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Davis to stay with Arkansas

by Scottie Bordelon | June 1, 2023 at 4:30 a.m.
Arkansas guard Davonte Davis (4) celebrates Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, during the second half of the Razorbacks' 65-58 win over UNC-Greensboro in Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe)

DESTIN, Fla. -- A staple of Arkansas basketball in recent years is returning for the 2023-24 season.

Davonte Davis, a Jacksonville native, announced in a social media post Wednesday that he will play his senior season with the Razorbacks. He declared for the 2023 NBA Draft earlier this spring while maintaining his college eligibility.

"He provides so much being a competitor," Arkansas Coach Eric Musselman said Wednesday. "He knows the system and he can play so many positions. He can play 1-4 and he's got a ton of experience in the [SEC]. I think all those factors are important [for us]."

Wednesday was the deadline to decide if he would remain in the draft or return to school. He posted a short video to social media and said, "Time to finish what I came here to do. Let's run it back."

Davis' return provides continuity, back-court depth and leadership to a roster that is again expected to be largely new. Musselman currently has five signees from the NCAA transfer portal as well as a pair of freshman signees.

Forwards Trevon Brazile, Makhi Mitchell and Jalen Graham, along with guard Joseph Pinion have previously stated plans to play a second season at Arkansas.

Key to each of the Razorbacks' NCAA Tournament runs under Musselman, Davis has averaged 9.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 102 career games.

He scored a career-best 10.9 points on 41.5% shooting in 2022-23, aided by a significant jump to 34.6% from three-point range. He scored a season-high 25 points during a 72-71 victory over Kansas in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on March 18.

He shot 27% beyond the arc as a sophomore and was 2 of 13 (15.4%) during his freshman season. Davis made 41.5% of his 82 attempts in SEC play as a junior.

He also averaged a career-high 1.4 steals as a junior, which played a role in him landing on the All-SEC defensive team at the end of the regular season.

Jordan Walsh, a freshman wing for the Razorbacks in 2022-23, opted to keep his name in the NBA Draft late Wednesday night. He declared for this year's draft earlier this spring while maintaining his college eligibility.

Arkansas has four players -- Walsh, Nick Smith Jr., Anthony Black, Ricky Council -- from last season's roster officially in the draft. The Razorbacks have not had multiple players selected in the same draft since 1992.

Walsh was one of four players to play during all 36 games in 2022-23, and he earned a start in 22. He averaged 7.1 points on 43.3% from the field and 27.8% from three-point range, 3.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game.

With Walsh's and Davis' decisions, the Razorbacks have one open scholarship remaining for next season. The NCAA limit is 13.

Print Headline: Davis to stay with Arkansas


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