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If Arkansas wants to accomplish its goals, which are likely winning the Southeastern Conference, getting a high seed in the NCAA Tournament and advancing to the Final Four, they will have to get exemplary play from the backcourt.
Luckily for the Razorbacks, they have amassed depth there.
Even with the loss of Jalen Tate at point guard to eligibility and Desi Sills to transfer, along with Moses Moody to the Golden State Warriors, there is still plenty of talent both returning and imported in by Eric Musselman.
Here is a look at the guards and swing men who will help lead this team.
Like the frontcourt article, players are listed in order of height, not impact or skill-wise. This will be shortest to tallest, however.
Chris Lykes, 5-7, Sr.
Dec 4, 2020; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes guard Chris Lykes (0) attempts a three point shot over Stetson Hatters forward Joel Kabimba (35)during the first half at Watsco Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
The diminutive graduate transfer from Miami should have an impact at both ends of the floor for the Razorbacks. Lykes can both shoot well from the perimeter and attack the rim, while on defense can guard his man straight up and has a nose for the basketball.
He will likely take over the role that Jalen Tate played on last year’s team.
KK Robinson, 6-0, So.
Jan 6, 2021; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks guard Khalen Robinson (12) brings the ball up court against the Tennessee Volunteers during the first half at Thompson-Boling Arena. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
Fans were treated to Robinson for only a short time in his freshman season before he suffered an injury and was sidelined for the remainder of the year.
An explosive first step and great range highlight Robinson’s abilities. He will be counted on to be a leader and handle the ball often, and will also likely be assigned to the other team’s top ball handler.
JD Notae, 6-2, Sr.
Mar 29, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks guard JD Notae (1) drives to the basket against Baylor Bears forward Flo Thamba (0) and guard MaCio Teague (31) during the first half in the Elite Eight of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
It is safe to say JD Notae will likely lead this team in scoring.
Notae is a threat to score from anywhere on the court. He has the green light to take any shot at any time according to Eric Musselman. He will take on a larger load this year, but it remains to be seen if he will start or be first off the bench.
Davonte 'Devo' Davis, 6-4, So.
Arkansas Razorbacks guard Davonte Davis (4) lays in a reverse shot during the Sweet Sixteen round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament on Saturday, March 27, 2021, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. Arkansas Razorbacks won 72-70. Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/IndyStar via USA TODAY Sports
Corey Beck was once referred to as the “heart and soul” of the 1993-94 national champion Arkansas Razorbacks.
Devo Davis is definitely the heart and soul of this team. His relentless style of attacking and cutting and leaving it all on the court, is infectious and spreads to the other players.
He has spent the entire summer transforming his body and working on his perimeter shot. If that improves, the sky is the limit for Davis.
Chance Moore, 6-5, Fr.
Mar 29, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Eric Musselman reacts during the second half against the Baylor Bears in the Elite Eight of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Moore will get a chance to prove himself as a true freshman. He can knock down the mid-range jumper pretty consistently and is an above average ball-handler.
He will need to improve defensively and with his rebounding to get significant playing time.
Au'Diese Toney, 6-6, Sr.
Feb 17, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers guard Au’diese Toney (5) warms up before playing the North Carolina State Wolfpack at the Petersen Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
If you’re looking for someone to take over the role vacated by Justin Smith, Pittsburgh transfer Au’Diese Toney is your guy.
He can get to the rim whenever he wants, he is a tenacious rebounder and he can guard multiple positions.
Toney may flirt with leading the team in rebounding and may have nights where he is counted on to guard the other team’s best player. It wouldn’t be shocking to see him average 15 points and 10 rebounds per contest.
Jaxson Robinson, 6-7, So.
Dec 29, 2020; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers guard Charles Manning Jr. (21) drives to the basket against Texas A&M Aggies guard Jaxson Robinson (4) during the second half at Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
A late addition to the roster, Robinson can fill it up from behind the arc and is better than advertised as a defender.
His stroke is pure and there might be a game where he hits 5-6 treys and people wonder why he isn’t starting.
Musselman most likely is counting on him to learn their system this year and really be a key piece a year from now.