Isaiah Joe’s announcement Saturday likely is the result that quite simply Eric Musselman convinced the junior from Fort Smith his coaching staff can get him better.
Arkansas fans shouldn’t particularly over-think the why, but just be glad Joe will be back.
The dream continues🙏🏽🐗 pic.twitter.com/yY0mUsw8Lh
— Isaiah Joe (@Isaiah_joe10) August 1, 2020
“This has definitely been [a decision] not to be rushed,” Joe said on the social media post.
No sightings of Musselman doing cartwheels in front of the basketball center have been reported but it wouldn’t exactly be that surprising.
“We are so excited to have Isaiah back,” Musselman said in a release. “He received incredible feedback from the NBA and got valuable experience with NBA interviews. We know how hard of a decision this was for Isaiah and his family. Zai’s goal is to have a long NBA career and we can’t wait to continue helping him reach his dream.”
— Eric Musselman (@EricPMusselman) August 1, 2020
Joe made a school record 113 shots behind the 3-point line and everybody figured he would be gone this year. A knee injury in the middle of SEC play slowed him down a little and his NBA projections put him on the fringe of being drafted.
While Musselman made it clear he was giving Joe and his family feedback, you can bet at some point in the conversations he may have just simply told him his staff can help him make a significant jump.
Joe’s return makes this one of the most promising rosters for the Hogs — at least on paper — they’ve had in awhile.
Only three of the 13 scholarship players have played (Joe, Ethan Henderson and Desi Sills) but the talent coming includes a highly-regard recruiting class with four highly-touted freshmen.
And expectations are already starting to climb.