Hog hoops. If I had told you before the year started, with a team of 0 seniors and 1 upperclassmen, that Arkansas was competitive in EVERY SINGLE GAME until a road game against the #3 team in the nation, would you have seen that as a success? I would have.
Let’s look at the stats:
In 10 wins, Arkansas shot 289 FT’s while making 190, good for 66%.
In 6 losses, Arkansas shot 125 FT’s while making 74, good for 59%.
In the 2 point OT loss to Texas, the Hogs shot 13-24 (54%), while UT shot 21-30 (70%).
In the 1 point loss to Western Kentucky, the Hogs shot 9-16 (53%), while WKU shot 11-17 (65%).
In the 6 point OT loss to LSU, the Hogs shot 17-28 (61%), while LSU shot 18-22 (82%).
These are just a few examples of how free throws have spun this season into a mediocre one. We could very easily be looking at a 2 or a 3 loss team, and fans would not be calling for Mike Anderson’s job.
My point is, as a fan base, we had unrealistic expectations of this team. I mean 1 upperclassmen, seriously?! The freshman of Isaiah Joe, Reggie Chaney, and Desi Sills combined with sophomores Jalen Harris and Mason Jones are an excellent core to build around. Trust the process, Mike knows what he’s doing. Similar to how the football team will be this fall, getting the young guys playing time early will pay off in the back end of their Razorback careers. This team is going to be really good these next few years, trust the process.
If I am Hunter Yurachek, my game-plan for Mike is he MUST get to a Sweet 16 by the time this freshman class graduates. That would give him 3 more years following this one, and 11 in total. It seems lengthy, but it is the right thing to do. For now, all we can do is be a great fan base and support our young studs.