FAYETTEVILLE — The Arkansas basketball workforce can be with out Trevon Brazile the remainder of the season after he tore his ACL on Tuesday, the UA introduced Wednesday afternoon.
The sophomore ahead received harm on a drive to the basket with 7:30 remaining within the first half against UNC Greensboro. He fell to the bottom and instantly grabbed his knee. Trainers had to assist him to the locker room and he watched the second half from the tip of the bench in sweats.
Head coach Eric Musselman declined to provide an replace on Brazile after the sport, saying he wouldn’t know something till he had an MRI. That apparently occurred Wednesday and revealed he had a torn ACL. In line with the press launch, Brazile may have surgical procedure later this month.
By the primary eight video games of the season, Brazile was the workforce’s chief in rebounds (6.5 rpg) and blocked photographs (9). He was additionally the workforce’s third-leading scorer (13.3 ppg) whereas taking over the sixth-man function as the primary man off the bench.
Arkansas Basketball Frontcourt With out Brazile
It’s a disappointing finish to what was shaping as much as be a breakout season for Trevon Brazile and now Arkansas should determine methods to modify with out him shifting ahead.
Not like final season, when the Razorbacks had just one reliable participant taller than 6-foot-7 in Jaylin Williams, they’re much deeper within the frontcourt this season.
The Missouri switch is considered one of 4 Arkansas basketball scholarship gamers who stands no less than 6-foot-9, with the others being Jalen Graham (6-9), Makhi Mitchell (6-9) and Makhel Mitchell (6-10). That doesn’t even embody Kamani Johnson, a 6-foot-7 ahead who has taken on a bigger function than anticipated this season.
Every of these gamers has had his moments, however Brazile has simply been essentially the most constant of the group, as evidenced by his 27.0 minutes per recreation. His mixture of dimension, size (7-foot-2.5 wingspan) and athleticism (42.5-inch vertical) can be unattainable to exchange.
Makhi Mitchell continues to enhance, however he’s already beginning on the 5. Brazile is extra of a stretch 4 and has sometimes subbed in for Jordan Walsh. He’s truly performed extra minutes than Walsh, so perhaps Walsh may see his minutes improve in a “smaller” lineup.
One other “smaller” possibility can be Johnson, who has had a bigger function than even Musselman may have predicted to date this season — however continues to be averaging simply 12.1 minutes. He may play extra in video games that the Razorbacks want his toughness and rebounding, simply as they did in opposition to San Diego State.
Makhel Mitchell hasn’t performed close to as a lot as his twin brother, however has been good in spurts and is an possibility when Arkansas desires to go greater. He performed notably effectively in Hawaii, however has gotten solely eight complete minutes within the three video games since returning stateside.
The Jalen Graham Enigma
That mentioned, the participant most Arkansas basketball followers will most likely level to as somebody who may step up in Brazile’s absence is Jalen Graham. The Arizona State switch has flashed in restricted alternatives and Eric Musselman has gone out of his approach to reward him, most lately following the San Jose State recreation. In a season-high 12 minutes, Graham had 11 factors and 6 rebounds, plus drew a few expenses.
Nevertheless, it’s value noting that the majority of Graham’s manufacturing has are available in rubbish time. It’s straightforward to level to his plus-23 in that recreation, however the Razorbacks already led by 14 and had been effectively on their approach to pulling away for a blowout win earlier than he entered the sport.
That has been a theme for him to date, as 29 of his 31 factors this season have include the Razorbacks main by no less than 14. Solely 31.3 % of his minutes this season have include Arkansas trailing or main by 10 or much less. In these 13 minutes and 10 seconds, Graham is minus-5. In actual fact, greater than half of his minutes have include Arkansas main by no less than 20.
An all-conference performer at Arizona State, there’s no denying Graham’s offensive prowess. Musselman himself has mentioned he’s a superb inside passer who deploys an unimaginable delicate floater. The place he’s missing is on protection. There have additionally been instances when he’s lacked hustle, such because the time he received beat down the ground on back-to-back possessions, forcing Musselman to name a uncommon timeout to get him out of a good recreation with South Dakota State.
The 2 expenses he drew in opposition to San Jose State had been a step in the proper course for the latter subject, however taking part in time can be powerful to return by if he can’t defend as much as Musselman’s requirements. If he can get that discovered, although, he might be a key piece in Brazile’s absence.
Determination Looming for Trevon Brazile
Trying past this season, it seems Trevon Brazile has a choice to make. The massive man may nonetheless declare for the NBA Draft and attempt to begin his skilled profession or he may return to Arkansas as a junior.
He was considered one of 5 Razorbacks included in ESPN’s latest mock draft, which had him slotted fiftieth within the 58-player draft, whereas NBADraft.net and Bleacher Report already had him within the first spherical of their mocks. Many specialists have pointed to his potential as a purpose he may ultimately assert himself as a first-round choose.
“Arkansas could be very a lot nonetheless a workforce attempting to determine everybody’s roles, particularly with Smith simply returning to the line-up, so will probably be attention-grabbing to see if Brazile can set up any type of consistency,” 247Sports’ Adam Finkelstein wrote last week. “However, there’s little question that he has already taken his inventory to new ranges together with his rising mixture of dimension, bodily presents, and floor-spacing potential.”
Now the query is whether or not or not the potential he flashed within the first eight video games was sufficient to ensure him a spot within the first spherical of the 2023 NBA Draft, even when the surgical procedure prevents him from collaborating within the mix — the place he in any other case would have been capable of ‘wow’ scouts together with his unbelievable athleticism.
It’s not exceptional for gamers to get harm and nonetheless get drafted. Kyrie Irving, Michael Porter Jr. and Darius Garland every suffered important accidents that brought on them to overlook giant parts of their lone school season, however nonetheless went on to be lottery picks.
Nevertheless, the distinction between them and Brazile is that they had been already well-known commodities earlier than getting to varsity. They had been five-star recruits who had been destined to be first-round picks no matter what they did in school. Brazile wasn’t closely recruited out of highschool and it wasn’t till his abilities had been put absolutely on show with the Razorbacks that he entered the dialogue as a possible first-rounder.
The expertise was actually there, and may nonetheless be sufficient, however he was possible going to want to point out consistency all through the season to solidify his standing within the upcoming draft.
“I really feel like Trevon might be a first-round choose if he performs arduous on a regular basis,” teammate Nick Smith Jr. mentioned after a current recreation. “That’s one factor we attempt to implement on a regular basis is for him simply taking part in arduous persistently. Clearly tonight he scored attacking the basket. He’s received a great soar shot. Defensively, I really feel like he might be a great piece for us.”
If it seems to be like he’ll slip into the second spherical, Brazile is a uncommon instance of a participant who may truly profit and enhance his draft inventory by returning to high school for an additional yr.
Regardless that shedding him for this season, one which has Arkansas basketball followers considering of a attainable Last 4 run, is lower than supreme, having him subsequent yr — assuming he recovers utterly and maintains his explosiveness — can be a significant increase for the Razorbacks. They’re already set to usher in five-star huge man Baye Fall and five-star level guard Layden Blocker, in order that’d give Musselman a extremely stable core to construct round through the switch portal.
An Ode to Trevon Brazile Dunks
If that is the final we’ve seen of Trevon Brazile in an Arkansas basketball uniform, no less than we received to see him in eight full regular-season video games and several other scrimmages/exhibitions.
That isn’t precisely a big pattern dimension, nevertheless it was sufficient for him to supply a season’s value of spotlight dunks — together with one many are calling the Dunk of the 12 months in all of school basketball:
And now, in your viewing pleasure, a collection of Trevon Brazile’s different high dunks from his injury-shortened sophomore season…
Extra protection of Arkansas basketball from BoAS…