No matter what happens Friday, Arkansas basketball has had good season

arkansas-arkansas basketball-mike anderson

Arkansas football rules the world of Razorbacks sports. So, with your bacon, have some Hogs for Breakfast and get caught up. It’s SEC Country’s weekday column and roundup on all things Arkansas … especially Arkansas football. Opinion, numbers, inane babble and more! And now with ironic exclamation points! There is no place like it on the web.

Three NCAA Tournament apperances in four seasons. A higher seed in 2018 than in 2017. Two All-SEC players and another on the All-Freshman team. Twenty-three wins headed into the Big Dance.

By all reasonable numbers, Arkansas basketball had a quality basketball season. But …

It takes all of about two seconds on social media — the bane of our collective existence — to find someone trashing the Razorbacks. Now, being critical is an important part of being a fan. Don’t let your team get away with ridiculous things. But there are thresholds of sanity. Calling Arkansas’ season underperforming if they lose this *one* game would be going too far. Calling Mike Anderson a bad coach, or overrated coach, even, would be going too far.

That doesn’t mean it’s unreasonable to hope for bigger and better things. Wanting a team that makes it to the Sweet 16 is valid. Thinking it’s realistic for the Razorbacks to make it there is valid. Saying it’s a failure or disappointment if they do not get to that round is ridiculous.

You people — yes, you people — do realize Arkansas hasn’t made the Sweet 16 since 1995-96, right? Razorbacks basketball isn’t a power. Not a power to the point where expectations should be “Sweet 16 or bust,” anyway.

Anderson has them close. Another year or two worth of NCAA Tournaments without making that mark will signal a real plateau. Not even saying plateauing is negative thing. Actually, I think the current pace (NCAA Tournaments three of four years with first-round wins in at least two of those) is the most realistic.

Not the other garbage. Enjoy Arkansas for what it is, not for what you want it to be.

Pastor Chad Morris, ladies and gentleman

Arkansas’ first-year football coach has won over practically everyone in the Razorbacks fan base. He has not coached a single game yet.

That’s because of his personality. It’s a perfect fit for the South/Middle America, right where Arkansas lies. As mentioned in this space before, Morris is like a combination of a Baptist minister and a Burt Reynolds character from the late ’70s/early ’80s. Fans eat it up.

Such a personality has been a boon in recruiting. He exudes charisma while still striking the discipline cord. Exact type of personality that fits a high school recruit’s house. The player eats up the charisma. The folks love the discipline.

And it seems like Morris is legitimately into the game. Yes, make no mistake, recruiting is a game. Gamesmanship galore takes place out on the road. Don’t fool yourself in thinking otherwise. Morris, though, seems to take his potential caretaker role quite seriously.

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ICYMI

  • The Arkansas hockey Division III season is over. The Razorbacks went to nationals and didn’t lose a single game. Thing is, the tiebreaker disserviced the Hogs. Arkansas tied two games and won its finale against Hope. Hope, however, advanced out of pool play because of two wins and a loss. Tied in points with the advancing team and beat the advancing team, yet don’t advance. Gotta sting.
  • Our Trent Shadid takes a look at the positional needs for Morris this next recruiting class.
  • The HOGSPYs are Arkansas’ end-of-year awards. Play on ESPYs. Open to the public, tickets are now on sale for the ceremony, which will take place April 16.
  • The No. 11 Arkansas gymnastics team has its final home meet Friday. Razorbacks are hosting 15th-ranked Denver and 26th-ranked Iowa State at Barnhill Arena.
  • Bret Bielema’s house is on the market. It’s, uh, impressive.
  • Big series this weekend for the Arkansas baseball team. Fifth-ranked Diamond Hogs are hosting fourth-ranked Kentucky at Baum Stadium. See you out there.

Tweets and the like

• The baseball is just different in the NOAA, folks. For those uninitiated, that’s the small conference Hunter Wilson and I played in for high school ball in eastern Oklahoma. Slick play for Arkansas infielder.

• Insert the Jennifer Lawrence “Oh OK” GIF.

• Hosed, man.

Skip Breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important. Catch up with previous versions here.

The post No matter what happens Friday, Arkansas basketball has had good season appeared first on SEC Country.

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