ESPN

Three Arkansas Razorback freshmen were selected in the 2023 NBA Draft Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. It’s the first time Arkansas has had three players drafted since 1992 when four Hogs were selected. It’s also the most Razorback freshmen ever selected in a draft. Little Rock native Moses Moody was the first Razorback freshman selected to the NBA draft in 2021.

Razorback Head Coach Eric Musselman and his wife Danyelle Musselman were in attendance supporting Anthony Black and Nick Smith Jr., the two Razorback freshmen who received invitations to the draft green room.

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Black, a native of Duncanville, Texas, was drafted 6th overall to the Orlando Magic. Black is the second lottery pick selected to the NBA under Musselman. Black is tied with Joe Kleine (1985) as the second highest Razorback ever selected to the NBA. Sidney Moncrief remains the highest Razorback ever selected in the draft at 5th overall in 1979.

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Smith, a Jacksonville native and North Little Rock High School graduate, was selected 27th overall to the Charlotte Hornets.

Smith fell further in the draft than many draft experts had him projected. About a year ago, Smith was projected to be a lottery pick (a top 14 selection), but a nagging knee injury forced him to miss several games and prevented him from finding a consistent rhythm when he was inserted back into the lineup. Smith was emotional when he was selected, and ESPN analyst Jay Bilas suggested that the Hornets got a steal at 27.

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Jordan Walsh, a native of Desoto, Texas, was selected with the 8th pick of the second round (38th overall) by the Boston Celtics.

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Arkansas’s 2023 leading scorer, Ricky Council IV, a transfer from Wichita St., was projected to be drafted in many mock drafts, but his name wasn’t called Thursday night. Soon after the draft coverage ended, though, it was reported that Council had agreed to a two-way contract with the Philadelphia 76ers. A two-way contract will allow Council to be rostered on both the 76ers and its G League affiliate simultaneously.

 

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