Arkansas adds Lykes as graduate transfer

University of Arkansas coach Eric Musselman landed former Miami (Fla.) guard and graduate transfer Chris Lykes, who announced his plans to transfer to Fayetteville on Wednesday.

Lykes, 5-7, 160 pounds, narrowed his list to Arkansas and Southern Cal before selecting the Razorbacks. He is the No. 6 transfer available, according to Busting Brackets. The Athletic lists him at No. 30.

He was a preseason first-team all-ACC selection last season, but he played in only two games as a senior after suffering an ankle injury.

“Chris is a proven, dynamic guard who has excelled in the ACC,” Musselman said in a statement announcing the transfer. “He has the ability to score and get his teammates involved. We like how he attacks the paint and gets to the free throw line. He also has shown great leadership. We are very excited to have Chris join our program and our fans will enjoy watching him play.”

Lykes started 24 of 26 games as a junior and averaged a team-high 15.4 points, 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals a game. He shot 43.2% from the field, 38% from the three-point line and 81.4% from the free-throw line.

A former ESPN 4-star prospect out of Bowie (Md.) Gonzaga College High School, Lykes picked the Hurricanes over Villanova, Georgetown, Virginia, North Carolina State, Notre Dame and others in 2017. ESPN also rated him the No. 12 point guard and No. 48 overall recruit.

“I have evaluated Chris Lykes since his high school days and have called a few of his games at Miami,” ESPN national recruiting director Paul Biancardi said. “Lykes is a dynamic scoring point guard. He finds the arc in transition and has both the confidence and skill to make quick threes.

“In the half court, Lykes can navigate well in ball screens as a shooter behind the screen or as a playmaker to create for others as he can get into the paint. He needs to utilize his size and pressure the ball in the back court more often and with great intensity.

“A battle-tested guard and a tough-minded player.”

A two-time All-ACC academic team selection, Lykes started all 32 games as a sophomore and averaged 16.2 ppg. He scored in double figures in 27 games that season, with 10 going for 20 or more points.

He also averaged 3.2 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals while shooting 40.6% from the field, 31.7% from the three-point line and 78% from the free-throw line in 2018-19.

Lykes started 10 games while playing in all 32 games as a freshman. He averaged 9.6 ppg during the season. He also dished out 2.3 assists a game. He shot 40.1% from the field, 34.5% from the three-point line and 71.9% from the free-throw line.

Lykes is the second transfer to announce plans to play for Arkansas next season. Former Pittsburgh wing Au’Diese Toney announced his plans to transfer last week.

With forward Ethan Henderson on Wednesday joining guard Desi Sills in the NCAA transfer portal, Arkansas is at 12 scholarship players who are expected to be on campus this summer. That number includes Moses Moody, who’s a candidate to enter the NBA Draft. The Hogs also signed forward Akol Mawein and guard Chance Moore in November.

The NCAA allows 13 players to be on scholarship.