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The Loop

Woo Pig Sooie

Eric Musselman’s swag after landing one of the biggest basketball recruits in Arkansas history is off the charts

WOOOOO PIG SOOOOIE! It is a miraculous time to be alive if you are an Arkansas sports fan. The men’s basketball team is coming off an awesome Elite Eight run, the football program is ranked eighth in the nation heading into a massive SEC showdown with Georgia this weekend, and John Daly is out there draining jump shots in flip flops. Absolutely everything is coming up Razorbacks at the moment, and nowhere is that more abundantly clear than in the glistening ruby sparkles of head basketball coach Eric Musselman’s suit, which he donned to celebrate the landing of a very big fish on Wednesday.

Sunglasses on in the charter jet. Elton John suit ironed to a crisp. Motown strut on point. This is the vibe of all vibes from Musselman, and he deserves it. This wasn’t just some casual Wednesday drip for the Arkansas hard-court coach. No, no. It was a celebration, for Musselman had just landed 6’ 4”, 185-pound combo guard (and Arkansas native) Nick Smith Jr. as the crown jewel of his 2022 recruiting class.

Arguably the biggest recruit in Razorbacks basketball history (and possibly in Arkansas state history as well), Smith is ESPN’s 6th-overall prospect for 2022. But despite what Musselman’s swagger might convey, Smith wasn’t an easy catch. In fact, this moment—stepping off his private jet into the glorious fall sunlight like Nicolas Cage off a prison bus in the feature-length motion picture ‘Con Air’—was years in the making.

“He has been recruiting me hard since the ninth grade,” Smith told ESPN. “On my official visit, he was with me everywhere on campus. He is very hands on, hyper in a good way and has great energy. His plan for me is to prepare for the NBA. He and his staff did something that was different. They broke down all my games from the EYBL. It was detailed. Coach Muss told me that I had nine three-point plays. That blew me away.”

Remember that, kids. You too can one day rock a sparkly red suit in public … but only if you put in the work first.