Question for everyone: What kept CMA from doing

what Muss is doing since he’s been here? Here’s my thoughts on it:

Did CMA prepare his teams just as much as Muss does(scouting the opponent)? I often think about Nolan saying he didn’t watch film on other teams he just went out and played. Did CMA take on this same philosophy? If so I can see why we lost so many games that we shouldn’t have.

Besides a juco player here and there I don’t think CMA ever hit the transfer market.

Player development…IE Mason Jones. With CMA Mason was average at best and in the doghouse often. Muss turns Mase into SEC player of the year. Now he’s leading the G league in scoring.

The constant switching defense and getting in bad mismatches really killed us against good coach’s and good players.

Recruiting…little to no presence on social media and almost no interaction with the fans.

The refusal to shake up his staff. Never had a great recruiter or game changer on the staff. I would say the best move he ever made was getting Scotty on the bench. Other than that it was just status quo for years. You would think by now TJ Cleveland should have gotten a shot at being a head coach somewhere. Almost 20 years as an assistant for the same head coach has to get stale.

I loved CMA for many reasons. He looked out for me a few times when Corliss dropped the ball on tickets. Corliss always told me how much CMA cared for the players. I wished it would have worked out here for him but no doubt it was time for a change.


All very valid points. Mike came close to having a couple of great teams. His biggest flaw was he relied on the pressing defense too much and didn’t emphasize the tough half court D like Muss does. He also had a real tough break with Khalil Garland’s injury. Muss’ NBA experience can’t be overstated . You hear Kids mention this a lot. I also think Mike was perceived as kind of old school, whereas Muss , a fresher approach. Finally in summation, I think Mike righted the ship while Muss is taking it full speed ahead!


Excellent observations Jeff. I was so happy when we hired Mike. Even though I have no personal connections with him. Which is how many of Hog nation felt. Mike came in and cleaned up a lot of things in the program and did a good (but not great job). As much as I hate to admit it Mike is not an elite coach. The stories I hear from you and others confirm he’s an elite person. I have so much respect for Mike. In my mind he’ll always be a Razorback. We hit gold with Muss. Absolutely no question. Credit to Hunter for finding and hiring him.


when Syracuse came to the Bud, they had a player hit about 14 3’s. he either set the record for a visitor, or he may have even broken Dillard’s record for most ever 3’s at the Bud.

And he hit all of them from the exact same spot, little left of center. caught every pass in motion, set his feet, hit the shot. over and over and over again. CMA never adjusted the defense. I was screaming at the tv: “just have someone stand in that dang spot!”. but no, we bravely made no adjustments and got torched.

I thought it spoke volumes about Mike’s in-game adjustments. He loved his players, they loved him, and they play HARD for him. But living on emotion buys you roller coaster seasons, like we had with Houston Nutt.

and he just never ever stopped hand-checking, we must have been called for 1000 fouls a game. and I agree with your recruiting comments. when he (or was it an assistant) called a LR guard by the wrong name, in the kids house, in front of the kid’s family, ugh, that seemed to represent his staff’s level of preparedness.

and it’s such a shame, cuz everyone loves mike, and he really pulled our program out of the dumpster fire and at least made us respectable. But I don’t think he was ever going to get us far in the NCAA, or to consistent winning seasons that allow a good seed. Bobby Portis and Qualls should buy you more than 1 NCAA win-and that a nail-biter over some tiny school that no one’s ever h eard of. we only won that game cuz Qualls just refused to lose.

man, I still get emotional about that stuff. I am very happy that Mike landed a good job and he and his wife seem happy.



CMA is a fine person and good coach who got us back to respectability.

Muss is every bit as good as Sutton and Nolan without the demons. (Everybody has weaknesses. So far, Muss’s are hidden.).


Mike lifted us out of the post Nolan funk. For that we should always be grateful. Under Mike, Arkansas basketball mattered again. Mike was a good coach. Muss, is a force of nature. Took some stones for HY to make the move, when he did. It sure seems to have worked out beyond anyone’s imagination.


Found the box from that game. James Southerland hit 9 treys for Syracuse that night.

That may be the BWA visitors’ record though. When Jodie Meeks of Kentucky set the visitors scoring record of 45 in 2009, he “only” hit 7 treys.

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I have watched a lot of St. Johns basketball the last 3 years and everything everyone has mentioned could be said about the St. Johns teams. Mike is a good coach and seems to be an even better person but he is what he is an above average coach. Muss seems to be an elite coach. He has been able to get the maximum out of his roster. This year has been phenominal. Look at the the games at the first of the year as compared to now. Same players just changes and tweaks made by the coaching staff. What a difference!

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Muss has been excellent at building a team and developing his players at Arkansas. That’s a bit different take on one’s tomestone.

Lots of great points in this thread, but I think this one sentence by para sums it up the best without being critical of Mike.

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St. Johns has lost games in the same manner as Arkansas lost under Anderson. Excessive fouling due to a gambling defense and poor rebounding most of the time.

Muss has a game plan for everything and makes halftime adjustments and in game adjustments! Rebounding and defense will happen under Muss.
Muss can also get players from anywhere.
I hated to see CMA go but he was given time to get things rolling and it never happened. I still respect him and wish him the best but our hogs are in much better shape now.
It may be time for Missouri to go after him.

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for the record i like anderson as a person. As a coach, not so much. when he was fired, he came to meeting with HY unprepared, no plan going forward, and rather arrogant from what i hear… we signed some great instate kids, but he also let a lot get away. If you lose and instate kid you better replace him with someone just as good from out of state. his loyalty to his staff was admirable, yet might have cost him his job. kids today, whether they make it or not have an NBA dream, and getting them prepared is exactly what muss touts in recruiting. (see the video of Kerr at Golden state about Moody). then i go back to player interviews when muss was hired, all the plays being installed, etc, and one player said we had few if any plays under anderson. lastly, his reliance on full court all out press, well that just is not played much anymore, the hand checking rule the NCAA instigated after Nolan’s team dominated with it, do kids want to play that today?

great person, couldn’t ask for better, mediocre coach. hope he does well at st. johns but they aren’t in NCAA this year. wonder how long they will put up with that. time will tell.

Good thread, without bashing Mike. One thing not mentioned yet is that we never would have been able to hire Muss if Mike hadn’t cleaned up the atrocity that was Arkansas basketball following Pelphrey. If not for Mike really wanting to come “home”, we would, more than likely, only have been able to take a shot at another Pelphrey type up and comer coach.

I will always be thankful that Mike took this coaching job when he had been very successful at Missouri. He kept us at least competitive in the SEC most years.



I was and still is a CMA fan, however I am very grateful to have CEM leading the team. CMA caught a tough break the other night he had Villanova beat till the last two seconds.


Many good points in this thread!

I will go on record stating Eric Musselman is the greatest basketball coach in Arkansas history.

I know, probably preposterous to say when Nolan had a Natty and 3 FF’s. And about a dozen consecutive trips to NCAAT by Sutton, with a FF.

So clearly he does not have the results yet to say he is the best. But I firmly believe he is the complete package. Recruiting, portal acquisition, preparation, player development, scouting, analytics, and in game adjustments. Oh, and don’t forget program pronotion.



We have the best coach in the SEC, and he may in the near future prove to be the best in the nation. MA was not.

He is the complete package for sure. Not ready to say the best until there are similar or better results. What I wonder about is what will his legacy be here? How will he finish? Will he retire here with championships and banners? Anyone who can see into the future please let me know.