Why are the Razorbacks Where They Are?

I have pretty well tuned out basketball this season. I watched one game: CSU. They played pretty well that game.

I have a question that I think must be considered: So far, the SEC has 4 teams in the Sweet 16. Other than KY, what does those teams have in a program that AR does not? They have brought in new coaches and have moved up while we have stayed the same or went down. Why?

I look at those teams and their talent level. Even with a potential 1st round pick, we are not as talented or as strong as those teams. Why?

That is what HY must ask. I am not saying it is Anderson. I have never been pro or con Mike. I think he is a good guy. Coach? Is he the reason we do not have basketball players? I cannot answer that.

I was in Fayetteville this week on business. When finished, I drove around town and campus. Wow! That is certainly not the reason for the unacceptable level of talent (basketball and football). What is it?

I do not know the answers, but I do know that it must be addressed and addressed now. Anybody know the answer?

I think Mike is getting the players for us to be successful but has lost too many to reap the benefits of that recruiting. We could have as good or a better team with the players that have left as with those who stayed. Fair or not that falls on him. He is a good not great coach and his staff is good not great recruiters. Let’s hope he keeps most everyone this off season, unless he chooses for some to depart.

Hard to be competitive in the SEC these days. Hard to compete with the likes of Howland, Calapari, Wade, and Pearl. They have curriers walking around with envelopes stuffed with cash. Anderson doesn’t play that game. Hard to recruit kids that have “People” who advise them to make the best “Business Decision” for themselves and thier families. Oh, as well as thier “People”. It also doesn’t help that the NCAA and SEC look the other way.

I have a different opinion than most. There are, what I consider three reasons why we aren’t where we need to be:

  1. Mike not following his personal mantra of “recruit and the numbers work themselves out”. The Portis/Qualls year killed us because he didn’t do this. People talk about Whitt and Kapita, but they were recruited before Bobby and Michael left. There were rumors starting in November of that year those two would not be back, Mike ignored the rumors, didn’t prepare and it bit him in the rear. That affected this year. Mike went 16-16 that year so he had to get some instant impact guys, and went to the JUCO ranks. It threw our balance out of whack and we ended up with a very young group this year. So that mistake (by Mike) that year affected both years.

  2. I agree, and this is something I’ve said before, we look smaller than most other teams, even guys that stayed in the system for all four years (Beard, Thompson, Madden), didn’t look like they were more muscular (they actually were) than their freshmen season. However, they don’t look anything like the difference that Schofield and Williams has at TN. So, maybe our S&C coach is more inclined to make them sprinters instead of bangers. I think we need a balance of both. The NC season we had that. I would like to monitor this year’s freshmen over the next four years and see if there is a definitive difference.

  3. Is players and when they’re here. Mike hasn’t had Top talent at each position while he’s been here. He possibly could have that next year depending on who we get in the Spring. I’ll give an example (and I said this a few days ago on another post): Gafford - C, Portis - PF, Qualls - SF, Joe - SG - Harris (even though he’s not a good shooter, his assist capabilities with that team would be awesome) - PG. bench: Kingsley, Coty Clarke, Barford, Macon, Durham, Madden, Hannahs, Watkins, Kikko. Think about if they were all here at the same time. The difference in what our record would be. Unfortunately, Mike is getting a few of them and getting some guys that just aren’t developing. This year’s team, however, was young, but if you watched the NIT, you can see we have a bunch of kids with potential. The issue is now, will they stay and will we add the right pieces to compliment them.

You all way over think it.

2 words. John White.

Kidding, but I needed a laugh. Thank you for your thought out posts. My oversimplified answer beyond my flippant “John White” is I’m still waiting for the $$$ point guard.

Mike made some mistakes with roster management. And some people transferred out for no apparent reason, or because somebody got in their ear and convinced them there were being dissed. Everybody loses players (the D-I average last year was two transfers per school), but it makes a difference if the people leaving can actually play. Babb and Hall can play. But those people leaving forced short term roster patches which led to six seniors last year and none this year. Qualls should not have turned pro when he did (Thurman can say the same thing). It’s possible Gafford may be in the same boat.

Al McGuire once said the best thing about freshmen is they become sophomores. We have some pretty good ones; we just have too many of them and they’re not the Zion/Barrett/Reddish or Washington/Herro/Montgomery/Johnson category that K and Squid can pull in. But most of them will be back next year and will be sophomores. We hope. Unless some of them get stupid.

You mentioned the SEC teams in the sweet 16.
Auburn! Bruce Pearl has 2 assistant coaches 1 fired and another one on indefinite suspension because of the FBI scandal into college basketball.
He has players whom have been paid to play and sat out last year and part of this year.

LSU! Will Wade suspended and has been cordially invited to appear in federal
Court. The FBI scandal. He has at least 3 players that got paid to play!

Kentucky! John Calipari. (Greaseball).
He don’t even tell the truth in his sleep. Every where he has made a stop in his coaching career once he leave all the wins and banner are stripped.

Tennessess. Rick Barnes. He took the same lumps and bruises we took this year his first season last year they were much better. I don’t think he cheats but his team won’t be as good next year.

Miss St. (Honest Ben) Howland. He couldn’t tell you the truth if his life depended on it! He and his bag men bought Reggie Perry! A late flip that was headed to the hill.

On my opinion the transfers and play me now transfers have hurt but the cash that’s flying around to players and their families have made it difficult to land top players.

CMA just need to be able to keep the players that performed this season and add a couple of bigs and a player maker that can create his own shot and score.

The SEC is pretty tough but the cheating has gone wild!

So is this cheating excuse going to be made each year the Hogs are around .500 in basketball, having improved none year over year? Because I’ll tell you, the cheating is not going to stop.

What is to be done?

Do we just keep Mike forever, pay him over $2MM, just because he’s a good guy? Is Mike as good as we can do in the mean, old SEC that is full of cheaters?

The Arkansas way: Accept mediocrity, rationalize it, prioritize familiarity over winning and don’t innovate because what we have is “as good as we can do.”

The Arkansas Way - your last parapgraph is great. All I read on this board for years was one generalization after another about why we can’t recruit in football. Hell, it’s hard to get them to even visit. Then along comes Morris and company who relish recruiting and work at tirelessly - BOOM! More 4 are visiting a moribund, downtrodden program than most of those indoctrinated in the Arkansas Way ever imagined was possible.

We have way too many folks on this board and around the state susceptible to group think, easily duped, give way too much deference to U of A leadership, etc.

It’s a constant overflow of excuses.

If I was a coach, I’d be begging to coach any sport at Arkansas. As long as you show some decent character( that’s not even that true either ) do nice interviews, win some games somewhat regularly, you’ll have a portion of the fan base fight for you until the bitter end. Very little pressure. The whole coaches don’t want to come here is also a myth in my mind also, it’s a great job because of that right there. The expectations are low, and a lot of fans will be content with basically nothing.

The minute you question if we deserve or should expect more, boom the soldiers line up to tell you that you should be happy with what we have, that we’ve had 8 winning seasons and whatever else. That making a SS is hard! So I guess we shouldn’t expect it, ever.

Then the normal, well this 1 or 2 coaches out of how ever many thousands did this _____ after this point in his career, so our coach might too. That’s my favorite.

It feels like a lot of complacency.

Yes, it is new in football to start getting 4 stars. Mike has had no problem getting 4 stars to visit and sign. That is not what we are talking about.

Basketball’s problem is getting out of state 5 stars and in-state 5 stars that are offered by bluebloods.

I am yet to see Morris get any 5 stars.

And yes,it is tough to recruit to Arkansas those 5 stars until Arkansas wins big in that sport. Once we win big, they will come.

I am hoping that the core group of the freshmen on this team plus Jones stay together for 3 years, so we can do it the Tennessee way. This group can do something special in year 3, regardless of the coach.

What a load of garbage!!!

Pointing out obvious obstacles doesn’t an excuse make.

All you’re doing is displaying the same logic you’re railing against but in a different direction. Ignore facts to stick to your preconceived notions. Get out of here with that!!!

And you think Hawgjawbend’s comment is original. The man/woman ignore facts constantly and acts just as bad as hog2009 on here with nothing but dumping on the coach and team. Simple minded logic like his is what’s going to fans fired up more to fire Anderson and send this team back to the dark ages of basketball.

Simple question: Who has said any of this? I’ve been a basketball fanatic on these boards for years and have never seen anyone say anything like this the way you’re putting it.

Those two things were insinuated just last night.

I’ve seen it often, here and especially on the football board. Was just a generalization.

I think his comments are about me. I told him yesterday making a Sweet 16 was more difficult than he believed. Hell, he wasn’t even alive last time we made one.

The reason is simple and always the same “The Coach” with any program, he is ultimately responsible for everything that happens and doesn’t happen that’s why they make millions of dollars because they are the fall guy and not the AD. I’m by know means saying that the coach can prevent some things that happen because we all know better but we also know someone will be held responsible and we know who that’s going to be. The issue we have right now with our program is that we have a somewhat divided fan base because they have different expectations. The bigger question for me is how do we get from here to where we want to be, the past is behind us and we need to learn from our past so we can move forward today and see our program return to our best years. I’m onboard for whatever and whoever it takes to unite our fan base and to return to those glory days. I’ve had enough of the bickering,backbiting and name calling to do me for along time. WPS

No, it’s not harder than I believe, I know it’s hard. But to me that’s not justification or a good reason as to why we haven’t made it in my lifetime, I mean seriously that’s way too long.

Literally half of the sec teams have made the SS in the last 8 years.

Are we a bottom half of the SEC program in basketball? I don’t think so.
— they have made it in my lifetime, I was born in 95, so atleast I can say that I’ve experienced a SS! Haha

Yes new coaches that are willing to cross the line, it’s all about the talent pool folks. Although I have another concern, Ark consistently get bad calls whether at home or on the road and they usually appear at the worst time when we are leading