#64 Arkansas Razorbacks: College Basketball 111 in 111


razorbacks cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Mike Anderson’s return didn’t yield the immediate results that many were hoping for last season.  The Arkansas Razorbacks are still a young squad with no seniors on the roster but should make strides this year.

Last Season: T-8th, 6-10 in SEC, 18-14 overall
Predicted SEC Finish: 6th

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Hunter Mickelson (So)
F: Marshawn Powell (Jr)/Coty Clarke (Jr)/JaCorey Williams (Fr)
SG: Mardracus Wade (Jr)/Michael Qualls (Fr)
SG: Rickey Scott (Jr)/Rashad Madden (So)/Anthlon Bell (Fr)
PG: B.J. Young (So)/DeQuavious Wagner (Fr)/Fred Gulley (Jr)

Gone: F/C-Michael Sanchez, PF-Marvell Waithe, PG-Julysses Nobles (transfer), F/C-Devonta Abron (transfer-TCU)

2012-2013 Outlook:
The Hogs nearly lost their best player this off-season when B.J. Young tested the NBA Draft waters but wisely chose to return for his sophomore campaign.  Young was a prized recruit and led the team in scoring but didn’t show the true point guard skills that would have guaranteed him a spot in the first round.  Young’s departure would have been costly but his return serves as a huge boost for Arkansas.

Mardracus Wade and Rickey Scott are solid complements to Young in the backcourt and provide Anderson with the quickness and athleticism to use his “40 minutes of hell” style of full-court basketball.  The decision of Julysses Nobles to transfer hurts the depth a bit but Rashad Madden should be ready to see an even larger role off the bench after a decent freshman year.  Freshmen Michael Qualls, Anthlon Bell, and DeQuavious Wagner will compete for minutes off the bench while Oklahoma State transfer Fred Gulley figures to be another weapon once he becomes eligible after the first semester.

A season ending knee injury to Marshawn Powell just two games into last season was a brutal loss for the Razorbacks as it severely limited their effectiveness inside.   Powell’s strength and offensive ability on the inside should mix well with the length and shot blocking ability of developing big man Hunter Mickelson.  JUCO transfer Coty Clarke and freshman Jacorey Williams don’t offer a lot of size inside off the bench which is a concern and should increase the likelihood of Anderson utilizing a four-guard line-up which fits well with his aggressive, pressing defense.

Arkansas did pick up a key transfer in Houston forward Alandise Harris who averaged 11.5 point and 5.9 rebounds per game last year as a sophomore.  The Little Rock native returns home but must sit out this season per NCAA transfer rules unless he is granted a waiver to play immediately which is still reportedly a possibility.  Having Harris able to suit up this season would be a major boost to the Hogs’ bench and could be the missing piece to get them over the hump and into the NCAA Tournament picture.

Arkansas is probably a year away from becoming a real tourney threat but will only get better with no seniors on the roster and already having a pair of elite recruits committed for their 2013 class in post players Bobby Portis and Moses Kingsley.

Player to Watch: Marshawn Powell
Powell got off to a great start last year scoring 39 points in just 43 minutes in his first two games before suffering the torn ACL.  Without a true backup center on the roster, the 6’7 Powell will log some quality playing time at center as well which means he must rely on his toughness and strength inside to help overcome his shortcomings.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/23 vs. Arizona State (Las Vegas Invitational)
11/24 vs. Wisconsin/Creighton (Las Vegas Invitational)
11/30 vs. Syracuse (Big East/SEC Challenge)
12/4 vs. Oklahoma
12/8 at Michigan

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#65 Wichita State Shockers
#66 George Mason Patriots
#67 Virginia Cavaliers
#68 Villanova Wildcats
#69 Maryland Terrapins
#70 Marshall Thundering Herd
#71 Iona Gaels
#72 Northwestern Wildcats
#73 Oklahoms State Cowboys
#74 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#75 USC Trojans
#76 UConn Huskies
#77 Harvard Crimson
#78 Xavier Musketeers
#79 Ole Miss Rebels
#80 Clemson Tigers
#81 Oregon State Beavers
#82 Texas A&M Aggies
#83 Providence Friars
#84 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#85 Oklahoma Sooners
#86 Lehigh Mountain Hawks
#87 Washington State Cougars
#88 Long Beach State 49ers
#89 Belmont Bruins
#90 Vanderbilt Commodores
#91 Dayton Flyers
#92 Houston Cougars
#93 UCF Knights
#94 Old Dominion Monarchs
#95 Oregon Ducks
#96 LSU Tigers
#97 South Carolina Gamecocks
#98 Seton Hall Pirates
#99 Georgia Bulldogs
#100 DePaul Blue Demons
#101 Boston College Eagles
#102 Penn State Nittany Lions
#103 Arizona State Sun Devils
#104 Virginia Tech Hokies
#105 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#108 TCU Horned Frogs
#109 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#110 Utah Utes
#111 Nebraska Cornhuskers

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, 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 and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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