Eric Musselman is building something special at Arkansas. In his four seasons at the head of the Razorbacks men's basketball bench, Musselman has recorded at least 19 wins. He has two top-10 victories to his name this year alone, proving the Razorbacks are capable of competing with anyone in the country, even Kentucky, Florida, Missouri, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame Tennessee, UCLA and Alabama, which sits atop the rankings. But if he had Arkansas' all-time starting 5 on his roster, the Razorbacks would be unstoppable. But for now Anthony Black, Davonte Davis, Nick Smith and Jordan Walsh will have to do.
Musselman has the ball rolling now, but the Arkansas Razorbacks have an illustrious hoops history as well. For the latter half of the 20th century, primarily under head coach Nolan Richardson, the Hogs were among the elite teams in college basketball. Need evidence? Just take a look at the rafters of Bud Walton Arena. You'll see a national championship, a national title runner-up, six Final Four appearances, seven SEC tournament titles and 24 regular season conference titles.
That kind of resume doesn't just happen without great players. Believe me, Arkansas has had plenty. But, if we could go back and search through the Razorbacks' impressive collection of hoopers, who would form the best starting lineup?
Let's find out.
Guard: Sidney Moncrief (1975-79)
No brainer. Sidney Moncrief is the greatest player to step on the hardwood at Arkansas. "The Squid" is the second-leading scorer in program history and the all-time leading rebounder, which is impressive considering he was a 6-foot-3 point guard. Plus, he was the fulcrum of the 1978 Final Four team.
Moncrief and Corliss Williamson (we'll get to him later) are the only two Arkansas players to have their jerseys retired. The shooting guard went on to have a fantastic NBA career after his days in Fayetteville, too. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019.
Guard: Todd Day (1988-92)
Day and Moncrief would form a fearsome backcourt on talent alone, but I'm assuming they would have great chemistry because they had similar careers. They both led their team to the Final Four (Day led the 1990 squad). They were both the program's leading scorer at one point (Day surpassed Moncrief's 2,066 career points with 2,395 of his own — a mark that stands to this day) and they won the SWC Player of the Year (Day in 1991, Moncrief in 1979).
The two-time All-American shooting guard averaged 18.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.1 steals over his four-year career. On top of his stats, Day was a winner, and for those reasons, he's an obvious choice.
Forward: Corliss Williamson (1992-95)
Corliss Williamson carried the 1994 team on his back all the way to a national championship. He was simply unbelievable in March that year, averaging 21.6 points and 8.2 rebounds in victories over North Carolina AT&T, Georgetown, Tulsa, Michigan, Arizona and Duke.
Winning a national championship is the ultimate prize in college basketball of course, but Williamson also received his fair share of individual accolades. He was named the NCAA Tournament's Most Outstanding Player in '94; he's a two-time SEC Player of the Year and also a two-time All-American.
The forward also had a solid NBA career and was a contributing member of the Detroit Pistons team that won the title in 2004. Like I previously mentioned, Williams' No. 34 jersey is the only uniform that's been retired besides Moncreif's.
Forward: Bobby Portis (2013-2015)
How can we not include Bobby Portis? The 6-foot-10 power forward became a fan favorite during the Milwaukee Bucks' 2021 NBA championship run. Before his pro success though, Portis was a star for his home-state team.
The Little Rock native averaged 15 points and 7.9 rebounds per contest during his time in Fayetteville and took home the SEC Player of the Year Award in 2015. That same year, he led the Hogs to their first NCAA Tournament in seven seasons.
Call him BP, Bobby Buckets or the Mayor of Milwaukee, Portis shined at the collegiate level and continues to do so in the NBA.
Center: Oliver Miller (1988-92)
Miller and Day were the anchors of one of the most successful stretches in Razorback history. We know about the 1990 Final Four, but the duo also led Arkansas to four straight regular seasons conference titles and three conference tournament titles. Additionally, Day and Miller shared the SWC Player of the Year Award in 1991, which is basically unheard of for teammates.
It's odd to call a 6-foot-9, 280-pound man undersized, but Miller was a smidge shorter than the average center. Nonetheless, he played a physical game and had great skills around the rim.
Off the Bench for the Arkansas All-Time Starting 5
- Marvin Delph (1974-1978)?
- Lee Mayberry (1988-92)
- Joe Kleine (1981-85)
- Alvin Robertson (1981-84)
- Joe Johnson (1999-2001)
- Ronnie Brewer (2003-06)
- Moses Moody (2020-21)
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