At Bud Walton Arena for the season wrap-up banquet. I’ll be posting a few notes and quotes here throughout the next couple of hours. We’ll get to talk with Mike and a couple of players afterward for the first time since the Butler loss.
Not a huge surprise, but Darious Hall and C.J. Jones aren’t here.
They might as well not show up!
Academic Excellence Award went to Gabe Osabuohien.
Gabe: “This award is a testament to my hard work on and off the court. I thank the coaches for instilling in me that the basketball will stop bouncing one day.”
Razorback Performance Award (weight room) went to Jonathan Holmes and Adrio Bailey.
Holmes: “Thanks to the strength staff for pushing me and getting me into the weight room even though I didn’t want to go.” He also made a push for more playing time next season.
Adrio: “I want to thank my teammates for motivating me to go to the weight room, and thank the coaches.”
Razorback Service Award for community service went to Trey Thompson.
Mike Anderson was presented a basketball from Director of S-A Development Jeff Daniels commemorating his 100th win in BWA. That win came Dec. 9 against then-No. 14 Minnesota.
Razorback free throw Award went to Daryl Macon.
Daryl: “I had a couple teammates saying they were going to get this award. … Free throw classes are still in session. If you want to learn to be clutch and have ice in your veins, I’m your guy.”
Daryl also broke off from his speech to give a shoutout to Bob Holt.
Iron Man Award went to Gabe.
Gabe: “Thank you to coach for this award. I think the little plays - taking charges - really add up.”
Hog Award for outstanding leadership for all 4 years went to Anton Beard.
Anton: “This was one of the funnest years since I’ve been here.” Matt Zimmerman said Anton was from LR in introducing him, so Anton corrected him once he got to the mic and said “I’m from North LR if you didn’t know. Coach Z is from Alma. He probably couldn’t get his shot off in the city.” I Lol’d.
TJ Cleveland has his boys in attendance for the first time. He said if they don’t act right they’ll be at grandma’s for next year’s banquet.
Most Improved Award went to Jaylen and Daniel.
Assist Award went to Daryl.
Daryl: “I could have had a lot more, but I had guys like Anton, Arlando and Trey. Sometimes I’d pass Anton the ball and he’d catch it, then other times he wouldn’t. I want to thank my teammates for catching the passes I did throw them.”
Defensive Player of the Year Award went to Daniel.
Daniel: “I wasn’t expecting to get the defensive part of this (laughs). I wouldn’t have this without guys like coach Watkins on my back about blocking shots.”
Offensive Player of the Year went to Jaylen and Daryl.
Jaylen: “I really want to cry. Just to let y’all know I (scored 1,000 points in two years) twice. I did it in junior college, too.”
Daryl: “I think I should be the only one with this award. I want to thank my teammates for passing me the ball because I know I didn’t always pass it back.”
Mike presented each guy with a ball commemorating scoring 1,000 points in two seasons at Arkansas. Daryl wanted to let everyone know he got to 1,000 first in JUCO and D1.
Chairman of the Boards Award went to Daniel.
Turnover Award went to Anton (Mike says his turnovers were down this year), Daryl and Jaylen. Mike pointed out that Jaylen led Arkansas in turnovers in both of his seasons at Arkansas, and presented him with a t-shirt that read “Offending Champ.”
Jaylen: “It’s really coach’s fault sometimes. Whoever made this shirt, I need to see you.”
Jaylen and Daryl will be playing in the Portsmouth Invitational beginning on April 11.
Sixty-four seniors are chosen and they’re broken up into eight 8-man teams. The two will have a chance to impress lots of pro reps. Here’s a link to more info: https://www.midmajormadness.com/2018/4/ … -nba-draft
Is Garland at the banquet?
He was in the group picture on twitter.
I asked if there was an update on Khalil.
Mike’s response: “He’s working out a little bit, but he still hasn’t been cleared yet.” Q: Still optimistic he’ll be cleared? A: “I’m still optimistic. Hopefully we’ll know as we proceed in the next couple months.”
It sounds like a fun night for the entire team.
I sure hope that Garland gets cleared to play at some point.
Coach Z posted on the twitter that a record number of people attended the banquet. We can now add this to the growing list of positive trends under Mike.
We already know that the ticket sales revenue, foundation contributions, actual attendance at BWA, BWA game environment and academic record have been on a positive trend.
Add banquet attendance to that.
On a side note just watched the video of CMA discussing the Hall transfer, first time ever I heard him sound really upset about a transfer. You can tell it really didn’t sit well with him, he indirectly addressed it saying something about kids letting people in their ear, instead of listening to coaches and teammates. He even said the transfer caught him by surprise, then quickly changed it to nothing surprises him.
I don’t blame him, this Hall transfer is one of the weirdest transfers of all time, made absolutely no sense for Hall, nobody leaves a team when they are setup to be one of the biggest pieces on the team and probably end up playing the most minutes.
I’m starting to wonder if this is a situation where if Gafford leaves, Hall stays. I think Hall thought he’d be Da Man if Dan left. Suddenly DG stays and DH leaves, presumably in hopes of being Da Man for Darrell Walker in Little Rock.
I was actually thinking something similar. I was wondering if all of Gafford’s success caused Hall to become a bit jealous and thought that should have been him with all the attention. If anyone has ever listened to some of Hall’s interviews before he’s comes off a bit overly confident/quirky sometimes. I remember one interview with him while he was in high school, they asked him what will he be bringing to the Hogs, and he said something along the lines of leadership because they really don’t have any of that right now. I remember at the time I thought it was a bit of an odd response considering they had very strong leadership at the time with Kngsley, Watkins, Hannahs and all those guys, plus he was walking into a situation with 6 seniors.
Here’s the question/answer I’m referring to: https://youtu.be/pWjcBHlPVOE?t=103
I also thought the year end interview in the locker room after the butler loss was a bit odd as well looking back on it, everybody else was sad and guys were about to cry during their interviews, and Hall was smiling and didn’t seem to upset about it. Now, I know he’s just a kid and different people react differently now looking at the transfer and hearing the rumors some of this stuff is starting to add up.