#52 Arkansas Razorbacks: College Basketball 111 in 111


razorbacks cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Having missed out on the NCAA Tournament the past three seasons, John Pelphrey was let go as Arkansas Razorbacks head coach this summer.  Mike Anderson left Missouri to return to Arkansas where he spent 17 years as an assistant under Nolan Richardson.  With a stacked recruiting class (which strangely enough Pelphrey landed), expectations will be raised for Anderson and the Hogs this season.

Last Season: T-8th, 7-9 in SEC, 18-13 overall
Predicted SEC Finish: 6th

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Hunter Mickelson (Fr)/Michael Sanchez (Sr)
F: Marshawn Powell (Jr)/Marvell Waithe (Sr)/Devonta Abron (Fr)
SG: Rashad Madden (Fr)/Mardracus Wade (So)
G: Julysses Nobles (Jr)/Rickey Scott (So)
PG: B.J. Young (Fr)

Gone: G-Jeff Peterson (transfer-Florida State), SG-Rotnei Clarke (transfer-Butler), F/C-Delvon Johnson, SG-Marcus Britt, G/F-Jemel Farmer, PF-Glenn Bryant (transfer-Eastern Michigan)

mike anderson arkansas

2011-2012 Outlook:
More than likely, three freshmen will start for Anderson right off the bat.  With the backcourt losing three key contributors from last year, B.J. Young and Rashad Madden will be immediate impact players.  Young has good size for a point guard and is extremely dangerous in the open court and when attacking the basket.  Madden is a versatile weapon who should flourish playing alongside Young.  Julysses Nobles will provide the experience in what figures to be a three-guard look.  Nobles is capable of running the point but also shot 42% from distance last year.

The third newcomer likely to start is 6-10 Hunter Mickelson.  He has great agility for his size but must continue to get stronger which will help with his development as a low post player.  Returning starter Marshawn Powell figures to flank Mickelson inside and was the second leading scorer for the Razorbacks last season.

Despite all the players Arkansas loses from last year, they still have decent depth off the bench.  Michael Sanchez and Marvell Waithe were both role players and are expected to be so again this year.  Neither possesses great size or skill but are serviceable in limited action.  Freshman Devonte Abron is a big body inside who will try to work himself into the rotation as well.

On the wing, Rickey Scott battled injuries as freshman but is a physical guard who will need to stay healthy since the Hogs don’t have a lot of depth in the backcourt.  Mardracus Wade got solid experience in his first season in Fayetteville and will be counted on more for his defensive abilities than his scoring.

Expect Arkansas to play a more up-tempo game with Anderson bringing over his “40 minutes of hell” style of basketball.  That should allow Young and Madden to flourish in the open court though the team does lack true outside shooters which is a concern.  If the freshmen are good as advertised though, the Razorbacks figure to finish in the upper half of the SEC and will compete for a spot in the tourney.

Player to Watch: B.J. Young
Young is the perfect type of lead guard for Anderson’s up-tempo style.  He is constantly in attack mode and due to his terrific athleticism, defenders have a miserable time trying to stay in front of him.  He and Nobles should share the ball-handling responsibilities, but Young’s explosiveness in the open court will allow him plenty of opportunity to push the tempo.

Key Non-Conference Games:
12/3 at UConn (Big East/SEC Challenge)
12/10 at Oklahoma
12/28 vs. Charlotte
1/21 vs. Michigan

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#52 Arkansas Razorbacks
#53 St. John’s Red Storm
#54 Northwestern Wildcats
#55 Georgetown Hoyas
#56 Miami Hurricanes
#57 Nevada Wolfpack
#58 Detroit Titans
#59 UCF Knights
#60 Long Beach State 49ers
#61 Virginia Tech Hokies
#62 Clemson Tigers
#63 New Mexico State Aggies
#64 Tennessee Volunteers
#65 Iona Gaels
#66 Murray State Racers
#67 N.C. State Wolfpack
#68 Fairfield Stags
#69 George Washingon Colonials
#70 Indiana State Sycamores
#71 Oklahoma State Cowboys
#72 Indiana Hoosiers
#73 UAB Blazers
#74 Iowa State Cyclones
#75 Creighton Bluejays
#76 USC Trojans
#77 Weber State Wildcats
#78 Maryland Terrapins
#79 Tulsa Golden Hurricane
#80 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#81 Western Michigan Broncos
#82 Dayton Flyers
#83 Stanford Cardinal
#84 Yale Bulldogs

#85 Georgia Bulldogs
#86 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#87 Richmond Spiders
#88 Ball State Cardinals
#89 Utah State Aggies
#90 Arizona State Sun Devils
#91 Marshall Thundering Herd
#92 Oregon State Beavers
#93 Washington State Cougars
#94 Iowa Hawkeyes
#95 Ole Miss Rebels
#96 Nebraska Cornhuskers
#97 Oklahoma Sooners
#98 South Florida Bulls
#99 LSU Tigers
#100 Colorado Buffaloes
#101 DePaul Blue Demons
#102 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#103 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#104 Seton Hall Pirates
#105 Providence Friars
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 South Carolina Gamecocks
#108 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#109 Penn State Nittany Lions
#110 Boston College Eagles
#111 Utah Utes

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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  1. PeytonHillis_FTW says

    Hahaha. DOUG Pelphrey. Yes that DOUG was quite a memorable guy.

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