LITTLE ROCK — There is familiarity between Indiana grad-transfer Justin Smith and the Arkansas Razorbacks, and it appears second-year head coach Eric Musselman has already reached out to the versatile forward.
Smith (6-7, 230, native of Buffalo Grove, IL) — he has faced the Hogs three times in the past two seasons — entered the transfer portal last week and according to reporting by ESPN’s Jeff Borzello he’s been contacted by at least 20 schools, including Arkansas, Mississippi State, Purdue, Notre Dame, Oregon, Maryland, Arizona State, North Carolina State, Xavier, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Iowa State, Northwestern, Georgetown, DePaul, and Boston College among others.
Smith started all 32 games as a junior in 2019-20 and averaged 10.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.0 steals in 30.4 minutes per game — all career-high marks — while shooting 49.2% from the field (including 10-of-38 from 3 for 26.3%) and 67.3% from the free throw line.
In 3 career games played against Arkansas — a 71-64 home loss last season and a home-and-away split in ’18-19 — Smith registered a combined 9 points (on 3-of-13 field goals and 3-of-6 free throws) and 9 rebounds in 51 minutes.
Smith will have one season of immediate playing eligibility in 2020-21.
* Arkansas has also reached out to Utah sophomore-transfer Both Gach, according to a source.
Gach (6-6, 183, wing, native of Austin, Minn.) has also heard from Minnesota, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Maryland, Oregon, Creighton, Georgetown, Illinois, Nevada, and Utah State, according to reporting last week by CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein.
Gach started 21 of 27 games as a sophomore in ’19-20 and averaged 10.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.9 assists in 30.4 minutes while shooting 39.7% from the field (including 30-of-120 from 3 for 25.0%) and 77.5% from the free throw line.
Barring a waiver from the NCAA for immediate eligibility, Gach will have a redshirt-transfer season in ’20-21 with two years to play beginning in ’21-22.