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Author Topic: The long road back to relevance and the Silver Linings Playbook  (Read 329 times)

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FineAsSwine

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The long road back to relevance and the Silver Linings Playbook
« on: February 05, 2018, 11:33:42 am »

“Most people lose the ability to see silver linings even though they are always there above us almost every day.”
From the movie Silver Linings Playbook

Funny how we always hear about the Hogs "rich tradition" in basketball. Memories of those days are more faded than great-grandma's old quilt.

Back in 2002, I was mentoring a group of 7 and 8 year olds and I was making a point to the kids about how things were different back in the "old days" and one kid spoke up and asked "are you talking about back in the 90's?

How about Michigan? I bet they thought they would remain relevant after having the Fab 5. How about UConn? They just won a title a few years ago and they are fading like a mule in the Kentucky Derby. How about Louisville? They just won a title and they still needed to use strippers, prostitutes and cash for recruiting.

We haven't done anything but crap the bed for almost 20 years and to top it off, not only is Fayetteville a tough place to recruit to, there wasn't even a practice facility to show recruits. Jeff Long wanted CMA to recruit talented athletes who were also good students who would graduate. Now that the Hogs finally have a practice facility, CMA gets consecutive classes of quality athletes who fit his style of play. Coincidence? Hardly not.

Melvin Watkins brought 8 top 100 recruits to TAM and he had a reputation as a recruiter there but it doesn't matter how great of a salesman you are if you have other salesmen offering better deals (money, girls, location, off campus entertainment and facilities) than you, then you better have some friends and family connections with a prospect.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melvin_Watkins

During his tenure at Texas A&M, Watkins was noted for his outstanding recruiting, bringing eight National Top 100 recruits to the campus, including Antoine Wright the school's tenth all-time leading scorer. He also placed a large emphasis on academics, turning out 15 Academic All-Big 12 first or second team members during his six years, and ensuring that fourteen of the seventeen players who completed their eligibility at A&M went on to graduate (the remaining three players are playing professional basketball in overseas leagues

Since being back at UA, for a variety of reasons, CMA has not had a complete roster of players to effectively play his style. It shows this season. Not having an athletic wing other than true freshman D Hall. Not ever having a penetrating, dishing, finishing at the rim PG with range. Not having adequate interior numbers with offensive skill, defensive ability and rebounding prowess and STILL having the second most SEC wins in the last three years and appearances in the SEC Championship game two of the last three years. Plus, going to the NCAA tournament 2 of the last three years and if we make the tourney this year, that will make 3 times in 4 years.

Razorback basketball will be fine because CMA has been building the right way. Even if he is let go, the program is in a better place and is positioned to go even higher and for that we ought to thank CMA and Jeff Long for demanding more student from the student-athlete and also for finally getting a practice facility and also a big thank you to Jerry Jones for the Student Center for the athletes to use. The engine of Razorback basketball culture had to be rebuilt with a new crankshaft, pistons, rings and cylinders bored out. Gonna be great to see how this thing runs once we get the timing set, the carburetor adjusted and all cylinders firing.

If the BOT did decide to let CMA go next year, I would be happy with Kermit Davis though. Hope that doesn't happen.
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raz1965

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Re: The long road back to relevance and the Silver Linings Playbook
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2018, 11:50:55 am »

Good post, good points.
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Re: The long road back to relevance and the Silver Linings Playbook
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2018, 12:10:01 pm »

Our 22nd season since last making the Sw 16.  Mike has been the top asst or head coach for 13 of those seasons.  He is a big part of the fade.

The practice facility was started in Dec 2013 - Mike's 3rd season at Arkansas.  He could guarantee recruits from that point of the facility.

His classes beginning in 2014:
Beard
Babb - left after a season
Durham - JC transfer after starting career at Abilene Christian
Thompson

2015:
Whitt - left after a season
Jenkins - reach who left after a season
Wasted time on Kapita

2016:
Barford
Macon
Cook
Hazen - reach who left after a season
Bailey
Jones - long term project

2017:
Gafford - Ark high school
Garland - Ark high school
Hall - Ark high school
Gabe - Ark high school - reach and long term project

2018:
Henderson - Ark high school
Joe - Ark high school
Sills - Ark high school
Embery
Chaney
Phillips

Has the practice facility really helped him?  Or is it Arkansas high school basketball producing players most of whom he doesn't have to fight other major programs for as he did with some earlier in state recruits? 

Before the facility:
Portis
Kingsley
JCs and reaches

Building it the right way?  Not getting us into trouble with the NCAA is great.  Even with the revolving door of players coming in and out, the academics aren't negatively affecting us so that is good.  Building a roster with a plan?  When is the last time he did that?  Mizzou 2009-11 where both of those teams faded at the end of their seasons? 


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razorpimp

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Re: The long road back to relevance and the Silver Linings Playbook
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2018, 12:16:11 pm »

“Most people lose the ability to see silver linings even though they are always there above us almost every day.”
From the movie Silver Linings Playbook

Funny how we always hear about the Hogs "rich tradition" in basketball. Memories of those days are more faded than great-grandma's old quilt.

Back in 2002, I was mentoring a group of 7 and 8 year olds and I was making a point to the kids about how things were different back in the "old days" and one kid spoke up and asked "are you talking about back in the 90's?

How about Michigan? I bet they thought they would remain relevant after having the Fab 5. How about UConn? They just won a title a few years ago and they are fading like a mule in the Kentucky Derby. How about Louisville? They just won a title and they still needed to use strippers, prostitutes and cash for recruiting.

We haven't done anything but crap the bed for almost 20 years and to top it off, not only is Fayetteville a tough place to recruit to, there wasn't even a practice facility to show recruits. Jeff Long wanted CMA to recruit talented athletes who were also good students who would graduate. Now that the Hogs finally have a practice facility, CMA gets consecutive classes of quality athletes who fit his style of play. Coincidence? Hardly not.

Melvin Watkins brought 8 top 100 recruits to TAM and he had a reputation as a recruiter there but it doesn't matter how great of a salesman you are if you have other salesmen offering better deals (money, girls, location, off campus entertainment and facilities) than you, then you better have some friends and family connections with a prospect.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melvin_Watkins

During his tenure at Texas A&M, Watkins was noted for his outstanding recruiting, bringing eight National Top 100 recruits to the campus, including Antoine Wright the school's tenth all-time leading scorer. He also placed a large emphasis on academics, turning out 15 Academic All-Big 12 first or second team members during his six years, and ensuring that fourteen of the seventeen players who completed their eligibility at A&M went on to graduate (the remaining three players are playing professional basketball in overseas leagues

Since being back at UA, for a variety of reasons, CMA has not had a complete roster of players to effectively play his style. It shows this season. Not having an athletic wing other than true freshman D Hall. Not ever having a penetrating, dishing, finishing at the rim PG with range. Not having adequate interior numbers with offensive skill, defensive ability and rebounding prowess and STILL having the second most SEC wins in the last three years and appearances in the SEC Championship game two of the last three years. Plus, going to the NCAA tournament 2 of the last three years and if we make the tourney this year, that will make 3 times in 4 years.

Razorback basketball will be fine because CMA has been building the right way. Even if he is let go, the program is in a better place and is positioned to go even higher and for that we ought to thank CMA and Jeff Long for demanding more student from the student-athlete and also for finally getting a practice facility and also a big thank you to Jerry Jones for the Student Center for the athletes to use. The engine of Razorback basketball culture had to be rebuilt with a new crankshaft, pistons, rings and cylinders bored out. Gonna be great to see how this thing runs once we get the timing set, the carburetor adjusted and all cylinders firing.

If the BOT did decide to let CMA go next year, I would be happy with Kermit Davis though. Hope that doesn't happen.

Same with all schools....a series of bad hires does not make a school "bad"....this falls directly at the feet of adminstration. 

Michigan is relevant again.....they were runner up in 2013 and followed that with an elite eight.

Louisville will be back because they put a premium on basketball.

There are many, many better than Mike coaches out there
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FineAsSwine

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Re: The long road back to relevance and the Silver Linings Playbook
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2018, 12:26:46 pm »

Our 22nd season since last making the Sw 16.  Mike has been the top asst or head coach for 13 of those seasons.  He is a big part of the fade.

The practice facility was started in Dec 2013 - Mike's 3rd season at Arkansas.  He could guarantee recruits from that point of the facility.

His classes beginning in 2014:
Beard
Babb - left after a season
Durham - JC transfer after starting career at Abilene Christian
Thompson

2015:
Whitt - left after a season
Jenkins - reach who left after a season
Wasted time on Kapita

2016:
Barford
Macon
Cook
Hazen - reach who left after a season
Bailey
Jones - long term project

2017:
Gafford - Ark high school
Garland - Ark high school
Hall - Ark high school
Gabe - Ark high school - reach and long term project

2018:
Henderson - Ark high school
Joe - Ark high school
Sills - Ark high school
Embery
Chaney
Phillips

Has the practice facility really helped him?  Or is it Arkansas high school basketball producing players most of whom he doesn't have to fight other major programs for as he did with some earlier in state recruits? 

Before the facility:
Portis
Kingsley
JCs and reaches

Building it the right way?  Not getting us into trouble with the NCAA is great.  Even with the revolving door of players coming in and out, the academics aren't negatively affecting us so that is good.  Building a roster with a plan?  When is the last time he did that?  Mizzou 2009-11 where both of those teams faded at the end of their seasons? 




Basketball facility didn't open until the fall of 2015. Since then, Razorback basketball recruiting has been much improved. Hard to argue that.
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FineAsSwine

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Re: The long road back to relevance and the Silver Linings Playbook
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2018, 12:31:18 pm »

Same with all schools....a series of bad hires does not make a school "bad"....this falls directly at the feet of adminstration. 

Michigan is relevant again.....they were runner up in 2013 and followed that with an elite eight.

Louisville will be back because they put a premium on basketball.

There are many, many better than Mike coaches out there

Yes but look how long it took for Michigan to get up off the floor and they had a lot more going for them than the UA did. Louisville did indeed put a "premium on basketball" that's why the FBI came knocking at their door. Yes there are some coaches who are better than CMA out there but not the "many, many" that you claim. CMA is a great fit here for a lot of reasons. He isn't the best coach in college basketball but he is one of the best fits for the UA.
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HogFaninMemphis

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Re: The long road back to relevance and the Silver Linings Playbook
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2018, 01:19:55 pm »

Yes but look how long it took for Michigan to get up off the floor and they had a lot more going for them than the UA did. Louisville did indeed put a "premium on basketball" that's why the FBI came knocking at their door. Yes there are some coaches who are better than CMA out there but not the "many, many" that you claim. CMA is a great fit here for a lot of reasons. He isn't the best coach in college basketball but he is one of the best fits for the UA.
I generally agree with this. The TOP programs like Kentucky, UNC, and UCLA, are always a good hire away from being awesome, because there's so much infrastructure and prestige there. A place like Michigan or Arkansas, though, can't point to a handful of years from 20 years ago to show recruits, and expect them to come. Schools like Michigan or Arkansas have solid basketball support, but they have to work a little harder to get top coaches and top recruits. Michigan lucked out with Beilein, West Virginia got Huggins because he's an alum, and we got Anderson because he was an assistant here. I think Anderson was an obvious and a good hire, and he is a good fit. At the end of the day, though, as you mentioned, he's got to win ball games at an acceptable clip. We don't need to run him out of town if he doesn't make the NCAAT this year, but if he doesn't do it this year AND next, then I think it will be time for an amicable, mutual split.
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daprospecta

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Re: The long road back to relevance and the Silver Linings Playbook
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2018, 01:44:42 pm »

I generally agree with this. The TOP programs like Kentucky, UNC, and UCLA, are always a good hire away from being awesome, because there's so much infrastructure and prestige there. A place like Michigan or Arkansas, though, can't point to a handful of years from 20 years ago to show recruits, and expect them to come. Schools like Michigan or Arkansas have solid basketball support, but they have to work a little harder to get top coaches and top recruits. Michigan lucked out with Beilein, West Virginia got Huggins because he's an alum, and we got Anderson because he was an assistant here. I think Anderson was an obvious and a good hire, and he is a good fit. At the end of the day, though, as you mentioned, he's got to win ball games at an acceptable clip. We don't need to run him out of town if he doesn't make the NCAAT this year, but if he doesn't do it this year AND next, then I think it will be time for an amicable, mutual split.
This is how I feel as well.
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