Yes, the last many years have perhaps lowered our expectations considerably, but we still even after last fifteen years or so, are still hanging close to top 20 program ncaa appearances all time (an incredible nod and reminder to our historic past).
We have history many do not, large arena, knowledgeable basketball fan base, no pro competing sports for attention, and recently added practice gym etc.
Having grown up with our teams from 77 to 2000, I may be skewed in expectations but refuse to believe Arkansas can’t return to national prominence as consistent national program again.
If had magic wand, my hope for program expectation is:
Making the NCAA tournament every year - with exceptions every so often for a coaching transition year or rebuilding if lose too many to pros, etc.
Getting close to regional final or making a final four every 5-6 years.
NIT unacceptable except of course the occasional rebuilding or transition year etc.
Maybe those are rosy hog colored expectations as seen through previous program success that can’t be duplicated again, I don’t know.
Hopeful we can make the tourney this year and every year as expectation - knowing every so often have a season that falls short as can happen.
CMA is stubbornly clinging to 40 minutes of Hell and the trapping defense. The physical hand checking we were allowed to do in the 90’s made trapping and pressing lethan. Hand checking has been killed by rule changes many years ago. The trapping defense is not as effective now unless you have super athletic speed and quickness for recovery. The trapping defense is NOT a good scheme against teams that have good guards…or guards that are better than ours. We don’t seem to change schemes to match our talent or our opposition’s. I had hoped that we were going to go to more man and zone (no traps) instead of so much reliance on trapping against good guards. We always leave someone open for an easy shot when we trap good guards.
Well stated. As much as I would like to see MA succeed, I just don’t think he is willing to change. No matter that he has a highly touted recruiting class coming in. If allowed to stay, we will just be having a continuation of this 6 year conversation.
CMA could turn this around by not using the trap sooo much and use more half court man and zone. We are always leaving somebody open and we are out of position for the rebounds while trapping. UF, Louisville and UK were like us in the 90’s but now they use the up tempo game while also playing fundamental defense without so much trapping. I’m not sure CMA can get away from 40 Minutes of Hell with NR’s shadow and influence upon CMA. NR was able to switch to a half court game (sparingly) that was quite effective on the 94-95 teams.