99 in 99: #88 Arkansas Razorbacks

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The Sports Bank’s “99 in 99” countdown ranks the 72 power conference teams and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power rankings order, and will lead right into the opening tip of the college basketball season.  Arkansas is the third SEC West team ranked near the bottom.  Click here if you missed teams #89-#99.

By: David Kay

Arkansas Razorbacks (7th, 7-9 in SEC, 14-18 overall)

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Michael Sanchez (Jr)/Delvon Johnson (Sr)/Marvell Waithe (Jr)
F: Marshawn Powell (So)/Glenn Bryant (So)
G: Rotnei Clarke (Jr)/Jemel Farmer (Sr)
G: Marcus Britt (Sr)/Mardracus Wade (Fr)/Rickey Scott (Fr)
PG: Jeff Peterson (Jr)/Julysess Nobles (So)/Kikko Haydar (Fr)

Gone: F/C-Michael Washington, SG-Stefan Welsh, PG-Courtney Fortson

2010-2011 Outlook:
The Hogs were a tough team to figure out last season.  During the non-conference, they suffered three straight home losses to Morgan State, East Tennessee State, and South Alabama (partially because leading scorer Courtney Fortson did not play in those games, but still, no major conference school should drop three in a row at home to small conference teams.)  Arkansas then started SEC play with a 7-4 record before dropping their final six games of the season.  If I was tweeting about this I would put a #SMH in there somewhere.

Fortson left the program to pursue professional opportunities but Iowa transfer Jeff Peterson will step right in and replace his minutes in what figures to be an under-sized three-guard line-up along with Marcus Britt and sharp shooter Rotnei Clarke who set a school record last season by scoring 51 points in a single game thanks to 13 three-pointers.  Marshawn Powell will hope to build off an impressive freshman season and should be joined up-front by Michael Sanchez who missed all but four games last season due to plantar fasciitis in both feet.

A few players who saw significant minutes off the bench will resume that role which gives John Pelphrey some decent depth.  I just do not think Arkansas has the talent to compete with the other teams in the SEC.

Arkansas basketball

Player to Watch: Marshawn Powell, F
The 6-7 Powell (who kind of looks like DMX, see above pic) put up solid stats (14.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg) in freshman season and flew under the radar in terms of impact newcomers.  Powell recently suffered a broken foot that will likely keep him out until mid-October meaning he should be ready to go for the start of the season.  He can post up on the block, but also step out and knock down jump shots.   If the Razorbacks have any chance of making noise in the SEC, Powell will have to play a big part.

Key Non-Conference Games:
12/1 vs. Oklahoma
12/8 vs. Seton Hall (Big East/SEC Challenge at Louisville)
12/18 vs. Texas A&M (in Dallas)
1/4 at Texas

Other 99 in 99’s:
#89 Boston College
#90 LSU
#91 Providence
#92 Michigan
#93 Oregon State
#94. Nebraska
#95. Auburn
#96. DePaul
#97. Iowa State
#98. Rutgers
#99. Iowa

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