Blue Ribbon's predicted order of finish for SEC

Blue Ribbon has released its predicted order of finish for the SEC this season. Arkansas comes in at No. 8:

I understand we have a lot of new faces but we have a ton of firepower. Looks to me like another year the “experts” are sleeping on the hogs.

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I think your right. The should finish bout 5th that’s my guess

I hope you’re right Army

About the middle of December, Dortch will be shaking his head and saying. “Geez, how did I miss that Arkansas basketball team so badly. 8th in the SEC, what was I thinking!”

You know, when these things play out in their favor, I always wonder: what do they know that we don’t? There’s always something.

I think they can finish as high as 4th and as low as 11th, depending on how quickly the 10 newcomers adjust to the new team or their first college team.

I keep saying this. How can you blame the experts outside of Arkansas from picking us higher, because following is what they are looking at

Finished 11th last year
Only one returning olayer that contributed significantly last year
Not a 5 star in the recruiting class that experts use in projecting. The idea is non-5 stars will take half a season to adjust to the next level.
None of the transfers were dominant scorers on their previous team

Now we inside Arkansas know how good the new guys are. It is up to our Hogs to live up to the reporting and prove these pundits wrong. A 4th place finish or 5th as someone projected in this thread, will just do that. It is always more satisfying to finish higher than predicted. Like previous staff or not, they mostly beat the predictions.

There are certainly lots and lots of ifs about this team with all the new faces. Many positive things have to happen for this team to be a top 4 or 5 team in the SEC. I may be hanging on to fools gold but here are a few reasons I’m very high on the prospects for this team:

No 5-stars, you are correct. However, I view Smith to be as good **this one year" as a #6-15 ranked 5-star freshman. He was ranked in every service as a top 10 transfer and one service had him as #3. He hasn’t proven at Indiana to be a top scorer, but is very good in his overall game. I’m hopeful he will be a leader for this young team.

You mentioned our 3 transfers were not dominate scorers, and I agree with that. I may be proven wrong, but I’m not worried about this team being able to score. I also feel certain our rebounding will be better than last year, which won’t be difficult unfortunately.

Defense, with an emphasis on TEAM is my biggest worry, especially early on. Very few freshmen, including 5-star players, come into Power 5 college basketball ready to play defense with the necessary desire and intensity. Smith, Tate and Desi will have to be great leaders to get these freshmen ready for power 5 defense.

Perhaps I’m expecting too much from this team. Only time will tell. I’m sure Muss and the players are expecting even more than anyone in this thread. If the young ones buy in early, look out SEC.

You have consistently have had a high opinion of Smith. I hope you are right. I do know that one analyst, maybe Jon Rothstein, moved Arkansas up into Top 25 or 30 when Smith committed and then moved Hogs down again when Isaiah reentered the draft. So you have company there.

As far as prediction, I think it is best to wait until non-conference phase is over. I think we will have a good idea then.

Minimum I want out of the coming season is to get back into NCAAs. I think Top 7 will do that.

Since there are

What most people don’t realize is just how good our coaching is nor do they see what a diverse, skilled, and versatile group of players Muss can use to adjust to any opponent. This team has size, quickness, scoring from both inside and from 3 point land. If they come any way close to overachieving as much they did last year, they will be a top 4 team in the SEC and a likely trip to the Sweet Sixteen or even an Elite Eight would not surprise me.

Yes, they might need a few games to gel, but I expect them to compete, play hard and win a lot of games against teams that are forecast by the outside media to finish higher in SEC standings. I just hope that COVID will be controlled by then so we can have a full season and a full Bud Walton.

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If we are the eighth best team in the league, then the SEC should be pretty strong this season. I am optimistic that with our depth and ability to present some vastly different lineups and of course a coach creative enough to leverage these attributes, we will be able to be a challenging opponent.