Big news today for the Arkansas women’s basketball team:
This is such fantastic news for her, and for the Ladybacks! So happy that she is able to play the game she loves again.
You just made my day, Ethan!
Has she been playing any ball during her absence?
Great news for the Lady Razorbacks and for Sasha. The women have Sasha returning and the men have Trevon returning. Both are huge difference makers!
Maybe this makes more sense out of Raylee’s decision. With Saylor and Sasha playing inside with Maryam in the paint and Woffenbarger rotating, plus the two returning outside shootists and Taliah Scott making threes or driving for layups or dropoffs. Could be exciting if they mesh.
OK. I’m gonna say it.
She sure is pretty. Angelic hair.
I always liked her …she is a very good player!!
My favorite player—so happy for her health improved
Great news….didn’t expect to see her back. WPS.
Ethan, any update on Barnum?
She’s been on visits to Auburn and Mississippi State. At least those are the two I know of. Haven’t heard anything else.
Any chance she comes back?
Glad she’s feeling better, that’s the most important part of all of this. Will always root for her, she was in my first class I ever observed back when she was a 7th grader. It was a new experience being on eye level with a 7th grade girl.
I highly doubt it.
Care to go a little further…communication breakdown; her defined role in the game plan; the Hill versus another site’s environment; new emphasis on defense; etc.
Watching them play for the last month of the season, Barnum’s body language made it clear she didn’t want to be there and her entry into the portal was completely unsurprising to me. Fed up with Mike? Maybe.
That’s was my take as well until the last game when she and MN seemed on the same page…nevertheless she seemed on a downward offensive slide from earlier in the season when her scoring seemed to take hit as she struggled maintained her rebounding role with only Saylor being the only other teammate as a consistent rebounder.
I wouldn’t 100% rule out her deciding to stay, but it would come as a surprise considering who all will be on the roster. She would be choosing to be fine with have a lesser role, IMO.
I think toward the end of the season (and I’m thinking in particular the SEC Tournament + WNIT) it didn’t seem like she was playing with the same energy/confidence she had earlier in the year. And Mike Neighbors wasn’t hesitant to give Emrie Ellis a shot at those minutes.
At 6-2, Barnum is undersized at her position. With who all is on the roster, it would be hard to carve out the same role for her she had this past season. Of course if she was to return, she would get playing time. I just doubt it will be where she’d want it to be.
Maryam Dauda (who could be a true big) has another offseason to get healthy and Wolfenbarger/Poffenbarger can play multiple positions. I think Neighbors, if anything, would get another true big from the portal.
Also, I think it became clear the rotation needs to be much deeper. Against teams like South Carolina, LSU and Tennessee (all played 9-10 people), the team simply got worn down.
I would expect these players to see the floor in some capacity early in the year, but probably trimmed down to 9-10 by the end:
G - Daniels (5-8), Spencer (5-7), Scott (5-9), Goforth (6-1), Sánchez (6-1), Keats (5-8)
G/F - Wolfenbarger (6-5), Poffenbarger (6-2)
F - Dauda (6-4), Ellis, (6-3), Lawrence (6-3)
Thanks, Ethan for your synopsis. Your IMO is pretty much the observation of several as available minutes become more competitive. I guess I remain confused by MN repeated comments late in the season about her likelihood in coming back next year. He seemed to go out of his way to mention her Covid year and his expectation that she would return. If she had announced her decision to enter the portal after Sasha was reported as returning, then the playing time would make more sense. I do agree on the Ellis factor in the late season considering how much she contributed the previous season. Frankly, I felt Barnum’s height placed her more in a scorer position leaving Saylor, Dauda, and Ellis vying for rebounds and defense in the paint. Maybe it will all work out in a favorable way for each woman. Hate to see those SEC teams to the east gain a foothold in Arkansas.