Very disappointed there’s no Malik Monk trip to Bud Walton. That would’ve been quite the spectacle.
Also a little surprised the UK game is an SEC Network one. Hogs’ first 16 conference games are SEC Network. The last two are ESPN/2. No CBS game for the second straight year.
Very favorable schedule IMO. You could say 4 of our 5 games are very winnable. We get Florida at home to start the season. Then Miss St, Tenn, and Missouri were picked by CBS (Jon Rothstein) to finish 9th, 13th, and 14th in the conference. Only really tough one in that first five will be @Kentucky, and I like that we get them early while their new guys are still figuring things out.
And looking at the whole schedule, I really don’t see a “tough stretch” where I could see us possibly losing 3-4 games in a row. I would say the toughest 5 game stretch will be the final 5 games. We play 4 of the teams picked in the top 5, however we have 3 of them at home and then 1 road game against Auburn in the middle.
I think winning anywhere from 11-13 conference games with this schedule is a reasonable expectation.
It is really surprising that they don’t even have one Tuesday night game on ESPN. We had two last year, I think. ESPN probably projects us to be worse than last year.
From a national perspective, that is kinda of a bad look of not getting many games on ESPN, defintely understand that concern. However, I must admit I like when games are on SEC Network, especially when we have a bunch of late games, because the majority of the time games the games ahead of us run late, and if it’s on SEC Network, they’ll just put it on the SEC alternative channel, so I don’t miss anything. When it’s on ESPN, they may or may not put it on WatchESPN, and even if they do you still have to go to the trouble of logging into your account and then streaming it on whatever device you have. I’d rather just change the channel and not have to worry about it.
My biggest concern is the Little Rock game not getting televised again, hopefully a network picks it up. That’s just really embarrassing being a high major D1 team and not having all your games on TV. Even mid-majors get all their games on TV these days.
I am also really surprised that we have 16 straight conference games on the SEC Network. That’s what you would expect for a team that projects at the bottom of the conference. I checked Kentucky’s schedule and only two of their 18 SEC games are on the SEC Network (us and Missouri). Additionally our SEC/Big 12 game was guaranteed to be on ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNU and we got put on ESPNU. All of this tells us that the ESPN people don’t think that we are going to be very good this year.
Remember two years ago late in the season when we were heading towards a tournament birth, we had a big game against a good Texas A&M team that was right on the bubble. Before the season ESPN scheduled that game for the SEC Network and scheduled Florida-Missouri as the featured primetime ESPN game the same night. But Florida ended up being a big disappointment and Missouri was awful. The day before the game ESPN switched them and we suddenly found ourselves playing a primetime game in front of a national tv audience. Maybe this year’s team can give them a reason to consider doing the same thing again.
I don’t agree with the prognosticators or Vegas, but I understand how they arrived at low expectations for the Hogs. Vegas has us at 300-1 to win it all. That is tied for 8th in the SEC with Bama and OM. That leaves us ahead of only GA, Aub, LSU, and MO.
National and regional media generally look at loss of total players, returning starters, and the ranking of our new recruits. Because of our 3 terrific JC players, our recruiting class is not even ranked in ESPN’s top 40. All this adds up to media and bettors’ low expectations. If there’s ever been a good time to bet the Razorbacks, early this year would be the time.
I was listening to a Jon Rothstein SEC preview podcast yesterday and he had Arkansas as his SEC darkhorse. Not to win it, but to finish higher than expected. I believe he had them between 5 and 7 in his rankings but thought they could outperform that if the JUCOs and Dustin Thomas mesh well with the returnees.
Interesting he mentions Dustin Thomas. Looks like Jon is well tuned into the Arkansas program.
I really like Dustin’s offensive game and how he can stretch the floor, put the ball on the floor and make plays for others a bit. Three things the team didn’t have last year. I think he plays around 25 minutes when games start to count. Could see him scoring between 6-12 on a typical night with a few assists.
The one thing I’m interested in seeing is how he looks defensively in a game setting. He showed some signs of being a solid defender during the pre-Spain practices but I wouldn’t necessarily go so far as to call him a plus defender at this point. Obviously playing next to Moses helps.
I find it interesting that ESPN has Purdue in their early Top 20 (#14 per Eamonn Brennen). On the Spain Tour, weren’t the Hogs & Boilermakers results eerily similar? Oh well, just win, eh?
Thomas rebounded like a demon in Spain.
In early for 22-9! ghg
He definitely has the athleticism to be a good rebounder. I think 9 and 6 would be a great year for him, with 8 and 5 probably being more realistic.
Yeah, but according to Jimmy, Jones looked good against weak competition, so wouldn’t Dustin then look good against that same weak competition?
I don’t think the level of competition can be ignored, but I also don’t think it means the results are automatically invalid or not indicative of a player’s skillset. There just has to be an understanding that the talent they played over there and what they’ll face over here isn’t apples to apples.
So was it oranges, pears, bananas, or passion fruit?