Coaching or Recruiting.

In basketball, it may be some of both. However, it is primarily recruiting. Nolan once said, “social life is not that good for a black athlete” in Fayetteville. That may or may not be but recruiting elite black and maybe some elite white athletes to Fayetteville is very difficult.

Fayetteville is a great place for raising a family or retiring, but may lack the excitement that appeals to college athletes. <Comment deleted. -BBH>

For a while Nolan could recruit elite athletes but he was an outstanding coach in special circumstances as the first major college black coach in the South. I suspect that even he could not recruit well to Fayetteville in the present time.

As for coaching sometimes I suspect that Coach Mike Anderson is still trying to win with a style that was effective before the Arkansas rule the NCAA implemented to keep Nolan from winning as much plus recent new rules. When the rules change, to win, coaches much adapt and I am not certain that Anderson has.

Regardless, even if Anderson has adapted, to win in the SEC, he must have one or two elite athletes; the type of athletes that will choose Kentucky even if born and raised in Arkansas.

I don’t fault Anderson for losing to Mississippi State because they recruit better athletes. In 2016 they signed six 4 star athletes and as much as the Arkansas fans are proud of the 2017 class, it is not as good as Mississippi State’s 2017 class. It is that way for most of the SEC colleges.

In football we’re usually towards the bottom in recruiting in the SEC. In basketball in the middle usually, sometimes upper half. Overall, we probably get better results than would be expected from our recruiting rankings, so there is a little consolation in that. I don’t know what the answer is. Is it realistic to think a new coach could put our recruiting on a level with the schools mostly to the south of us, schools that have a big demographic advantage? In basketball it’s not just we who can’t compete with Kentucky recruiting. Almost no one can. Ditto with Alabama in football.

Serious question:

What is wrong with Anderson’s recruiting?

I see people constantly say that his recruiting is not good, yet(according to ESPN), he’s had 6 classes where 4 were ranked in the top 20, with two not making the top 25. That’s not including the 17 class which is ranked 17th, so that would make 5 out of 7 in the top 20. BTW, the 17 class is ranked higher than MSU’s 17 class. MSU’s 17 class is ranked 30th.

I see a lot of people talk about how he missed on guys like Allen and Monk. Tell me, what was he suppose to do? Does anyone think he didn’t recruit either hard? If they decide to leave and didn’t list Anderson as a reason to leave, how can anyone say it’s Anderson’s fault?

I just want to here the logic of why people keep making bad claims about recruiting and why in state players leave. I want serious responses, not “Anderson sucks.”

CMA has the quality of players (talent) to come in the top three of the weak SEC. He’s just not a good enough coach to teach and motivate them anymore. I think he used to could have but anymore you can tell he is not 100% involved with the game and the kids. “Go get them boys” is not coaching/teaching/motivating. At Arkansas we will always need a teacher/motivator type of coach in basketball and football, we need strong strong coaching year around and tremendous motivating to compete with everybody we play. In basketball until the conference starts we have a good record, once we start playing decent teams we fall back into being mediocre middle of the pack because we have very little influence from the sideline when we need it. If CMA never said a word but knew how to substitute better we would be better. I don’t pick on him as a coach in general I pick on him as a coach for us today. He’s brought us very little as far as producing good results but you can’t say that about Birmingham or Missouri. I know how he got the job but can’t understand how he keeps the job.

Same for football when we fell behind Missouri and V. Tech I wasn’t even mad at CBB I just felt sorry for him because he had nothing, he was a deer in the headlights.

Tough to play and be competitive and expect to and hope to possibly finish in the upper end of our conference when we have weak middle of the pack coaching.

I have never said he didn’t try hard. The results are what they are. He has missed on more than Allen and Monk. Mr. Business Decision for one. Question for you, if he is recruiting so well, why the results we have? How many NCAATs? How many times ended the season ranked in top 25? Are we ranked now? Have we been ranked this year? Do we look impressive?

So, while I think it is recruiting, if it isn’t recruiting, then are you saying it is his coaching? Because the results aren’t cutting it.

Again, how can you miss, when you are trying to recruit someone and they CHOOSE to leave the state? To say Anderson missed implies that he didn’t even try and some instate player went off and became successful elsewhere. 1. We all know that’s not true. 2. Archie Goodwin made his intentions clear. 3. Other than the two others mentioned, who has gone off and tore up the basketball world at another school? I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head.

The results we have? I honestly don’t think most fans realize the effect Portis and Qualls declaring so late, losing talent to grades(Kapita), and the funny money scandal did to this team. Anderson started his Arkansas HC career with only 8 scholarship players and after all these shenanigans before the 15-16 season, he lost half his scholarship players and went back down to 8 scholarship players again. Meaning, he essentially had to start all over again, hence why we had to go so strong in the JUCO ranks and will have a huge class for the 18 class.

I mean seriously look at Anderson’s record here: 1. 18-14, missed tourney 2. 19-13 missed tourney but got better 3. 22-12, made NIT 4. 27-9 made it to second round of NCAA tourney, WITH A FULL COMPLIMENT OF HIS PLAYERS!!! 5. All the problems happen and we go to 16-16 6. Current season and we are 12-4, not great but not bad either so far. Point is that 1. this season isn’t over and we can’t judge the season till it’s over and 2. Anderson grows and continues to have success when he has a fully complimented team and the reason he didn’t last year had nothing to do with HIM. So for people like me, it’s frustrating when people spout off “he’s had 6 years” and yet ignore the circumstances both before he got here and what happened before last season. You have to put all the facts together to make an accurate case, which sadly, most fans don’t.

Since when does ANYONE define a “miss” as “didn’t try to get”??? Never in my life have a heard that being the definition of miss. Maybe that is why you are upset at people you shouldn’t be upset at. SO, if I shoot at a deer and don’t hit it, that isn’t a miss??? Or, because I didn’t hit it that means I really didn’t shoot? (Even though I aimed at the deer, pulled the trigger, the hammer fell, a round was fired, I was trying to shoot the deer, all that didn’t actually happen because I didn’t actually hit the deer??? ) I call that a miss. Not a “didn’t try.” Never said Anderson didn’t try, said he missed. He did. By the way here is part of what you said “1. 18-14, missed tourney 2. 19-13 missed tourney but got better” SO, by your definition of “miss” Anderson didn’t try to make the tourney in years 1 and 2? I think you actually know the definition of “miss” based on your own post.

As to results. We are in year 6. So far we have ONE, count em, ONE NCAAT appearance. We will see what happens this year. So, in FIVE full years we have one NCAAT appearances, with a grand total of ONE win. One. Do you think Nolan would have got to stay if that had been his results after 5 years? No way in heck. Eddie? Maybe, we didn’t have a history like we do know, there weren’t high expectations. That does not meet expectations at Arkansas.

Now, I am not calling for his head actually. I don’t think he has what it takes to get us where we want to be. That said, absent a complete melt down the rest of this year, give him at least one more year. Do I think we will see the results we want? No. Do I want to wait and see? Yes.

Heard that word used that way many times, for example, how could the Cubs MISS on Lou Brock and trade him.

Again, you are repeating the same old song while ignoring facts that go with it. Other than Eddie(which you already excused), Nolan walked into a MUCH better situation than Anderson did, and because of the times, didn’t have the issues like Anderson just did. You’re comparing apples and oranges.

Again, to be clear, I AM NOT SAYING HE DIDN’T TRY (that clear?) I am saying he didn’t get it done. That is a miss. I have not seen ONE POST of people saying he didn’t try to get the ones he missed on. I have seen some people say he didn’t try hard enough. I don’t believe that. I haven’t see any evidence of that.

Since Eddie, no coach Arkansas has hired has had a record equal to Anderson’s 5 year record and kept his job. Heath’s record was similar in lots of ways. He had been to 2 NCAAT’s but had not won a game. His record had gotten better each year. Wasn’t good enough. Pel’s record was worse, but had the same number of NCAAT appearances and wins. He only got 4 years.

Clearly it is a matter of OPINION about who had a harder row to hoe. I think Eddie had the hardest, he was starting from scratch. Next hardest, again, in my opinion was Heath. With everything being said by Nolan, the law suit, it made it very hard for him. Next, Nolan, he had some good players from Eddie, but they weren’t the kind of players he needed. Add in his family issue (I can’t imagine anyone else in the world doing half as well as he did if my child was dying, some of that realization has come with having my own children, don’t get me wrong, I “understood” what he was going though at the time, but having my own children has made me respect him so much more). Mike’s situation was the next in my opinion. Easy situation? No (rarely if there is a forced coaching change is the new coach walking into an easy situation). Pel walked into a pretty good situation, the best of any of them by far. I have seen people who swear that Mike’s situation was the worst of any of them. I respect those opinions. I acknowledge that my opinions can (and are lots of times) wrong.

Per 247Sports:
MSU Class rank 22; commits #s 26, 130, & 226
ARK Class rank 24; commits #s 35, 128, & 248

Granted that is very close so other ranking services may have Arkansas ranked above Mississippi State.

Also, you make a good point. A good coach, should be as good as his recruiting. If most of our classes are in the top twenty and/or if our average is in the top 25 or better then, it seems to me, that for a coach and staff with average coaching talent, the final rankings and/or average final rankings, should equal the class rankings. And, a college such as Arkansas with better than average facilities and salaries for coaches and staff far above average the average final rankings should exceed the average class recruiting rankings.

Let me be clear, I never said you did say that, I said it is implied when people say that.

AGAIN, you are comparing Anderson to two coaches who walked into WAY better situations than Anderson did. Pelphrey let the players run the show(I know, I was in school at the time) and he lost the respect of the team. Because of this he lost players to discipline issues and we lost scholarships due to poor academics.

To the rest, your opinion is your opinion.

I’m not a fan of 247. If you rely on them, then that’s fine, but they tend to be wrong on a lot of issues, especially recruiting, than they are correct. The rankings I gave were ESPN’s.

Look at my reply to Greg.


I’m not a fan of 247. If you rely on them, then that’s fine, but they tend to be wrong on a lot of issues, especially recruiting, than they are correct. The rankings I gave were ESPN’s.

Look at my reply to Greg.
[/quote]There is some guessing and opinions in all the rating services. Although the ranking may vary, in general, they all agree. However, ESPN may be somewhat more accurate than 247.

In all actuality the situation Nolan walked into here wasn’t all that good and it got worse very quick after he got here. On top of what was going on in his personal life. However AR was not that far removed from the National scene and still fresh in the minds of young recruits when Nolan arrived, compared to MA’s arrival and recruits weren’t even born yet the last time we were relevant.
Circumstances are different upon each Coaches arrival here, I personally think we dropped the ball with the Heathe hire, when at that time we could have had a top tier coach who could have used our recent legacy as a recruiting tool, but instead we continued to spiral.

We need to let MA dig us out of the rut, I think he can.
Go back and look at some other successful Coaches in their early years at a present top program, Coach K is a good example where he is now (still).

And this year is no exception. See the following: … m-rankings
6 SEC teams in the top 10 and, at #10 is the SEC, Arkansas is not even in running. However, we are in the top 30 and in our state and location, that is as good as can realistically be expected.

Our recruiting and coaching is good enough to in most years get us playing in a minor bowl, but hoping that we win the West, let alone the SEC, more than once or twice in our lifetime is fantasy.

In state players that have left, have left for what Archie Goodwin called “business decisions”. I believe Anderson recruited them hard, but their eyes were on dollar signs. Now to pose a question to you. If those are the rankings of the classes that Anderson has brought in, why have we only made one tournament appearance with him? If he is bringing in, for the most part, top 25 classes, how is it we have not been good enough to be a top 68 team to make the dance? That would indicate one of two things: 1) the coaches missed on their evaluations of the talent they recruited, or 2) they have done a poor job of coaching the talent when they get here. Which is it?

I’ve answered that question here about one thousand times. When Anderson first got here he only had 8 scholarship players and still had a winning season. Each year after that, he got more of his players and kept growing in talent. By year 3, we made the NIT and by year 4 with Portis and Qualls we made the NCAA Tourney. What killed all that momentum was Portis and Qualls declaring in mid April of 2015 and not telling Anderson before they did. Every indication they gave was that they were leaning on staying and our recruiting class reflected that by only replacing Madden and Harris when they graduated out. By the time Portis and Qualls declared, there were no top talent left to try and get so Anderson had to scramble. Then one of our top recruits couldn’t make grades to come here so he was out, then we had the funny money scandal which took out two our top returning starters. All this put together left us with a 6-7 player gap in our lineup where Anderson essentially had to start all over. It is what it is, but bottom line is if Portis and Qualls returned like they said they would, then we would be competing for our 3rd straight trip to the tourney this year.

Well that’s it in a nut shell.

General, I partially disagree with you. Yes those guys leaving early hurt, as did the other stuff, but it wasn’t as much as a secret as we are being told. Several of the “media” personalities around AR said they were gone. Also, Qualls himself in February made a tweet that, when looking back, showed he was definitely thinking about it.

Fair enough, but to me that is making excuses. Many teams have kids leave early and many teams have discipline issues. If a coach is good at evaluating, they know if a kid may leave early because they are that good of a talent. They recruit accordingly. As far as the funny money scandal, recruit kids with better character. I don’t think those players that left the program because of the scandal were good enough that they would have gotten Arkansas in the dance if they were here. Portis and Qualls were good enough, however, they would have made a difference and would have gotten them in the dance. But you have to recruit knowing a blue-chip like Portis isn’t going to be here for 4 years, and probably not even 3 years. Again, that is coaching.