This year is Mike Anderson pinnacle

He will never have a better combination of talent and experience: Three senior starting guards, two that are all SEC conference, a future first round draft pick at center plus Thomson. And, a great freshmen recruiting class.

Same Mike Anderson Arkansas team, win 20 or so games make the tournament, win one game sometimes then go home and talk about next year.


Same Mike Anderson Arkansas team, win 20 or so games make the tournament, win one game sometimes then go home and talk about next year.

[/quote]Next year the his team will not be as good; but, if things go right, he might win as much or even more. However, more likely, with the other SEC teams averaging better talent than this year, he will not win as much.

I totally disagree with this assessment. This team was not as talented as last year’s team.

Beard, Barford and Macon were all on last year’s team. We added Gafford.

And lost Dusty and Moses.

Gafford will be the better pro…but he was not as good as Moses this year. More exciting? Yes. Better shot blocker? Probably.
Offensively? Not as good nor as consistent.

And we missed Dusty terribly anytime the game became a halfcourt game. Macon and Barford got more shots because of his absence. But having Dusty available to stop a scoring drought was not in the mix.

Wrong. If MA does no better in the future last years team will be his pinnacle. Won the first game in the dance.

I believe the one that we missed the most was Manny Watkins. Great defender, ultimate team player, could rebound, handle the ball, was a reliable scorer and even got to where he could hit some 3’s towards the end of the year. Coach A talks glue guys, Manny was the ultimate glue guy.

Mike Anderson can’t go out on the floor and rebound himself! This years team was too lazy to play defense and too stupid to stop making the same mistakes! I have heard all the junk in the world about our coach! We have been missing true point guard for a few years. Next year we will have one. The talent coming in is better than the seniors leaving. Gafford coming back would be good!
I’m a hog fan and whoever puts the hogs jersey on I’m rootin’ for.

I am not calling for Mike’s ouster. I like Mike.

The HC is accountable, however.

The post above the mentioned Manny was correct. I left him out. He was missed. That actually strengthens my point. This year’s roster was one of his weaker ones. Not in terms of athletic ability. Rather, in terms of basketball skill. And…in lacking defensive guards.

None of the so-called “Earth, Wind and Fire” was a great on ball defender.

Nolan’s…and thus Mike’s…philosophy has to have some of those for it to work. Period.

I have watched YouTube clips of all the kids coming in. I hope those that say we will be more talented next year are correct. They seem to have more collective offensive skill. You don’t get to see them guard somebody however.

That is one way of looking at it, but Macon and Barford were not the players last year as they are this year. This year we have 2 all SEC player, last year we didn’t have any and last year we didn’t have a future top 15 draft pick. Nevertheless, you may be correct in that last year’s team may have been a little better.

I am not seeing were everyone says that next year’s talent will be better. I have seen enough of Ethan to say he may be a solid role player down the line, but don’t expect him to light it on fire in college as a freshman. He has a high ranking, because of his AAU coach. He has been hyped since 8th grade. He is not a exceptional rebounder, shot blocker, he has limited low post moves. He does run floor really well. In high school I give him benifit of doubt that his guards were not very good, and couldn’t drive and dish . But when they did get him the ball, he either dunked , or occasionally shot over defender. In AAU, he benefited greatly from playing with Reggie Perry. Defense focused on him, while Ethan had less attention.

Isiah Joe intrigues me as he can shoot well and score, I think he can come in and contribute alot possibly start alot.

Desi also can be a good contributed but more than likely off the bench. He is really a quicker, Anton with a better shot.

I haven’t seen the rest of the signers, but I am curious about Reggie, and Jordan they could be big. But the Other kid may still be hurt didn’t have the kind of season after the injury.

In the final analysis I think last year’s team by March was a better team than this year’s team by March. The season stats over the last two seasons are remarkably similar. All the gains in talent and length in this year’s rotation - Gafford, Jones, Hall, and improvement in returning players - went into compensating for what we lost from last year’s. The increased athleticism came at the cost of less skill and less experience in the key roles. Garland might have tipped the scales into profit, but we’ll never know.

Gafford will be drafted on potential and athleticism, not on what he brings to the basketball court right now. Senior Kingsley was a better basketball player at both ends than frosh Gafford, which shouldn’t be surprising. Kingsley was more difficult to take out of the game on offense because he was more diverse in his ability to make a midrange jumper as well as get to the line and knock down FTs with consistency. As a senior, he was more advanced at passing out of the post. Likewise, experience had taught him where to be on D.

Last year’s squad also had the third perimeter scorer. Barford got off to a slow start as a junior, but, when he came on, that’s when that team started to click. At that point two of Hannahs, Macon, and Barford could always be on the court, which made the rotations more robust and allowed the minutes to be spread out. The floor-bound Hannahs was also preternaturally good at penetrating to either make a runner or get to the line during droughts. Barford also drove more as a junior. He became more of a jump shooter as a senior, granted a really good one.

This year’s team had two perimeter scorers and the third by committee. There were games when the combination of Beard, Hall, and Jones more than compensated for Dusty, but that was hit and miss. The sometimes missing third scorer and the loss of FTs from Kingsley and Hannahs made this squad more fragile on the inevitable bad night.

The biggest disappointment is that last year’s team ended the season better defensively. It sank to #150 in Pomeroy defensive efficiency in January but was #76 by the end of the season, which meant that it had probably played top-50 defense over the last month and a half. This team got stuck in the 80’s and finished above 100.

Watkins was a loss here. Hall will one day surpass Watkins in every regard, but senior Watkins was a better basketball player at both ends. His ballhandling was underrated on a team with four quality scorers. He didn’t make many mistakes. For instance, Hall made a steal against Butler that Watkins could not, but he turned it over on the break, which is a cardinal sin, that resulted in quick four-point turnaround. Frosh become sophs and get better.

My guess is that a few years from now, when Gafford is starting in the NBA, Hall is SEC defensive POY, and Jones has diversified his game, this team will appear insanely talented, but those won’t be the players that played this season.

Army, Mike has been paid millions per year to recruit the right mix of players(including point guards), to teach the kids how to block out & rebound. Don’t call the kids lazy & stupid man. That’s a cop out & low class.

I don’t believe next year’s team will be better either. Gafford has proven to be the exception, but it seems to me that lately Arkansas high school players are somewhat overrated. And, if that is the case, for next year’s freshmen, most of our 4 star freshmen should have been medium to high 3 star players. Then again, perhaps I have unrealistic expectations in believing that most 4 star freshmen should be starting or providing a lot of quality minutes by the middle of their freshmen year.

The blame falls on BOTH coach and players. Mike apologists want to lay it ALL at the feet of the players while never recognizing it is Mike’s job to pick and recruit them and coach them up. Blaming the kids is wrong.