UA Hoops notebook: Hogs old & new at practice, Wade on the court, more

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LITTLE ROCK — Following a season when the covid-19 pandemic prohibited all visitors from attending practices inside the Arkansas Razorbacks basketball performance center in Fayetteville, Head Hog Eric Musselman has once again rolled out the red carpet for some onlookers as his team goes through limited practices during the early portion of the summer.

To this point, it’s been mostly former Hogs and visiting recruits and their families who’ve been able to check out the 2021-22 version of the team. And last week, a couple of those visitors actually stepped onto the court to scrimmage with the Hogs.

Here are some tidbits and takeaways from practice and other aspects of the Arkansas men’s basketball program spanning the past week …

* Former Hog stars Isaiah JoeMason Jones, and Dusty Hannahs attended practice last week, with Jones and Hannahs each getting in work on the court with the team. Joe and Jones recently completed their NBA rookie seasons. Linked are a few highlights of Jones from practice

* Arkansas senior-grad transfer Trey Wade (6-6 forward) was the last of the Hogs’ 6-player recruiting haul for 2021 to commit, sign, and arrive on campus, and last Wednesday (June 30) was his first day on the practice court. A source said it didn’t take long for Wade to have a positive impact on practice as he appears to be the kind of system fit the coaching staff envisioned.

* Senior-grad transfer Stanley Umude (6-6 combo forward) formally withdrew his name last week from the 2021 NBA Draft pool. The NCAA deadline to do so for college-eligible players is Wednesday, July 7. Umude is not the first Arkansas transfer to withdraw from the draft after arriving on campus as former Hog Justin Smith took a similar path last season.

* Arkansas has added a non-conference home game to the ’21-22 schedule — the Division 1 Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs of the Big South Conference — set for Nov. 13 at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville. Here are other Hog matchups we know about so far for the upcoming season: Central Arkansas at BWA on Dec. 1; Elon at BWA on Dec. 21; West Virginia at BWA on Jan. 29. Additionally, Arkansas will take part in the Hall of Fame Classic (Nov. 22-23 in Kansas City, Mo.) along with Illinois, Kansas State, and Cincinnati, although specific matchups have yet to be announced.

* With college athletes now able to capitalize on endorsements relative to new Name/Image/Likeness provisions, a source told on Tuesday that first-year Hogs Chris Lykes (5-7 senior-grad transfer guard) and Au’Diese Toney (6-6 junior-transfer small forward / wing) “have underwear deals.” Make that under-the-radar underwear deals, because no further specifics or details have been shared at this point.

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