By Kevin McPherson
LITTLE ROCK — With much of the recent “talk” on social media pointing to Kentucky as the logical landing spot for versatile Evansville sophomore-transfer DeAndre Williams as he nears his decision, his mentor Kenneth Roy told Hogville.net on Friday that Arkansas is still thick in the mix.
“Sunday or Monday announcement,” Roy said on Friday. “And absolutely, Arkansas is definitely in the running. All four institutions are still in the running.”
A source indicated on Sunday that Williams would not be making his announcement sooner than Monday. Whether or not Kentucky’s recent addition of Wake Forest star big man transfer Olivier Sarr (7-0) impacts Williams’ decision either way remains to be seen.
Williams (6-9, 195, combo forward, Houston native) recently named Arkansas in his Final 4 that also includes Kentucky, Baylor, and Memphis. He has also declared for the 2020 NBA Draft but has not hired an agent, and if he decides to remain in college a source confimed he plans to apply for a waiver from the NCAA for immediate eligibility in 2020-21.
Williams averaged 15.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.0 blocks in 18 games (he missed multiple games due to injury) in ’19-20. He recorded 5 double-doubles, including a 37-point, 10-rebound outing in a win over Miami (Ohio).
Williams reportedly had heard from more than 30 schools, including Arizona State, Creighton, Georgetown, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi State, Misssouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, and San Diego State.
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Muss looking at yet another transfer guard? With uncertainty surrounding junior-to-be star guard Isaiah Joe — he declared for the NBA Draft in late April and has until June 3 to withdraw and return to school — Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman continues to comb the transfer portal for potential backcourt options to replace Joe should he opt to remain in the draft.
The latest to hear from the Hogs is East Tennessee State junior-transfer Bo Hodges (6-5, 210, native of Nashville, TN), according to Saturday reporting by Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.
Rothstein reports that Hodges has also heard from Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Xavier, Butler, and DePaul since entering the portal. Barring a waiver for immediate eligibility, Hodges will sit out a transfer season before having one more year to play in ’21-22. ETSU head coach Steve Forbes recently left the school to take over as head coach at Wake Forest of the ACC, replacing Danny Manning.
Hodges started all 33 games in ’19-20 and averaged 12.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.4 steals in 29.9 minutes while shooting 50.2% field goals (including 15-of-60 from 3 for 25.0%) and 63.7% from the free throw line.
Hodges started 60 of 62 games spanning his sophomore and junior seasons at ETSU. In a 75-63 loss at then-No. 4 Kansas in November, 2019, Hodges finished with 22 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals, and 1 assist.