And many of those teams suffer for it. Duke is an example right now. Duke and Coach K had a no one and doner policy for years, but changed a few years ago, and now he can’t keep a team on the court. Teams like Kentucky are abnormal in this because they constantly get the top 1% at each position. The character question is subjective at best. Beard and Thomas were part of that and they seem to be doing just fine with their second chance. It’s easy to say you know Portis won’t stay here for a full 4 years, the problem is what “blue chip” player will want to wait behind him knowing they also don’t want to stay a full 4 years. A coach can only do so much when it comes to recruiting players, but players also have their own agenda.
I agree with a lot of what you are saying, and Duke is having a very down year. But that also makes my point to an extent. Even in their down year, they are still going to be a solid NCAA tournament team. Arkansas has only been to the dance once in Anderson’s tenure. That is the opposite of Duke. They have a down year, they are still good enough to dance. Arkansas only makes it to the tournament when they have an “up” year. Therefore, mediocrity has become the norm. Beard and Thomas have done very well with their second chance, and I am glad to see young people learn from their mistakes and grow and get better from them. However, Beard and Thomas would not have made last year’s team an NCAA tournament team. Even if Jacorey Williams had still been around, they wouldn’t have been a tournament team. That is what I am saying. The talent the team lost from the “funny money” scandal would not have made that a tournament team. I agree that players have their own agenda. But good recruiting coaches plan for attrition in their program that is caused by their good recruiting. A good recruiting coach is going to have good players coming into the program year in and year out. The recruiting rankings you posted suggest Arkansas has had good talent coming in yearly. Top 25 classes most years, even. That may be the case, but the results on the floor haven’t reflected that, as they have only been one of the top 68 teams once. That points to either poor talent evaluating or poor coaching.
Naturally, there are exceptions partly because recruiting is far from exact. However, it does seem to me that for an average coach, in most years, the final rankings should approximate the recruiting rankings. And, certainly if the average recruiting rankings are in the top 25 or 30 then in most years the team should make and win at least one game in the NCAA tournament. Otherwise, that implies to me that there are deficiencies in either the coach or the program.
2011 - Pel’s class that CMA held together - 7
2012 - 48
2013 - 19
2014 - 35
2015 - 97 (and he left)
2016 - 29
2017 - 26 (class not complete, could go up or down)
2018 - 1 (lot of recruits not committed, will probably go down)
Avg - 32.7 If you take out Pel’s class and 2018 it changes to - 42.3
ESPN has very similar numbers, I can’t see more than the Top 25 for the 12 class, so I don’t know how they ranked them, and for the 2015 class they have us listed at 39 with both Whitt and Kapita (247 just has Whitt, neither had Doobie). Scout also only shows Top 25, and they only have two years listed (2011,2013).
The Portis and Kingsley class was the only top 20 class MA has had. Given the level of recruiting, he’s probably outperformed since overall our w/l record is top half of the conference. Fortunately, the recruiting classes coming up look like a new departure. 2017 and 2018 will possibly bring in seven 4 star players over a two year period. I can’t remember when we last had that good a haul. We should make the tourney this year, but even better teams are coming, based on the recruits we’ve got lined up. The question is should we just be content to contend with Florida or some other SEC team for second place? Will we ever be able to catch up with Kentucky? Probably not, sigh.
I agree with you, I was responding to a post that said CMA had multiple Top 25-30 classes here. He hasn’t. I think last year was his best coaching job and we only went 16-16. I think he’s done a good job, and I’m not a Mike Anderson fan.
I think I made the post you originally responded to. I admit I never researched the rankings. My comment you responded to was actually in response to another poster who said his classes were consistently good classes. I was making the point that if his classes were that good, the results on the floor haven’t correlated with the level of those recruiting classes. If his classes actually haven’t been ranked that high, that may be the problem with the program. He has done a poor job of recruiting. I believe the basketball talent in this state is far deeper than the football talent, so poor recruiting would be inexcusable. I know Arkansas isn’t as deep talent wise as other states, but the AAU programs in Arkansas have had great success. With that much success, there is no reason why the recruiting classes shouldn’t be better. My overall point is that whether it is poor recruiting or underachieving on the floor, it all goes back to the coach.
Can’t find any others on ESPN in Top 25. The 2011 class was Pel’s but I give CMA credit for keeping them. I even said above that it mirrors the 247 numbers. But it wasn’t consistent Top 25 classes. And out of the two Top 25 classes he had only three players stayed all 4 years - Madden, Moses, and Manny who was a walk-on
I understand what you’re saying (the sites have been known to update and downgrade and upgrade). 2011 was his first class here, but it was actually Pel’s class. CMA kept them from leaving (that year anyways). So, it wasn’t “his” class. I give him credit for keeping it. As for 2013, there were three guys Portis, Kingsley, and Manny. Both Moses and Bobby were ranked in the Top 40. Now, at one time the 2015 class was a Top 25 class, when we had Whitt and Kapita, when Kapita didn’t qualify we fell. The current 2017 class is borderline (I think it was 26 on 247, 19 on ESPN), but it could fall or raise. I don’t think the 2018 class will stay #1, but right now I think it’ll end up Top 10.
Now, the reason I originally commented was it seems people are blaming CMA for losses, but not giving him credit for wins. Saying he has averaged a Top 25 class while here with only one NCAAT makes it look worse. Saying they weren’t Top 25 classes, but he missed on 3 guys that would have put their classes in the Top 25 also makes it look bad on him. I agree that at the end of the day it’s on him (same with CBB and football), but some of the people on here aren’t looking at the big picture.
That 2011 class ended up being really only B J Young and Madden. Ross never played a minute here. Mickelson and Abron transferred. Young stayed only two years. The Portis, Kingsley class was the only CMA class of note. We really haven’t done a good job bringing in talent, but I guess you can say that we’ve done reasonably well with what middling talent we’ve gotten, and some like Qualls turned out to be gems, though not highly rated. Hopefully, with a top twenty class the next two years, we’ll be more consistently good.