How is Mike Anderson's mood?

Anybody else watch Coach Anderson’s Q&A at SEC Media Days?

Did you come away with any idea about how good the Razorbacks might be this season?

Main impression I got was that MA feels like his team has no pressure on it this season + perhaps that pressure was a problem last season.

Otherwise, I can’t tell much about how he feels this season. He said this was the youngest team he’d ever had. Was hoping someone would follow up by asking – how does that fact change your approach to preparing for this season?

He can’t even default to an experienced five – they don’t have one. Seems like maybe he’s uncomfortable with that.

I see a team with some athleticism, some speed, some power, potentially versatile. And isn’t every team pretty young anymore?

I didn’t see the PC, but if Arkansas gets to .500 or better it will be a good year.

Fans won’t want to hear that.

That is true, General…us fans don’t want to hear that getting to .500 would be good. After 7 years, that would not be good. We expect, at some point, to be in the Top 25 and to compete for an SEC Championship. We expect to get to a Sweet 16 at some point. We don’t expect to get to .500 and be happy. That ain’t happening.

Correct. Only 5 or 6 elite schools can be in Top 25 with 9 new faces on the team. It does not matter if the coach is in year 7, 15, 20 or whatever. This is not football with 85 or whatever scholarships. Imagine a football coach in year 7 with 64 newcomers.

Who’s fault is it we have 8 or 9 new players? Last year we were experienced and didn’t compete for an SEC title or even win an NCAA game?

You might be fine with mediocrity, but I’m not.

There is a different excuse every year for a lack of production.

This year we have whipped out the young, inexperienced card, again.

The answer is not Mike Anderson. From last year we graduated, transferred, or kicked off 7 players and got 7 players to replace them. It’s the nature of the game.

And it’s not mediocrity. Most teams would kill to be in the position we have been in the last 4-5 years.

And nobody is making excuses. I stated in the another thread the road to the NCAA tournament would be more difficult this year because the SEC is loaded more this year than last year. Tennessee, Auburn, Mizzou, LSU, and MSU have a lot of returning veteran top talent. Florida and Kentucky always recruit top talent. That’s 7 teams that on paper should be better than Arkansas. That said, we have plenty of talent ourselves, it’s just young and inexperienced. Does that mean we can’t make the tourney? No, but it’ll be tougher than last year. That isn’t an excuse, but a simple fact.

I heard Matt Zimmerman on Phil Elson’s Halftime talk show today (which is pretty good by the way if you haven’t heard it). He was excited about the prospects.

My view from a distance: We’re talented, but young. Young players with talent can still win; Kentucky seems to do it every year. But they have to find their roles, they have to produce, and some people have to emerge as leaders. Z talked about how they’re working on Dan to become a leader simply because he’s the best player on the team. He’ll need some help IMO, from Harris or Adrio or maybe even one of the new kids. And someone will have to be a reliable scorer to keep Dan from being triple teamed into irrelevance. Maybe it will be a somebody-new-every-night type of thing.

My personal opinion, this must be a complete TEAM. The last couple of years, it was trying to get 2-3 of our top guys hot and praying it worked out enough to win. With this team, it might have to be the “moneyball” system. Simply put, if you’re good at shooting 3’s, you better knock down at least 4-5 a game. If you are a good rebounder, you better get at least 12 a night. If you’re a good passer, you better get at least 10 assists a game. If you can’t do anything else, play to the strength that got you a scholarship and we’ll win games. Don’t go beyond what you know you can do.

My main concern as of right now going into the season is who is going to be our go to guy for a bucket. Every team needs that one guy that can get them a bucket at a crucial time or even score the winning goal. Right now I don’t know that we have that guy. Gafford would be the first to be thought of, but unless his free throw shooting improves greatly, I don’t see him possibly being the guy because if he’s not, you’ll see a lot of “hack-a-shaq” type defense on him. Who’s going to be our winning shot guy?

Needs to be more than 1 go to guy, big Dan inside & another from the outside. But this will be a scoring, rebounding, assist team by committee.
DEFENSE is the key with these young guys. If MA can mold them as a young unit to be relentless on defense & they start early getting the fast break points from it.

From my pint of view this season will hinge
on defense. Music to my ears would be this
quote from any team we just played. “Man,
don’t want to play against that defense again”.

I think Arkansas wins 18-20 or so.

I don’t think they are going .500.

Jay Bilas had what I thought a realistic take on the Hogs. He says a young inexperienced team usually has trouble posting a good non-conference record. And that puts immense pressure during the conference run. And that usually spells no tourney. He sees Arkansas as that team.

He also says 8 from SEC will go to the tournament with 9th and 10th finishers just missing out, noting Hogs are picked to finish 10th. On the other hand, he says with a few early breaks in the non-conference season, Hogs could finish in the Top 10 and that is very likely.

Swine, a good summary from you. We have a lot of good, young players to go with a really good one in Gafford. Joe is a special player. Harris is a player we have needed for a while…a real point guard. We are going to miss those senior guards from last year…that dependable scoring.

We have more front line talent, but it looks raw. I was disappointed Gafford has not developed a go-to shot around the basket. He could be a great college player if that happens.

We are going to struggle to get to .500 in SEC play. It will be fun watching these guys develop, but an NCAA birth is going to be very difficult to get, in my view.

This is exactly right. I said the same thing in another post and got piled on. But Mike will never really get it done here. We know that now. The bad, bad tourney losses are especially tiresome. No Sweet 16s. Likeable guy but has real recruiting shortcomings. Arkanas ought to have a lot more talent than it has year in and year out. We can do better.