Last season: 23-12, lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Butler.
Coach: Mike Anderson.
Conference: Southeastern Conference.
Who’s gone: Six of Arkansas’ top seven leading scorers, including the dynamic All-SEC guard duo of Jaylen Baford and Daryl Macon — who combined to average 34.7 points per game a year ago. Point guard Anton Beard and forwards Dustin Thomas, Trey Thompson and Arlando Cook are also gone due to graduation, while guard C.J. Jones (Middle Tennessee State) and Darious Hall (DePaul) transferred.
Who’s back: The Razorbacks return only three scholarship players, led by All-SEC forward Daniel Gafford. The athletic 6-foot-11 sophomore averaged 11.8 points and 6.2 rebounds — shooting 60.5 percent from the field — in only 23 minutes per game a year ago as a freshman, and he’s projected as a lottery pick in next year’s NBA draft. Also returning is junior Adrio Bailey (4.1 ppg) and sophomore Gabe Osabuohien (1.1 ppg).
Who’s new: The vast majority of the overhauled roster from a year ago, with transfers Jalen Harris and Mason Jones expected to perform well early thanks to their experience. Harris, a 6-foot-2 point guard, sat out last season after transferring from New Mexico, and Jones averaged 15.5 points per game last year in junior college. Also, freshman Isaiah Joe scored 31 points on 9-of-14 shooting on 3-pointers in Arkansas’ Red-White scrimmage and is expected to fill a large void from the outside for a Razorbacks team that returns only one player who hit a 3-pointer last season.
The Skinny: Despite having reached the NCAA Tournament in three of the last four seasons, Anderson is under continued pressure to live up to the lofty standards set by his mentor, Hall of Fame coach Nolan Richardson. The chances of a fourth NCAA trip in five seasons aren’t great with such an overhauled roster, but the return of Gafford should provide plenty of high-flying excitement.
Expectations: The Razorbacks were picked to finish 10th in the much-improved SEC this season, a reflection of the roster turnover. Gafford, however, is enough to give Arkansas a chance just about any time it steps on the court.
For more AP college basketball coverage: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25