Critiquing Mike Anderson is Simpleton’s Pastime
After another humiliating road loss last week to Texas A&M, a team that lost to Southern University earlier in the season, you have to wonder if Razorback basketball coach Mike Anderson knows what he is doing.
This Razorback team is going to end up looking a lot like last year’s team and practically never win a game on the road. Anderson just doesn’t seem to be able to prepare them for what it takes to win on the road in the SEC. He and the team looks clueless on the road, as if someone lost their bags and they don’t know whether to check in at the hotel.
For starters, Anderson’s teams can’t shoot. Secondly, they can’t rebound, and to complete the triumvirate, without a doubt they absolutely don’t play defense. Anderson’s team is generally out of control when at its best, which explains why his team folded down the stretch last year in conference play, a conference that was terrible, by the way, and even struggled to place teams in the NCAA tournament.
I can’t believe the Hogs have hired another bozo for a coach after the fans have suffered through Stan Heath and John Pelphrey in the lost decade of Razorback basketball.
The loss on the road to an absolutely pathetic A&M team was unforgivable and to be massacred on top of it all is just too much. This is a storied Program and deserves much better.
Anderson is just not the guy to get it done. His Razorback teams are 1-17 on the road. How do you get that bad on the road? It’s statistically impossible. I know they beat Vanderbilt at home, but that’s not the issue. Anderson can’t prepare his team adequately and it shows on the road in a lack of discipline.
I can’t remember the last time a Razorback team got a rebound. They often get beat on the boards by 20 or more rebounds, which is just unheard of.
Anderson’s recruiting is baseless and the guys who he is bringing in are not near the caliber to get it done.
It’s time for change up on the Hill when it comes to basketball.
Now, if you believe anything that I just wrote and want Anderson fired, then you are a simpleton.
The same thinking would have gotten Nolan fired in his second year as he struggled with a team that he inherited that had drug problems and was also caring for his daughter dying of cancer at the same time. Many big boosters and fans used to Eddie Sutton ball wanted him fired, perhaps even the athletic director.
Similarly, Anderson received a team that was deficient in many areas and had its own host of problems, chief among them being that Nolan was fired a decade ago and the program has yet to recover.
You know a person has made a major impact when you can refer to him as just Nolan like someone would do with Madonna. For example, no one is talking about “Stan” or “John.” And this guy we refer to by just one name finished his first two season with a 31-30 record. His protégé will do better in his first two years. The transformation from whatever Kensucky claptrap Pelphrey was running into Anderson’s style of play has not and will not be seamless.
It took Nolan four years to build his dynasty, which included three trips to the Final Four, two trips to the final game, one national championship, several trips to the Sweet Sixteen, and thirteen trips to the NCAA tournament out of 14 years (during this streak, the lone exception was instead a trip to the NIT Final Four).
You may have forgotten what the NCAA tournament is since the Razorbacks never attend it anymore. Some refer to it as the Big Dance, and it is why all those basketball games are on television every March. But the Hogs just don’t go dancing any longer.
While at Arkansas, Nolan compiled winning records against the best coaches in the game including Larry Brown of Kansas, Mike K. of Duke, Dean Smith of North Carolina, and Lute Olson of Arizona. It’s fair to mention that the results against Rick Pitino were mixed. Nolan tended to dominate the wins in the regular season while Pitino won in the SEC tournament. It’s also fair to mention Pitino copied Nolan’s style of play and then implemented it with better athletes.
Yet all that did not happen overnight and the growing pains were tough at times. Nolan was probably one three-point bank shot from Cannon Whitby from losing his job. Whitby hit a three to spark a Razorback rally from a large double-digit deficit against Arkansas State in the NIT. Then Stephan Moore jacked up some guy named Brad Goshen and the game went into overtime. The rest is history.
The eagerness of fans wanting to fire Nolan out of impatience and lack of understanding almost cost the Razorbacks its greatest moments in its sports history. “The Shot” made by Scotty Thurman and the golden era of Razorbacks basketball would not exist had some fans had their way after Nolan’s second season.
So be patient with Anderson. He knows what he is doing. He has won at UAB and Missouri and there is no reason to think that he will not win at Arkansas. And if he can’t get it done, maybe the problem is still larger than the coach.
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