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Two straight Elite Eight appearances have made Arkansas basketball a preferred destination.
Coach Eric Musselman has proven himself one of the best recruiters in the nation, too, allowing the Razorbacks to reload the last two years instead of rebuild. This season, with six freshmen on the roster, his Hogs are as young a team as the coach can remember ever having.
“Patience is something I don’t have, but I’m learning,” Musselman said.
He was half-serious, half-joking. Part of what makes Arkansas such a destination is his attitude. Players want to play for him. But he’s also been known to be short in press conferences after disappointing Arkansas performances, suggesting that, yes, perhaps patience in the locker room could be lacking at times.
If Musselman’s patience holds, this year’s Arkansas team could be his best yet. Three of the Arkansas’ six freshman are five-star players and are expected to go in the first round of next year’s NBA Draft. Guard Nick Smith Jr. could potentially go first overall.
Arkansas opened practice Thursday to the media ahead of a trip to Europe in early August. The Razorbacks will start their regular season in November, though an exact date is not yet known