* Jordan Bruner (6-9 forward, Yale grad-transfer) entered the portal last week and has been contacted by Arkansas, and a source has confirmed mutual interest … according to reporting by AllFactsMedia, Bruner has indicated that more than 50 schools have contacted him with the Hogs, Georgetown, Alabama, Maryland, and Baylor being “the most involved” … averaged 10.9 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.7 blocks in 32.4 minutes per game while shooting 44.3% field goals (including 32.3% from 3) and 76.6% free throws to help Yale (23-7 overall) win the Ivy League with an 11-3 record.
* Ian DuBose (6-4 guard, Houston Baptist grad-transfer) was contacted by Arkansas according to reporting by multiple reports, and a source has confirmed he is interested in the Hogs … has reportedly also heard from Ole Miss, North Carolina State, Clemson, USC, Stanford, Georgetown, Wake Forest, and DePaul among others … averaged 19.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.4 steals while shooting 43.9% from the field in 2019-20 and was named second team All Southland Conference.
* Ishmael El-Amin (6-1 guard, Ball State grad-transfer) has heard from Arkansas according to multiple reports on March 26 … Loyola Chicago, UNLV, Butler, San Diego State, Minnesota, Utah State, Wake Forest, UConn, and Cal have reportedly also reached out … averaged 13.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in in 32.4 minutes per game while shooting 42.9% from the field (including 77-of-196 from 3 for 39.3%) and 76.1% from th free throw line.
* Trey Wertz (6-4 point guard, Santa Clara sophomore transfer) entered the portal recently and according to multiple reports Arkansas contacted him … averaged 11.9 points, 3.9 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game while shooting 48.9% from the field (including 40% from 3) in 2019-20, and he made the West Coast Conference all freshman team in ’18-19 after averaging 12 points and 4.7 assists … reportedly has also heard from Arizona, Arizona State, Butler, Cincinnati, Clemson, Creighton, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Princeton, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech among others.
* Isaiah White (6-7 wing, Utah Valley grad-transfer) was contacted by Arkansas after entering the portal last week, according to multiple reports … averaged 14.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game in 2019-20 … has reportedly also heard from Wake Forest, BYU, and other HM programs.
* Ed Croswell (6-8, 250, La Salle sophomore transfer), who was contacted a couple of weeks ago by Arkansas, committed to Providence on March 23 … Croswell was the Explorers’ leading rebounder (7.3 boards per game, including 3.5 offensive rebounds per game) and according to Sports-Reference.com he led the nation with an Offensive Rebounding Percentage of 18.7%.
* Erik Stevenson (6-3, 198, guard, Wichita State sophomore transfer), a west coast native who was contacted by Arkansas soon after entering the transfer portal over a week ago, committed to Washington this week.
* Grant Sherfield (6-2 guard, Wichita State transfer) entered the portal last week, Arkansas was one of the schools to reach out, but Sherfield on March 23 committed to Nevada where he’ll play for Steve Alford, who originally signed Sherfield at UCLA before Alford was fired as Bruins head coach which resulted Sherfield getting out of his LOI on his way to Wichita State.