Playing Texas A&M a couple of days ago had me thinking about something. Last year they had a great group of senior guards/wings plus a really good freshman big man (Tyler Davis) and they had a terrific season that saw them get to the sweet sixteen. Then this year they added another stud big man (Robert Williams) which gave them a fantastic front line duo but they had a really mediocre season because they couldn’t replace the production of all those seniors. Now Williams and possibly Davis will be off to the NBA and Texas A&M will have never really gotten to reap the benefits of their time together.
On to Arkansas. Next year we will have a big group of seniors, likely with four of them starting along with a really good freshman big man (Daniel Gafford). I think we will have a really good year. Then we will get another stud up front (Reggie Perry) and it looks like we will have an absolutely dynamite front line. But that will be the year we are going to be depending heavily on backups and newcomers to take over for a lot of departed seniors.
Based on our recruiting, I don’t think that we will be caught as thin at the guard/wing position as Texas A&M, but I do worry that Perry and maybe Gafford will leave after their one year together and that we may find ourselves in a situation where we have so much roster turnover that we aren’t able to really take advantage of their time here. I guess the answer to that will depend primarily on the retention and development of this year’s and next year’s freshmen as well as how we use the last scholarship for next year.
Transfers got Texas A&M in the current situation. They lost 6’9 Fr Elijah Thomas to Clemson where he is averaging 8.3 PPG and 4.6 RPG in 18.5 Minutes PG. They also lost 6’1 Soph PG Alex Robinson to TCU where his numbers are 11.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG, and 5.5 Ast in 32.1 Minutes PG.
Texas A&M would most likely be a much better team with those two.
Just a little information.
Non conference opponent that Texas A&M played
USC. (PAC 12). Lost 65/63
Virginia Texh (ACC). Won 65/68
UCLA (PAC 12). Lost 74/67
Arizona (PAC 12). Lost 67/63
West Virginia (Big 12) Lost 81/77
With a record of 14/13 you can see they are not far off. I hope Williams takes off to the NBA! Texas A&M just has a young team. They are pretty good.
We will lean on Trey next year! Our guards will be a lot better next year. Beard, Macon and Bardford all 3 of them will have to score and make plays.
Thomas will be better next year as well as Cook. Wild card is Adrio Bailey if he put in the work he could become a beast.
Then the incoming class Gafford will need to help. Harland and Hall should also play
Hope CJ develops and get his work in. He can jump. We will miss Dusty, Manny and Mosses. We need to enjoy them these next few weeks. They have helped our program win a lot of games.