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Patience is wearing thin for the Arkansas fanbase, as the Razorbacks basketball team still has glaring needs ahead of the 2024 NBA Draft withdrawal date on May 29.

Fret not, as head coach John Calipari is shifting through the shadows behind the scenes to ensure the Hoop Hogs have one of the most competitive rosters in the country during the 2024-25 season.

Illinois transfer Coleman Hawkins is the perfect fit for Arkansas' roster.

Arkansas has already made appearances in preseason rankings despite only having seven scholarship players, though it helps when some of those are names like Johnell Davis, Jonas Aidoo and Boogie Fland.

RELATED: Arkansas Basketball 2024-25 Roster Tracker

The latest rumblings seem to indicate that Calipari is focused on adding 1-to-3 more contributors either from the NBA Draft withdrawal pool or the overseas market.

HawgBeat provides a recap with the latest intel, along with best-fit rankings of Arkansas’ known priority targets:

No. 1 – F Coleman Hawkins, Illinois

Besides an experienced point guard, a forward capable of stretching the floor and initiating some offense is the biggest remaining need for the Razorbacks.

Hawkins is the unequivocal best fit, as the 6-foot-10, 225-pound senior averaged 12.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game last season while shooting 45.1% from the field, 36.9% from beyond the arch and 79.2% from the charity stripe.

Still scheduled to meet with NBA teams this week, Hawkins has made it known that his main goal is to stay in the draft and forego his last year of collegiate eligibility. However, he’d likely earn a large NIL payday if he chose to return to college and Arkansas isn’t scared of using its resources to get what it wants.

Should Hawkins delay his professional career by another year, Arkansas will be a major contender for his services. North Carolina was another program with interest, though that may me moot after the Tar Heels landed the commitment of transfer forward Ven Allen-Lubin.

No. 2 – PG DJ Wagner, Kentucky

Tick tock, Mr. Wagner. After visiting the Razorbacks two weeks ago, Wagner’s recruitment has been at an apparent standstill. He hasn’t taken any other known visits since then, and the connections to the Arkansas program are too hard to ignore.

In a world where experience and continuity are valuable, Wagner is a crucial piece of the puzzle for the Hogs’ roster construction. Without him, Arkansas would have to rely on someone like Fland to lead the way in only his freshman campaign.

For the Wildcats under Calipari last season, Wagner earned a spot on the All-SEC Freshman team after averaging 9.9 points, 3.3 assists and 1.9 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-4, 192-pound transfer shot 40.5% from the field, 29.2% from beyond the arch and 76.6% from the charity stripe.

No. 3 – F Jaylen Wells, Washington State

When you think of a true NBA wing prototype player, Wells fits the mold nearly perfectly. Standing at 6-foot-8, 205-pounds, he has the size to hold his own on the perimeter and is a deadly sharpshooter as he made 41.7% of his shots from distance last season.

Wells ranked in the 99th percentile out of spot-up shooting and is the roster piece to elevate a team from darkhorse to a contender. Will an NBA team take a chance on him in the second round? Will he want to turn down massive NIL for a contract that will almost definitely pay him less?

If the answers to those two questions lead him to a college return, don’t be surprised if Arkansas makes a push for his signature if the Hogs can’t land Hawkins or others on this list.

No. 4 – G Wooga Poplar, Miami

Buzz around Poplar’s recruitment with Arkansas had gone to the wayside in recent weeks, but a report from Jack Pilgrim of KSR stating that the Miami transfer is expected to visit Arkansas along with Kentucky and Oregon changed that.

A lights-out three-point shooter who has impressed at the G-League Combine, Poplar has been there and done that throughout his collegiate career with Final Four experience and a true scoring mentality.

The only reason Poplar isn’t higher on this list is because there can only be one player with the ball in his hands. Assuming Wagner commits and plays the lead guard position and Davis works off the ball, that would leave a lot of mouths to feed if Poplar joined the fold as well.

Still, landing a player that averaged 13.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game in the ACC while shooting 38.5% from beyond the arch is something you can live with.

No. 5 – G Egor Demin, Real Madrid

Calipari is no stranger to recruiting overseas, as he already has one foreign player in big man Zvonimir Ivisic on the roster. Real Madrid versatile combo-wing Demin has picked up a lot of steam with the Hogs, and could potentially fit multiple needs at once.

Because of his reported 6-foot-9 size and playmaking abilities, Demin could realistically play anywhere from 1-to-4 on the court if needed. Viewed as a high-end 2025 NBA Draft prospect, Demin recently dropped a 19-point, 6-rebound, 4-assist performance in 28 minutes against Milan in the Adidas Next Generation Tournament.

Illinois was once the perceived favorite to land Demin, but BYU and the Razorbacks are now the two known programs in contention for the do-it-all prospect.

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