Has Mike Neighbors

Offered an explanation on scheduling such a weak nonconference schedule?

BTW, from the 2-3 games I’ve watched, I think they are pretty good…will be competitive in the SEC.

The schedule is backloaded with the best non-conference teams. Arkansas will play Creighton, Oregon and possibly Ohio State over a five-day period later this month. All of those teams are ranked in the top 18 of the AP poll this week.

Arkansas’ strength of schedule is 96th nationally and fourth in the SEC now, but it will improve a lot after those games, especially if the Razorbacks get to play Ohio State as part of the four-team event in San Diego. The Buckeyes are undefeated and ranked third.

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Matt, I was looking at the starting lineup for tonite, and I didn’t see Makayla Daniels. Is she injured?

Yes, she missed the last game with an injury. I don’t think it’s anything major.

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Neighbors thought this was going to be a challenging non-conference schedule before the season. I’m sure UAPB’s team has not panned out like he thought it might with those high school All-Americans, but otherwise most of the teams that looked good on paper have been.

Tulsa is 6-2, albeit against a weak schedule. Kent State won at Oklahoma State a few nights after playing in Fayetteville. And Kansas State looks really good. Its loss to Arkansas was its only this season, and its schedule includes a notable win against Iowa.

UALR is 2-5 against a schedule that has included several SEC teams. The Trojans beat Texas A&M the other night.

Looks like the Aggies had as much trouble replacing Gary Blair as we did.

I think Texas A&M is going to be fine under Joni Taylor. She is a great coach.

Texas A&M fell off big time last year.

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Mike has a soft spot for playing the in-state teams and I have no problem with it.
What comes with that however is a drag on your strength of schedule. There is no way around it.
He has made it clear how much he believes in it and I sure think he deserves the support.
And it all comes down to the SEC anyway.

The way around it is to play people like K-State, Creighton, Oregon and Ohio State.

UAPB has played every game so far without the SWAC preseason player of the year, Zaay Green. Not sure what’s happened there, but if she comes back, UAPB has a great shot to win that conference. She was a five-star recruit who played for both Tennessee and Texas A&M earlier in her career.

Kent State is a team that will compete in its conference, as well. Kent State knocked off Oklahoma State the game after Arkansas drubbed them. Several of the teams played (Kent State, Troy, Tulsa, possibly UABPB), I fully expect to compete toward the top of their respective conferences.

As Matt said, the non-conference schedule is backloaded with some serious challenges looming in the next few weeks.

Something the team has done with its scheduling is travel for a few in-state games. I think it’s a smart move with the NET, considering road wins are weighted heavier, and those games end up having a handful of Razorback fans in the stands. If any of those teams end up doing well in conference play, it can only help out Arkansas’ rating.

To add on, it’s something minor with her foot that’s been hampering her since the summer, Mike Neighbors said. They’ve been monitoring it closely all along, and are just trying to set her up to be at full-strength down the stretch. The team played five games in 11 days, so they are being extra cautious. With some really big games coming up, they want to make certain she’s at full speed. The word used repeatedly was “preventative.”

Good point. Beating a bad team on the road can be better than beating a middling team at home. And if those road games turn out to be with middling teams, so much the better.

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