Learn to enjoy the underdog role

That’s what I do. When you don’t expect our team to win, losing is not so bad. And, it’s such a thrill when occasionally our team beats a better team.

20 years ago Nolan pointed out how difficult it is to recruit basketball players to Fayetteville and now it is five times more difficult. That doesn’t necessarily apply to other sports or even ladies basketball because, for whatever reason–Fayetteville is too cold, not exciting enough, etc.–men’s basketball players have a different mindset.

No out of state 5 star men’s basketball player will sign with Arkansas and more likely than not the occasionally 5 star Arkansas player will go elsewhere. There are 5 times as many 4 star players as 5 star players so we can sign a few of those. Therefore, we can expect to be somewhere in the middle half of the SEC. Seldom the lower quarter nor the top quarter. But, that’s okay, when that is all you expect, you don’t mind not doing better.

Hold two degrees from the University but presently live in the state of Iowa and I am finding it difficult to grasp the concept that implies it difficult to recruit quality players to Fayetteville. The state of Iowa supports two Division 1 programs and two quality mid-major programs. Iowa’s in- state talent on an annual basis is very similar to Arkansas’s talent level in -state. The University of Iowa probably puts more emphasis on in -state talent than Iowa State. Iowa State presently has one player contributing significant minutes this year. Recent 5 star players have left the state for North Carolina. From the standpoint of recruiting 5 star players and a lack of in state talent it has not prevented these schools from having success in basketball as well as football.

Out of hundreds of colleges there will be an occasional exception, but exceptions are not the rule. Regardless, Iowa is about like Arkansas. Neither team has made the sweet 16 in this century; almost 20 years. I believe Iowa State is doing a bit better.