The primary reason why Mike Anderson hasn’t had the success here that he had at UAB and Missouri is that he has not been able to recruit a PG like he had in his two previous stops. To me, that is the #1 recruiting miss of the Anderson era.
Besides running the offense and managing the game, it is the PG who makes the critical plays that lead to a clutch basket or a clutch assist. A good PG must be able to do both.
Mike just hasn’t had his Jared Harper or Tremont Waters. Instead he has had combo guards and a couple of non scoring PGs. First it was 4 years of Ky Madden, a combo guard that Mike thought could be a Magic Johnson type of a PG. Then it was a non-scoring PG Jabril Durham for a year (byend of that year Jabril could shoot threes better than Harris) followed by two years of combo guard Anton Beard.
Then we finally signed what I thought a true PG who can also score in Harris. At least that is what the scouting report was. But it turned out that it wasn’t the case, at least this year. Some say that lack of a 4 is our biggest weakness, but I think the PG play is what held us back this year from exceeding expectations. A PG who can make clutch baskets could have easily masked our weakness at the 4.
When Harris signed we already had a commitment from Hill and I thought we would have a solid 1-2 PG duo for two years. Really hoping now that Hill can focus on basketball for at least half of that to come to fruition. With some work (and no one will work harder than Justice), Hill could be his Jared Harper.
Watch Mike’s program soar if the PG play is like it was at UAB and Missouri. Mike is a good coach who has had a key tool missing from his tool box,
What has been our issues with recruiting a point all these years? Is it missing on some evaluations or some guys not panning out I wonder?
Of all you mentioned during Mike’s eight years, Harris to me is the quickest and has some good upside.
I think the lack of a four is a killer as well although I agree behind a top point guard in priority.
Would have loved to have seen much better half court sets this year if not also at the end of Indiana game. Need much better screens and looks for say a Chaney down low those last minutes. Instead of dying by the three you work for Cheney and at least draw a foul and get to the line - but that’s just a vision from the cheap seats.
Yes, that is why I said that by end of the year, he could shoot better. Remember early in that year he would pass on open shots? If you do that certainly in the clutch you are not going to shoot or shoot and not make it.
We started and he played during crunch time at the end, a power forward project type player hitting 49% from the free throw line, who turned the ball over a lot, and who continued to shoot threes this year despite hitting 15% from the arc, Gabe Osabohien. The best power forward CMA recruited in the last eight years, Chaney, was on the bench, totally frustrated with Mike and this season, and reportedly about to transfer out. This team, without Gafford, had severe problems at point guard, power forward, AND center. There was also a huge lack of the small forward type swing type players that Nolan & Mike have always used so well in this defense. We had depth and talent at shooting guard and at a shooting small forward type position with Joe, Jones, Sills, and Simpson. That is it. We lagged way behind most of the SEC at every other position.
Gafford, a future NBA star, projected first round draft choice, was not enough to carry this group to the NCAA. If they recruit a good center, a good power forward, and a good point guard who can score, things might get better. Since failing to do that year after year is what got this team in this shape…it falls under the “doing the same thing over and over expecting different results” category. Not likely.
Jalen played pretty well this year, except for his shooting. He is fast, quick and athletic. He will improve, just like the other guards coming back. We can win with Harris, but we have to get some talent on the front line. Gafford was outstanding, but he had very little help to rebound and play near the basket. Next year, we have to have two or three guys who can play with Chaney that can play. We need some bosses, like a Reggie Perry. The loss of Perry sealed our fate this year.
Jalen is 15th in the country in assist to turnover ratio, and second in the SEC to Bone at EOE. At one point early in the season he was at or near the top of ATR, but a few high-turnover games dragged him down. He needs to be more productive next year, not just getting the 3-ball percentage over 30 but finishing at the rim. If he can do that, and continue to take care of the rock, that will be a big step toward a better team next year.
Just realized that Jalen grew up about 80 miles from my crib in North Carolina. Didn’t know he went from NC to Albuquerque to Fedvul.
Mike Anderson would have more wins if we had bigger, stronger, faster, and more skilled players. No doubt about it. Any coach that has better talent is going to win most games.
Old timers remember the early days of Eddie Sutton… He was lucky to have some extremely talented players. He just never had enough of them. The Final Four team was the Triplets and little else. Dr Counce was a point forward before anyone ever heard of such. The only way Kentucky beat us in the semi-finals was to disrupt our set plays by pressuring the ball and the point forward. Counce played sound defense and was a reliable floor leader who generally was ignored by most teams because he was not a scoring threat. Couple this with foul trouble by our big and it was a clear statement that those 3 could almost beat a deep talented Kentucky team. Those 3 were that good.
The next year,they should have beaten Indiana State except for a blown traveling call on U S Reed. This was probably the best coached Razorback game I have seen. Sutton called time out with 8 minutes to play and put the much smaller Moncrief on Bird.That stopped Bird’s offensive explosion and made the game in doubt until the final horn.
This history lesson shows that coaching does indeed make a difference. Mike was not lucky enough to have the second coming of Sidney Moncrief. Mike doesn’t have the roster that Nolan had.and sure enough, he has not won as much as Nolan did… Even Eddie Sutton could not.take this team and win much more than Mike has. Mike’s problem is that he has not been able to get enough skilled players to compete at the top tier of the SEC. The 4 has been a glaring weakness for years. Point guard play has not been good enough. We just need more good players.
I will always be a Hog fan. I just want to win big again. WPS