This year’s team sounds good. If all the commitments stick then next year’s team will have crazy talent but very young. Too bad Kingsley doesn’t have an extra year of eligibility to insure next year’s team has leadership and mature talent.
should b good enough to make NCAA tourney this year and if we get hot could win 1 or 2. thats putting alot of faith in the juco guys though, its paramount these 3 are as good as advertised. Kingsley and Hannahs are the only real known commodities. i think Beard has a bounce back year though. the next season will hinge on if Barford and Macon return to school. i do admit the class for next year is loaded so far, but im not sure Gafford is as polished as Portis was coming into school. he is a better athlete though so rebounding and defense should b solid. with no real post scorers unless Thompson develops its imperative the the juco guys return for sr seasons. if they do we should be pretty salty.
your right notorious, i dont mean to imply the juco guys are more or less likely to not pan out. im more speculating on the next season when Barford, Macon, and Cook would be seniors. i know Barford is extremely highly thought and that if he’d turned pro after this year in juco probably would of been a first round pick. just dont know if he’ll stick around for senior season which would greatly deter the season. also, i know Macon talked about playing one year and going pro in an article in the paper. losing both of them would be akin to losing Portis and Qualls at same time and we all know how that panned out.
I don’t know about “AMAZING” but the 2017 class is turning into a very good one. “AMAZING” would be what Cal or K is doing or what LSU did last year. That said, I feel like CMA can take a “very good” class and do more with it than some guys do with amazing classes.
As far as this year’s team goes, I’m very excited to see what happens. I expected to be bad last year and we went 16-16 (9-9) that could have easily have been 20+ wins if we closed out better in close games.
Getting Kingsley and Hannahs back gives us two strong pieces and they should be even stronger this year.
Bell is a big loss. We need someone to step up as a second threat from outside. Does anyone know if any newcomers will be able to fill that role? I’m not sure any holdovers fit the bill.
Durham was solid, but I think Barford will be a marked upgrade from what I’ve heard. I know he’s super quick off the dribble and a strong defender. How is he as a shooter?
I think Beard will have a rebound season. He should be a lot more comfortable with his role getting to practice with the squad this year.
Whitt transferring was a surprise. I heard he was worried about playing time. Is that true? It just seems like with the loss of Jabril and Bell he’d be called on to step up in a big way. I’m hoping it has everything to do with Barford and Macon. Macon talking about going pro after this year? I knew Barford was in that discussion, but is Macon at that level? If so, it could mean very good things for this year’s team.
I think both Cook and Bailey will be upgrades from Miles and Kouassi down low.
So, I see upgrades at every position except Bell. Having a second deep threat to stretch the defense is going to be key for this team. I’m going to say it happens and predict 23-25 wins without seeing the schedule.
I know we have cussed and discussed this before, and I SURE hope you are saying “I told you so” here in a few months. But I am very nervous about depending upon so many JC guys. Yes, we have had some success with JC guys, had some failures too. I just don’t recall (not saying it hasn’t happened) having so many eggs in the JC basket before. Further, even if they were all high school kids, NEW COMERS are hard to rely on. I will never forget the 1991 season when our new comers all jelled and we had a great year. An unexpected year. But it seems like most of the time if you are counting on new comers to save your bacon (JC or high school) it isn’t as great as you would hope.
So, in thinking about this over the last few months, I have realized my concern with all the JC guys actually isn’t this year (my worries would be the same if we were planning on a bunch of high school guys to save us) as it is the fact that with high school guys, they have more years left. If this year isn’t great, well, all these guys are only going to have one more year. Hard to build on that type of thing. If they were high school guys, you hopefully have 3 more years with them. You can build a PROGRAM. You can see what single piece is missing and try to bring it in. With JC guys, you don’t have time to build off them. (And yes I realize that has changed since our glory days, I HATE HATE HATE that the NBA can take them so early. I don’t think that has been good for the NBA and I know it hasn’t been good for college basketball, but that is the subject of a different thread. )
Your point on having to rely on so many newcomers (whether freshmen or Jucos) is a valid one and hard to argue against until you see them in game action and see how it jells. But it doesn’t make sense to single out Jucos.
Your point of the right way to build the program is valid too. And that is one of the reasons why they went the Juco route. That is to spread the classes around so you don’t have these many newcomers in a single year. Granted, if there are early NBA departures or transfers, you could find yourself in a total rebuild situation again, but if that happens, there is nothing you can do about it.
Another reason from bringing in 3 Jucos this year is to have a better immediate impact next year, since they missed NCAAT last year. For immediate impact, I would rather have three Top 5 Jucos than three Top 100 freshmen, unless those three are Top 50 kids. And I think that is what they are counting on.
I agree with your concern for covering the loss of Bell. I think many fans are undervaluing his loss and what it meant to Dusty to have another 40% three point shooter on the floor. Until I see Macon, Barford and CJ Jones in a game situation, I remain concerned about the loss of Bell.
I’m inclined to agree that I’d prefer Jucos to freshmen if we are talking about immediate impact. I would be concerned if the Jucos were expected to come in and carry the team, which is why it’s so crucial that we’ve got Kingsley and Hannahs back. Yes, we’ll need strong contributions from our newcomers, but as the 3-4-5 guys. We’ve got a very solid 1-2.
I also think you’re spot on about the real concern being for the future. Kingsley and Hannahs will be done after this year, and possibly Barford and apparently even Macon. If we lose our top four players off of this year’s team, next year could be a repeat of last year. At Arkansas the goal isn’t to make the NCAA tournament every other year. We need to sign 2-3 strong players every recruiting class. With Gafford, Garland, and Hall I feel confident we did that for 2017. Now, if we can do at least as well for 2018 we can really get the train rolling.
This class is AMAZING relative to past classes and ranks up their with the Ky Madden Class…or exceeds it. We have had some classes with one super rated player like a Portis but the other players were meh. This class is solid all the way across.
This class is ranked #6 in the US right now. I also communicated that poorly about a class with a super rated player “Like a Portis but the other players were meh”. Like a Portis meant the quality of players that would be in an unbalanced class…not his class in particular.
This class of commitments looks very good and is ranked in the Top 10. Last year’s signees are on campus and the practice reports make me crazy and giddy. The practice reports make me feel we are on our way back, because this first good class is making big changes and then we have another great class right behind it. The IN state talent is very good right now and that helps us overcome the loss of the JUCO’s in 2 years.