I have been reading and hearing about how this team was overhyped, and has underachieved. I even talked to one person that said this was the “most underachieving Hog team of all-times.”
I think that is flat unfair.
The high expectations and hype were based on a team that included a healthy Nick Smith and a healthy TB. We all know we lost both of them for the majority of the season. How can say a team was an “all-time underachiever” if that team lost 2 of its 3 best players for most of the year, and the expectations were based on them playing? Makes no sense. This ain’t pro sports. We didn’t get to go sign a couple of replacements mid-season.
Take away JWill and JD from last year’s team…how you think we would have done? Make an elite 8? I think not. Take those two away from last year’s team and heaven knows we might have struggled to go .500.
Yes, its been disappointing. But to say this team was a major underachiever and have it be an accurate statement, NS and TB would have had to have played…and THEN we have the season we did.
That’s just my opinion. But I for one am still hoping for an SEC run and maybe just maybe an NCAA run. If it happens I’ll be cheering so loud folks in Arkansas will hear me all the way from the beaches of Charleston. But if it doesn’t, I will point to losing 2 of the top 3 players and just look ahead to next season. I certainly won’t be angry at Muss nor the players.
I understand where you’re coming from, I’m not sure with a full roster with no injuries such as we had that we could live up to the expectations of novice fans to the so called experts. I don’t believe we will ever know how well we could have played had we not suffered the injuries. We watched Kentucky several different season’s with elite talent fall short of expectations mainly due to failure of playing together as a team in my opinion.Not saying that would have happened to us without having the injuries because I believe Muss is a better coach than Calapari. It’s so tough for a group to go into Sec conference play against great teams when you haven’t played together for an extended period even if the complete roster is healthy. I know I haven’t said anything here that you already didn’t know but it’s my thoughts on this subject. Looking forward to seeing us play come Thursday evening and hopefully we will play like we did a little while ago. WPS
I thought from the beginning of the season it was too much to ask to make a deep run expecting a lot of our production to come from freshmen. The conference is just too physical. Even when Scotty and Corliss were freshmen, they weren’t capable of dominating a game until they gained some strength and experience. TB was a bigger loss to me than NSJ because of his size and physicality. No doubt NSJ is a great talent but that’s just me humble opinion.
Where this team has disappointed me is in not learning to play consistent defense and the poor FT percentage. Improvement there would have been a couple of more wins at least. The other part is all the tantrum bs during the games.
The 30 point beat down by Texas was a foreshadowing. We were full strength. Yes, we hadn’t played together that much, but Spain did happen. The UT game was a beat down. I’d say overhyped is a pretty good descriptor. We were exposed very early. Bad year that won’t get any better.
Many people believed this was a final four team based on the recruiting class. I didn’t automatically think that just because of all the other programs who recruited like Arkansas in the past not doing as well as many thought.
Hog fans aren’t use to having classes like Muss has recruited to Arkansas and the expectations were extremely high. Of course two huge injuries also played a big factor.
Hawgs fans embrace the underdog role and are skeptical about being able to execute high level of some other schools. When we do then we instantly think we have arrived and it is all puppies and sunshine now. Other teams in this SEC are very good too. One can be very good and still not good enough. As fans our job is to be hugely supportive which leads to some cloudy observations and thinking which is what boards like this are good at in the sorting out process.
None of us could see the free throw shooting percentages and lack of out side shooting going into the season and I did not see how good the defense could be either. All teams have similar mixes and matches to deal with.
I agree we are not familiar with the type of recruiting Muss was able to pull off no doubt. As far as not being as good as many hoped or thought, I contributed that foremost to lack of time played together as we looked lost way to often for everyone to be on the same page. I also leaned on injuries some but not a lot, every team has injuries and Kentucky came into BW arena and scuffed us up pretty good with two starters out. We just have not come together as a team and to often play defense with our hands instead of our feet, which surprises me as defense is a high priority by Muss. Playing that way on defense has lead to constant foul trouble and which brings the intensity out of your defense. Lots of talent but lots of things to clean up before we start winning as hoped or expected, maybe tonight we begin seeing that team we hoped for against Auburn. Good morning, WPS
Richard you emphasize my main point. if Nick and TB had played all year and we still had our record, THAT could be called underachievement. Once Nick and TB went down, reasonable expectations should have been modified in the minds of fans. Hope can remain the same. We can always hope we will win EVERY game. But expectations? They had to change. With TB and Nick healthy all year? I can’t help but believe we would have battled Bama for first place. But, they went down. It is what is is.
We have Nick back now. Healthy. Let’s see what we can do.
When considering the youth of this team, brief time that this team has played together, two key injuries, & the higher level of SEC competition, was hopeful but with muted expectations for this season. As others have stated here, ut game early in the season was a gut punch & eye opener.
What did not meet expectations, was the poor shooting (including free throws & missed dunks) & lack of improvement in shooting during the season. Perhaps too much elite talent spoiled the team chemistry. Same as our fans, Muss is obviously disappointed, but he is a smart coach. Expect that we will learn from this season & that this team will be more mature & much improved going into 2023-24 season.
I agree with this. The reason is not that TB is a better player than Nick. The reason is that this team has much more offensive talent at the 1, 2, and 3 spots than they do in the 4 and 5 spots.
Mahki was better than I expected, Mahkel was about what I expected, and Graham was a big disappointment because he couldn’t get many minutes due to his defense. TB may have added as many as 6-8 net points to the team for the 4 and 5 spots. We had 7 losses by 6 or fewer points. His presence could have turned our 19-12 record into 23-8 or even 24-7. We would have been a happy fan base right now.