HawgBeat - Musselman explains roster construction, playing time philosophy
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Musselman explains roster construction, playing time philosophy

Eric Musselman is in his first season as Arkansas' head coach.
Eric Musselman is in his first season as Arkansas' head coach. (Arkansas Athletics)

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FAYETTEVILLE — Having spent his entire career in professional basketball, Eric Musselman’s stints as an assistant at Arizona State and LSU served as a valuable learning experience.

He took mental notes when, even after wins, he’d see sometimes as many as four players unhappy in the locker room because they didn’t get to play as much as they wanted.

During that three-year period, Musselman developed a plan that he was finally able to put into action when hired as Nevada’s head coach in 2015 - and one he has since brought to Fayetteville.

“I didn’t like walking into a locker room and having guys not be happy with their minutes, so I came up with the formula: I wanted four guys sitting out or I wanted four scholarships who were guys either redshirting, sitting out due to transfers or open scholarships,” Musselman said. “That way I felt like you could control your team chemistry in the locker room.”

The Razorbacks’ current roster perfectly illustrates what he’s looking for. JD Notae (Jacksonville), Abayomi Iyiola (Stetson) and Connor Vanover (Cal) are sitting out because of NCAA transfer rules, plus they have an open scholarship.

Of course, the flip side of that kind of roster construction is that Arkansas has only nine eligible scholarship players for this season.

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