62-79. That is the score of the game Razorback Nation will remember when looking back on the ’17-’18 campaign. With a team that featured 3 NBA prospects, finished t-4th in a daunting SEC, and had a top 30 RPI, one would think a loss to Butler wasn’t possible. Except it was possible and it did happen. Butler exploited all of Arkansas’ flaws to the maximum. The rebounding was atrocious, 41-23 in favor of the 10 seed. A 21-2 deficit wasn’t helpful either. Once they miraculously managed to storm back and take the lead, it seemed like there was no gas left in the tank. Butler was a sound, well-coached basketball team. They took no bad shots, took GREAT care of the glass, and got stops when they needed to. Butler also had a smooth flow on offense, and cashed in on the Razorback’s mistakes defensively. They play basketball the way it is supposed to be played. Hats off to the Bulldogs out of the Big East, they deserved every bit of their victory.
Even with a lot of changes next year, I expect a young and talented group to make their 4th Big Dance appearance in the last 5 attempts. Here is a (hopeful) starting lineup for the ’18-’19 Hogs.
PG: Jalen Harris – New Mexico transfer that averaged 20 minutes as a Freshman (Sophomore)
SG: CJ Jones: Mark my words, this dude is gonna be a STUD (Junior)
SF: Darious Hall: Reminds me of Manny Watkins, love his energy (Sophomore)
PF: Ethan Henderson: 6’8, #1 player in the state of Arkansas (Freshman)
C: Daniel Gafford: Expected to be selected in the NBA Draft in June, but why not hope he stays (Sophomore)
I am a big fan of this lineup. The Hogs should be more balanced next year and much improved defensively.
One more thing… HOW ABOUT THOSE UMBC RETRIEVERS!
I. LOVE. MARCH.
- Ben Larsen