I suppose this is the new way forward. Kicking players to the curb.
Yeah, people have complained about this article but really… Muss plays 7 guys… he has Devo (starter minutes) and maybe JWill (starter minutes) retuning. He has 3 MdD AAs who expect to play, 3 more 4-star recruits, and 4 transfers who all 100% expect to play. That’s 12, not counting Jax who transferred and expected to play and Kamani. Do we really need to move another guy off the team for a transfer to sit on the bench… mad? If we don’t have the right guys yet is the next one really going to be THE guy? Not complaining but dang there are going to be some long faces on the bench next year… especially if JWill returns.
Coaches are hired to win.
Somebody should ask that writer if he feels the players have the same obligation to stay at the school that gave them a scholarship all 4 years. If they’re gonna have the option to leave (through NBA draft or transfer portal), schools should have opportunities to better themselves as well.
My thoughts exactly.
One fact stands out…… life is not fair. Perform or move on. Nothing new.
I agree that coaches are hired to win…Muss knows how to win.
Charles Barkley said it best, kids always think they are better than they are… but that’s for the coach to decide.
All of the most successful coaches and programs have plenty of haters.
Good post. If, and that’s a big if, Muss is still looking for one more guy in the portal, it’s probably from a defensive standpoint. We have to remember, Muss is, and will always be, a defense first coach. We as fans gage recruits and transfers from a 90%+ offensive standpoint. Muss’ goal is improving this team over last season’s Elite Eight team, and that includes defensively.
In looking at next year’s team vs last year’s team it appears to be a talent upgrade in most areas. If there is one thing missing, it would be Toney’s replacement as the lockdown defensive stopper for the 1, 2 and 3 spots. Is that player in the portal? Could Devo become that player by polishing up a couple defensive skills? Could Walsh, with lots of development in his defensive skill set become that guy? Nick could probably do that, but does Muss want him to have to carry that defensive load along with the need for him to be the “scoring” guy ?
To me, it appears we currently have your top 7 if JWill returns. Nick, AB, Walsh, JWill, Brazile, Graham, and Devo.
When people say Muss “wants” to play 7, I’m not sure I agree with that. I believe he has played 7 (or 6) because there has always been a big drop off talent-wise between the #7 and #8 player thus far in his Razorback career. I believe he’d “like” to play 8 if there were little to no drop off in talent with that #8 player. Perhaps, if he’s still looking for a player in the portal, it’s for that proven player that would fit into the group of 8, be it as #1 or #8.
In looking at personnel as front court (1,2, & 3 spots) or back court (4-5), I think Muss has done a great job improving the front court. JWill, Brazile and Graham are a big improvement over last season. I believe those 3 are interchangeable with little to no drop off. Brazile is the rim protector we didn’t have last season and Graham has the solid talent and experience (All PAC 12) we didn’t have last season.
We seem to have a solid 4 players for the 3 back court spots. Devo, Nick, AB and Walsh, who could also play the 4 in small ball. That’s where I believe Muss would like to add that 8th player. One back-up for those 3 spots can become shaky if 2 get into foul trouble. He may also find that 8th player in the freshman group of Ford, Dunning, and Pinion.
If he can’t find one, then I think the team is set now with a top 7 that’s an improvement over last season’s team. With those 7 players, we also could play 3 Bigs, when match-ups require it with Nick, AB, Graham, Brazile, and JWill.
Obviously, I’m assuming the twins are not coming, or they will be at the end of the bench and one or more current players will have to leave.
Darn, this turned out to be a looong post. Sorry about that.
When players become employees, is it not fair to treat them like employees? As an employee, are you not required to meet expectations?
I realize that not every player will get an NIL deal,(I really don’t know that for sure), so are they treated differently than others?
It’s almost like the scholarship is an after thought.
NIL does not make the players employees. They are independent contractors. But even in the old days they typically had to meet expectations or lose their scholarship.
I gave up at his “scrounging around” comment to start.
Lot of good points. Muss stated in one of his pressers near the end of this last season (wish I remembered which one) that he prefers playing fewer guys as a matter of strategy (gives the ones playing more freedom, etc.), but I don’t recall him giving a specific number. So who knows how many play with talented depth. (Although, I think talented guys can look bad when they get scant playing time and are pulled after the first minor error… and by the end of the year we believe we didn’t actually have depth when maybe we could have.)
As far as looking for a defensive specialist to replace Toney, as the sugar plumbs dance in my head about next season, I’m thinking that we are going to be so much better athletically and overall talent-wise, that there will be no place to turn against our D. Everyone will have size, and be switchable and long, so a defensive specialist won’t be as important. Who knows. But I will predict this, if the twins don’t get to play (and I think they have to talent to contribute), it is going to be a problem… based on comments from RI fans and the little we’ve seen of momma bear to this point.
I believe you’re right about the twins (or at least 1 of them will cop attitude). If not on the court enough. As per reputation.
I’m just wondering… Why not just start cutting yearly contracts with players something like -free tuition and X amount of dollars and if you meet the coaches expectations then he sign you up for another year. That’s the real world no pretending (Student Athletes) just strictly business win and win at all cost! That way the players don’t come in with the illusion of that whole college life thing.
Scholarships are already only a yearly contract
Are they negotiated allowing both parties the opportunity to get the maximum out come? $$ for players, wins for coaches…
With Muss as the head coach, I don’t worry much about their attitudes if they don’t get their minutes. He won’t hesitate to suspend them if they become a team distraction.
As long as Jaylin comes back, I don’t worry about them screwing up the locker room with Jaylin, Devo, and probably Smith and Walsh squashing that. All they’ll do is isolate themselves from the other 12 players. At that point, they’ll probably just hit the portal again.
I will still be surprised if they show up here, but it won’t be the first time I’ve been surprised in recruiting. Who knows, maybe they’ll make a giant development leap under Muss and end up being starters, if they show up.
I have a feeling the twins aren’t coming. Probably see the writing on the wall here.