I’m curious to know what everyone thinks is a realistic expectation for this season. I know we’re young and have lost a lot of last year’s scoring. Should we expect to make the tournament this year?
Yes, I think we make the dance.
I think it’s going to be tougher than most people think.
We are losing most of our offensive production from last season and the SEC as a whole this year will be loaded.
We’ve got the star power to be a good team, but other than Gafford, it’s all freshmen or JUCO players who have never played in a live game before.
My hope is that our non-conference schedule(which is pretty good) gives us the experience and edge we need before conference play because we are going to need it this year.
After 7 years of rebuilding, I expect to win a couple of games in the NCAA tournament. I expect to be in the top 5-6 teams in the SEC. I don’t expect to be better than Kentucky, but why can’t we be better than most everybody except the Wildcats in the SEC? What would hold us back…the coaching? the recruiting? It’s time we made a move and finished in the Top 25.
Making the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in five years.
Win 1-2 games in tournament.
What would hold them back?
Young, inexperienced players.
What could help the most?
Better defense and being better balanced offensively and defensively.
Is this a serious post? Arkansas Razorbacks (Southeastern Conference) (2011–present)
2011–12 Arkansas 18–14 6–10 9th
2012–13 Arkansas 19–13 10–8 7th
2013–14 Arkansas 22–12 10–8 5th NIT Second Round
2014–15 Arkansas 27–9 13–5 2nd NCAA Division I Round of 32
2015–16 Arkansas 16–16 9–9 T–8th
2016–17 Arkansas 26–10 12–6 T–3rd NCAA Division I Round of 32
2017–18 Arkansas 23–12 10–8 T–4th NCAA Division I Round of 64
Seems you’re getting what you’ve asked for…
I agree with GeneralHog’s thoughts. I think this season may be a struggle, especially in SEC play. The league is as good as its been in a while.
Tennessee, with its core back, and Kentucky sit at the top. PJ Washington returning to go with a strong freshman class is big. Auburn returns Jared Harper and Bryce Brown and adds two players who were suspended last season. Bruce Pearl has said this team will be better offensively than his 2017-18 team, which is a bit scary to imagine. Mississippi State will be very solid. Its top four guys are back, plus Reggie Perry.
The play of Jalen Harris, I believe, is going to go a long way in how this team performs. He must develop chemistry with the freshmen guards, Reggie Chaney and Daniel Gafford. I think he’s definitely made strides doing so with the bigs. He and Gafford have told me he encourages them to run the floor every chance they get. Harris’ speed can apply some serious pressure in transition.
Last month he told me: “With the new guys, I’m trying to find their strengths and weaknesses and find out where I should get them the ball and where I shouldn’t get them the ball. That’s just so they can excel in certain spots and I won’t put them in any bad situations.”
Ultimately, I think this could be a bubble team. A 7th-10th place finish in league play is likely in my mind.
It is the 7th year of this coaching staff. No matter what early obstacles they faced those are long past. It is my expectation that by the 4th year of any regime the program should be established. Those expectations for Arkansas should be at a minimum an NCAA tournament appearance and by the 7 th year the expectation of doing some damage as far as advancement in the tournament
I expect, no matter how young or inexperienced we might be to at a minimum, make the tourney and at least have a competitive first game, unlike last year w a veteran team. This staff recruited all these kids, and they orchestrated having so many newcomers on this team. Maybe they could have spaced scholarships more evenly but doesn’t matter to me, it’s the 7th year and no excuses.
That being said I like a lot of what this team might develop into. Joe and Cheney and possibly Sills and Embry are top notch players. Gafford is the best. Lots of upside. I’ll hold my breath and see how they are developed. I expect early struggles and road struggles early on.
we lost so much I really don’t have any expectations until I see them play…Gafford will have to really become a Player we can throw the ball into and depend on him scoring,I think Chaney has an opportunity to help but will have to see him to really know.Harris is a very good player and I think Joe will be very good but I don’t see enough outside scoring and not sure Gafford inside Game will be a dominant presence consistently…I look forward to watching them…its exciting to see how they do.
Picking us to finish 10th by the SEC media is just more of what they always do, which is pick us lower than we end up. Mike has never finished lower than 9th, and that was in his first year. In the last 5 years we have finished 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 8th (when we lost Portis and Qualls somewhat unexpectedly).
There are so many unknowns about this team that it’s nearly impossible to accurately predict where they will end up. I think a good gauge might be to look at what the team did Portis’ first and 2nd year. They won 22 and 27 games respectively. I believe Gafford will be as good as Portis was his 2nd year, but won’t have as many experienced players with him. I’d guess we win 23 or 24 and go to the Dance and win 1 or 2. Obviously, this depends on no major injuries to Gafford.
Lot of youth, though talented. Discipline is key.
A lot depends on how early and how much respect our guards get with a lot of 3 guard rotations on the floor. Gafford will be swarmed on offensive end and opponents will go at him to force foul issues on the defensive end. MA needs a productive group on the floor when big Dan is on the bench, especially if he and Harris both are not on the floor.
With big men like Gafford and Chaney and a point guard like Harris, Arkansas should be past the time of waiting for the future. This should be a good basketball team.
I agree with what you said.
I’m very high on this team, and I think the difference maker will be Jordan Phillips once he’s back to 100%. He gives us a matchup advantage. I know I’m putting a lot on this kid, but I think he will pleasantly surprise everyone. The rest of the newbies, most of them are probably more talented than last years team from top to bottom. I do expect some adversity early because of youth, but by tourney time, I expect these guys to be rolling.
As others have said, we always seem to end up better than the preseason predictions. I’m guessing we will be around 20-23 wins. That’ll, in my opinion (based off previous years), get us to the dance, and we may cause a little noise.
Yes there will be growing pains early. The staff will have to get these young guys to stay within themselves as a team & not trying to prove themselves individually. Again discipline & get after it on defense.
You are correct, the young talent is there & hopefully they can all mesh together. Gafford & Harris need to be leaders & on the floor, locker room, & away from the court. Keep m in line & focused.
What holds us back is really pretty simple. The people involved in the game know it. The people who cover the game know it. And the fans who pay attention know it.
It will be labeled as an excuse but it’s a fact. We just don’t/won’t pay big money for players. Several teams ahead of us even within the league do and don’t even really try to hide it at this point.
Just look at the teams ahead of us. Look at their history. Look at the trial that’s going on right now. It’s pretty obvious. It’s also not an excuse if it’s the truth.
And, there are others that are magically getting the caliber of players they’ve never gotten despite not winning, not having new facilities and not having a dynamic or proven coach.
I’ll concede that MA needs to make a bump but let’s callbir like it is. It’s a meat market and we aren’t handing our 6 figure inducements when a lot of programs are clearly doing so (whether directly or through intermediaries).
Yeah, and for me, the most blatant is auburn. You’re making quite a public statement by hiring a coach just coming of a (3 or 5?) year “NCAA show cause”. I believe it was the very first day the show cause ended. They could have just as well taken a bullhorn and screamed, “Hey we got Bruce Pearl, we are going to cheat, we are going to win, and we don’t care what it takes. So just stick it NCAA”!
And then Bam, imagine that. Look who’s right in the middle of the latest scandal? Auburn. And, of course, AU doubles down on Pearl bc they’re Auburn.
I’m looking forward to watching this years hogs. Even though they are youthful and inexperienced they have talent and height: This team has more height than most teams we’ve had in recent years. Maybe the freshman get hot and play well.
They should win 20 and make the dance.
This team reminds me of the 87-88 team. A good nucleus, with the potential for a few studs in the 2020 class making a seriously deep run.
Fouls and turnovers. That starts with Gafford. He must stay out of foul trouble and be able to play an aggressive 30-33 minutes a game. He must be quick, strong, and accurate with the his passes when the defense swarms him.
Point guard play is critical. Getting the ball up the court is always essential because top teams will challenge our inexperienced backcourt. They must run the offense, getting the ball inside to Gafford or to an open 3 point shooter. If they can minimize turnovers (8-9 per game) and avoid foul trouble, I think they have enough players who can score to keep us in most games. If the new players can play older (see Scotty and Corliss as freshman), we will have a fun year. If Gafford stays in foul trouble and we.are are reckless with the ball, this will be a long ugly year. It would be a shame not to fully utilize a future NBA star.
For now, I am optimistic that it will be a fun year… I don’t expect them to be great early. I do think that by Christmas we will be a dangerous team and that by March, we will play in the post season. NCAA or NIT? Fouls and turnovers. WPS.