Arkansas v Tennessee question.

I’ve always considered Tennessee to be a good measuring stick for Arkansas
in most ways. Neither is really any sort of basketball mecca. Both have good
facilities and tend to be even in most areas, in my opine.

So I ask you to look at this and compare where Rick Barns and Tennessee is
in just 4 years compared to where Mike Anderson and Arkansas is after seven
or is it eight years. If you think we are on the right path, then we most likely
must be watching two different games.

Okay, I’ll give you Mike had a real dumpster fire when he got here, but if I
remember before Rick got to Tennessee they over-achieved and finished
10th in the league. Still in the Vols favor I think the year prior to that
they managed a sweet 16. So there was some talent there. But this team
now is all RICK. No leftovers. Built in 4 years. They are a championship level
team, or certainly are at this point of the season so far.

Where are we after almost twice those years? Even in the best of Mikes years
here at Arkansas, I never saw a team as complete as Tennessee? Why? What
is wrong here to prevent this? Is it location? Is it coaching? Is it style? Is it
talent?

We are not measuring up and it hurts my heart to say that about the Razorbacks.

I’m positive I’ll get flamed, and this is not meant to trigger the “I like mike” crowd
nor is it to curry up to the “anti-mike” crowd. I just seriously want to know what
are we lacking and what can we do.

I’m reminded of the saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing
over and over and expecting a different result. I’m beginning to see that with our
program, and its driving me nutz!!

Take a look at the 93/94 roster makeup and you will see the stark difference.
We had enough “MEN” to control the painted area of the court on both ends.
Corlis Williamson 6’7 grown man
Darnell Robinson 6’11” grown man
Lee Wilson 6’11” grown man
Dwight Stewart 6’9” grown man

One was a college super star, all of the others could play meaningful minutes and contribute.

Our current roster has only two grown men: Gafford and Chaney.
Our current gaurds may prove to be very good over time, but their youth along with the lack of enough legit “MEN” leave us at a roster deficit in order to be a serious contender at this time.

Go Hogs!

Take a look at the 93/94 roster makeup and you will see the stark difference.
We had enough “MEN” to control the painted area of the court on both ends.
Corlis Williamson 6’7 grown man
Darnell Robinson 6’11” grown man
Lee Wilson 6’11” grown man
Dwight Stewart 6’9” grown man

One was a college super star, all of the others could play meaningful minutes and contribute.

Our current roster has only two grown men: Gafford and Chaney.
Our current gaurds may prove to be very good over time, but their youth along with the lack of enough legit “MEN” leave us at a roster deficit in order to be a serious contender at this time.

Go Hogs!

Maybe Tennessee is not the best measuring stick, but I get the point you are trying to make.

Arkansas had beaten Tennessee six straight before losing to the Vols in the SEC Tournament.

Mike Anderson was 7-3 against Rick Barnes and his team going into tonight.

Coach Barnes hit on several guys that weren’t highly regarded that have developed and blossom.

That program has gone from 15-19 and 16-16 to what it is now. Coach Barnes came along, pushed it in the right direction and his players are to be praised for that.

It is very similar Coach Richardson getting a stud in Corliss and fitting several other recruits that weren’t that highly recruited that all meshed well and had his mentality.

I agree totally, Rick Barnes kind of had this team come together like a perfect storm with Williams and the Admiral turning into stars last season. With 2 guys leading the way like that, it was easy to get everyone else to do their part. They play with so much confidence and ease. Its like once you hit that competetive mark, everything gets easier.

I agree with what everyone is saying, but I’ll add something I’ve said in the past.

In terms of the OP’s comment on “why not Arkansas,” I said this the day it happened and still believe it today, that when Portis and Qualls left early unexpectedly(I know many will debate that it was unexpected) that it set Arkansas back because we had to scramble to fill our top two players spots. In doing so, we ended up with the worst recruiting class in Anderson’s tenure and even lost a couple of players to discipline issues a few months later. In short, we went right back to day one when Anderson got here. But think about it if Portis and Qualls stayed for their 3rd(Portis) and 4th(Qualls) year. That team would have had Portis, Qualls, Bell, Hannahs, Kingsley, Durham, Watkins, and Harris(if he didn’t get in trouble). That was a Sweet 16 team and SEC contender right there. Now we have what we do now, which is Anderson had to get JUCO guys to fill the ranks and we lost a huge swath of players in one season. Added on, the number of players that transferred out like Whitt, Jenkins(should have never been offered), Hall, Jones, and the guy who went to Iowa State who’s name I can’t recall at the moment, and you have what we do now, replacing everyone but 2 key players with transfers and freshmen.

So if we finish at 17-15 or so, lose our very best player to the draft and fill his spot with someone obviously less than the caliber of Gafford, how can we not expect more of the same next year?

I player was that transferred and went to Iowa St was Babb. This team is just young and even though transfers and early departures have hurt this team I think they will be fine next year.
The world isn’t ending!

When Whitt left there wasn’t 1 player left on the squad from that recruiting class. 2015 class I think? Which to begin with was considered a very good one.
Started with the big forward (forgot his name) didn’t qualify and then it snowballed until Whitt transferred.

His name was Ted Kapita,

When it comes to Tn vs Ar and Rick vs Mike, people are seeing what a team that is recruited and stays all four years accomplishes (TN), and what happens when they don’t (AR). Look at Mike starting in year one. Pel’s Class, one didn’t qualify (Ross), one stayed all four years (Madden), the other three transferred or left the program. His second year (Mike’s first class) he had Qualls (left early for NBA and got injured), Williams (kicked off team), and Bell (only one stayed all four years). It has happened with every class. Portis left early, Kingsley stayed, on and on.

This year’s team, I actually expected all but Henderson and Ali to stay, but Phillips threw a curve ball. If the rest of these guys stay through their Sr years (3-4 years depending on who it is) then you’ll see this team make huge strides, but as Dudley said a lot of kids and people around the kids have different ideas about how much playing time they should get.

Yea I think losing Phillips put a big damper on the roster for later this year & next year.
Makes me wonder what some of these kids are told when recruited.

That’s a question I’ve often wondered.

I also wonder how many are willing to work their tails off to get better, and how many think they should just be “the man” because they committed. It’s something I wonder about in all sports (and it doesn’t just happen at AR)

Because other players (especially freshmen) will grow and get better? If Gafford is the only major loss from this team we’ll be fine, we’re potentially bringing back 8 of our top 9 players. That would include two 15 PPG players. Also, some of you guys are really sleeping on Chaney. Chaney is going to be an absolute beast next year, we’ve seen flashes in the past 2 games, and these were 2 of the best teams in the country. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if he averaged a double/double or very close to it next year.

Well we know CMA doesn’t promise anyone playing time, I can remember several recruits mentioning that. I remember an interview with Anton Beard when he was asked what was one of the biggest reasons he decided to come to Arkansas, he said that CMA didn’t promise him anything he told him he’d have to work for everything, and Anton said he loved that because all the other schools just made a bunch of promises he knew they wouldn’t keep, he liked that CMA would make him work for everything.

I think in Phillips case, you look at the the High School and AAU program he went to. There was zero competition for him on those teams. He played on an unknown AAU program on a smaller circuit where he dominated the ball, got to play PG, and pretty much did whatever he wanted because he was by far the best player, and was probably the best player in the entire circuit he played in. And in high school it wasn’t any better, that highlight tape of him that was released mid-year last year, he had to had been the tallest guy on the court by at least 5-6 inches, the competition they were playing looked terrible, looked the equivalent of a 2A school in Arkansas. When you get use to something like that for so long, and then you go to college and you have to compete, it’s a tough adjustment for some players. You typically see guys that played on top-tier Prep Schools and good AAU teams on a major circuit adjust quicker because they are use to the competition and have got accustomed to not being the sole player in the spotlight.

Chaney is coming along just fine. I said at the start of the year he should earn a starting role. But in reality that isn’t feasible due to him being the only viable option to give Gafford a breather so we aren’t stuck with Gabe and Adrio on the floor at same time for to long.
Chaney, Joe, Jones, Harris & Simpson & hopefully some incoming studs could be the crux of the team next year and year after. Depending on who stays & who goes.

Chaney will be a real stud in the very near future…