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Author Topic: If basketball still had SEC East-West divisions like football & baseball do ...  (Read 1211 times)

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Kevin McPherson

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FWIW, if basketball still had SEC East-West divisions like football & baseball do the Hoop Hogs would have finished 1st in the West in 2013-14, 1st in the West in 2014-15, 1st in the West in 2016-17, and 2nd in the West in 2017-18 ... regardless of the fact that the teams that would make up the East were better at the top than the West in those years, Arkansas has been to 2 SECT finals and an SECT semifinals in 3 of those 4 seasons, so that helps illustrate some of the success the Hogs have had in the SEC in basketball.

We've talked about Arkansas being 2nd only to Kentucky in total wins, SEC wins, SEC road wins, SECT record, and NCAAT appearances in the last 4-years-plus-23-games, and the overall league finishes of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the past 4 years -- and I'm not advocating for a renewal of the East and West divisions in basketball -- but I thought it was interesting nonetheless to look at it from that vantage point given that the two other major sports still hand out rings for winning division titles.

The SEC ended division play in Pelphrey's last season at Arkansas. Neither Heath nor Pelphrey ever won the West. Nolan won the SEC overall title twice ('91-92 when he brought May-Day-O from the SWC to the SEC ... and the nat'l title team in '92-94). Including those two overall league titles, Nolan won a total of 4 SEC West titles in his 11 seasons coaching Arkansas in the SEC.

Some will point to SEC schedule breaks that have benefited Arkansas in recent seasons, but over the years when other coaches were here and there was divisional play, the SEC East was typically better than the West and since both divisions only played round-robin within the division annually while also only playing the other division opponents once a season, that usually favored the top-feeders in the West moreso than the teams in the East. My point being that SEC scheduling typically played into the Hogs' favor back then, too. Anybody can go back and cherry-pick specific seasons to paint a picture, but overall playing in the West was a scheduling advantage.


 

Boardon Hamsay

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If things would just stop evolving, Arkansas basketball would be better off. Damn change.....

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TushCrush


I believe this: "Neither Heath nor Pelphrey ever won the West".

Kevin McPherson

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I believe this: "Neither Heath nor Pelphrey ever won the West".

Good, 'cuz I totally fabricated the rest of it ... ha, I know a lot of folks are going to take the OP as some kind of spin, but it's not. So much Mediocre Mike talk when in fact the Hogs have been one of the most stable, successful teams in an SEC that has improved. Even the NCAAT success has been respectable = 3 out of the last 4 seasons Arkansas has Danced, Hogs have won their first game 2 out of the 3 appearances. Counting the NIT before that, Arkansas won its first game, so in postseason the Hogs have only been bounced immediately once in 4 tries.

What's missing is a deep run and consistent rankings. It's been the mid-90s since Arkansas tasted that consistent national relevance, and it's a valid gripe and no doubt folks should expect more. I just think a lot have convinced themselves that Arkansas is a middle of the pack SEC team at best, maybe worse than that, when actually it's been a top-tier SEC team since Mike righted the ship after his 2-year pass. It's been a program that fans, IMO, should be proud of while expecting more at the same time.

SONofHAM


Kevin, you handle basketball recruiting news right?

It seems like you would be happy with a coaching change considering you'd get to cover better, higher rated talent in states other than just Arkansas.  But then maybe that's why you seem so pro-Mike...your job is easier because he's here?

I hope you don't take this as a shot at you.  I just keep trying to figure out why certain people seem so pro-Mike when there is very little to cling to as far as providing hope we will be better soon. 

Kevin McPherson

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Kevin, you handle basketball recruiting news right?

It seems like you would be happy with a coaching change considering you'd get to cover better, higher rated talent in states other than just Arkansas.  But then maybe that's why you seem so pro-Mike...your job is easier because he's here?

I'm pro facts and opinions that are based on facts and reasonable expectations. Facts support that CMA has done a good job at Arkansas and has the program in the top tier of the SEC consistently and has the program headed in the right direction. Facts also demonstrate a lack of national relevance and combined with the reasonable expectation that Arkansas should be a program that enjoys more of that than it has, I respect opinions and notions that suggest CMA is not living up to the full, reasonable level that Arkansas's program can achieve.

The facts and reality -- not me -- should tell you that Mediocre Mike narrative is fiction, as well as the notion that the program has been a disappointment and not elevated much more than when Heath and Pel were here as complete nonsense, too. Those opinions, and I read them a lot, are not buoyed by the data, the facts, or reality. If that makes me pro CMA in folks' eyes who need that downward-spiral narrative to be true, then so be it. 

Atlhogfan1

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Irrelevant.  Lots of window dressing to come around to the same conclusion:  the program is nationally irrelevant.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 03:08:16 pm by Atlhogfan1 »
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jst01


Good, 'cuz I totally fabricated the rest of it ... ha, I know a lot of folks are going to take the OP as some kind of spin, but it's not. So much Mediocre Mike talk when in fact the Hogs have been one of the most stable, successful teams in an SEC that has improved. Even the NCAAT success has been respectable = 3 out of the last 4 seasons Arkansas has Danced, Hogs have won their first game 2 out of the 3 appearances. Counting the NIT before that, Arkansas won its first game, so in postseason the Hogs have only been bounced immediately once in 4 tries.

What's missing is a deep run and consistent rankings. It's been the mid-90s since Arkansas tasted that consistent national relevance, and it's a valid gripe and no doubt folks should expect more. I just think a lot have convinced themselves that Arkansas is a middle of the pack SEC team at best, maybe worse than that, when actually it's been a top-tier SEC team since Mike righted the ship after his 2-year pass. It's been a program that fans, IMO, should be proud of while expecting more at the same time.

1. Nobody in college basketball thinks regular season conference standings mean squat, nobody. The entire sport is about postseason and having tourney success.
2. Once again, nobody cares about the NIT. Its about the dance. So your stat should be 3 appearances IN TOTAL at the dance, bounced in first round once. 33% first round bounced, as opposed to 25%.
3. Many have in fact convinced themselves AR is a mid pack team in the SEC b/c they look at the 'now' and the trends, as I do. The past couple of years have seen several teams upgrade coaching, in turn upgrading talent, and those teams are consistently ranked higher and performing better than AR. 

There have been 2 years in the 8 total that when March came around, i thought..dang this AR team could do some damage in a tourney.  Portis' year and Macon/Barford first year. Other than that, March has been completely void of enthusiasm when it comes to Hog basketball. That is what I'm tired of.
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Atlhogfan1

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Outside of the Arkansas media fishbowl, what do the media members who cover college basketball think of Arkansas basketball under Anderson?  Ask them when they consider the SEC, what do they think of in relation to SEC basketball.  My guess:

Kentucky
Florida
Barnes and Tennessee
Pearl - not only the AU teams but the drama that follows him

Then we might get mixed in with Wade's recruiting and Howland's attempted turnaround of an awful program and Frank Martin.  At this point, whomever you are talking to probably will say "why the hell am I wasting time thinking about anything other than Kentucky in the SEC?  Did you see that Duke - Virginia game and how Gonzaga is destroying opponents?"

I get it.  Anderson is more successful than many of the SEC coaches in his resume.  We've won more games than most as their floors have been much lower even when some have had higher achievements.  But there is nothing interesting about anything about the program other than Gafford.  Portis and Quall's dunks offered the only other time when anyone not paid to pay attention to SEC basketball would even care to notice. 

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Kevin McPherson

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Irrelevant.  Lots of window dressing to come around to the same conclusion:  the program is irrelevant in college basketball.

Not being "nationally relevant" and being "irrelevant in college basketball" are two different things, IMO, so I disagree with you. If you're consistently one of the top-tier teams in a HM conference (both reg-season and conference tourney) while consistently making the NCAAT -- which since the turnaround under CMA has been the case -- then you are not irrelevant in college basketball. I believe programs that are consistently middle-of-the-pack or worse in their league and not playing postseason beyond the conference tourney is the equivalent of being irrelevant in college basketball -- basically what Arkansas was for most of the 14-year span from 2001-02 through 2013-14.

IMO, being consistently nationally relevant boils down to measuring a Top 25 or better resume -- rankings, NCAAT seedings, Sweet 16s or better, etc.. Those things have been missing on a consistent basis to be sure, but not being nationally relevant does not equal being irrelevant in college basketball.

Those are how I define and find distinctions between the two terms/phrases, maybe to you all of the improvement and success in the past 4-plus seasons is a big throwaway minus a Sweet 16 or consistent rankings, but I don't see it that way. I do think those nationally relevant measurables should be expected, though, so no way I'd give CMA a pass in that regard.

Atlhogfan1

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Not being "nationally relevant" and being "irrelevant in college basketball" are two different things, IMO, so I disagree with you. If you're consistently one of the top-tier teams in a HM conference (both reg-season and conference tourney) while consistently making the NCAAT -- which since the turnaround under CMA has been the case -- then you are not irrelevant in college basketball. I believe programs that are consistently middle-of-the-pack or worse in their league and not playing postseason beyond the conference tourney is the equivalent of being irrelevant in college basketball -- basically what Arkansas was for most of the 14-year span from 2001-02 through 2013-14.

IMO, being consistently nationally relevant boils down to measuring a Top 25 or better resume -- rankings, NCAAT seedings, Sweet 16s or better, etc.. Those things have been missing on a consistent basis to be sure, but not being nationally relevant does not equal being irrelevant in college basketball.

Those are how I define and find distinctions between the two terms/phrases, maybe to you all of the improvement and success in the past 4-plus seasons is a big throwaway minus a Sweet 16 or consistent rankings, but I don't see it that way. I do thing those things should be expected, though, so no way I'd give CMA a pass in that regard.
How are they two different things?  Are there some college basketball teams in the NCAA from China or Africa?  I'll edit my post to avoid the semantics argument.   
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Kevin McPherson

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How are they two different things?  Are there some college basketball teams in the NCAA from China or Africa?  I'll edit my post to avoid the semantics argument.

I gave examples of how I separate the two. I gave clear distinctions.

hobhog

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Letís break it down into FOUR divisions.

CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!

SONofHAM


Not being "nationally relevant" and being "irrelevant in college basketball" are two different things, IMO, so I disagree with you. If you're consistently one of the top-tier teams in a HM conference (both reg-season and conference tourney) while consistently making the NCAAT -- which since the turnaround under CMA has been the case -- then you are not irrelevant in college basketball. I believe programs that are consistently middle-of-the-pack or worse in their league and not playing postseason beyond the conference tourney is the equivalent of being irrelevant in college basketball -- basically what Arkansas was for most of the 14-year span from 2001-02 through 2013-14.

IMO, being consistently nationally relevant boils down to measuring a Top 25 or better resume -- rankings, NCAAT seedings, Sweet 16s or better, etc.. Those things have been missing on a consistent basis to be sure, but not being nationally relevant does not equal being irrelevant in college basketball.

Those are how I define and find distinctions between the two terms/phrases, maybe to you all of the improvement and success in the past 4-plus seasons is a big throwaway minus a Sweet 16 or consistent rankings, but I don't see it that way. I do think those nationally relevant measurables should be expected, though, so no way I'd give CMA a pass in that regard.


I appreciate the stats here. 

The thing is tho, if you aren't nationally relevant...doesn't that make you nationally irrelevant?

TushCrush


Good, 'cuz I totally fabricated the rest of it ... ha, at the same time.
Nice research. Thank you.
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Atlhogfan1

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Not being "nationally relevant" and being "irrelevant in college basketball" are two different things, IMO, so I disagree with you. If you're consistently one of the top-tier teams in a HM conference (both reg-season and conference tourney) while consistently making the NCAAT -- which since the turnaround under CMA has been the case -- then you are not irrelevant in college basketball. I believe programs that are consistently middle-of-the-pack or worse in their league and not playing postseason beyond the conference tourney is the equivalent of being irrelevant in college basketball -- basically what Arkansas was for most of the 14-year span from 2001-02 through 2013-14.

IMO, being consistently nationally relevant boils down to measuring a Top 25 or better resume -- rankings, NCAAT seedings, Sweet 16s or better, etc.. Those things have been missing on a consistent basis to be sure, but not being nationally relevant does not equal being irrelevant in college basketball.

Those are how I define and find distinctions between the two terms/phrases, maybe to you all of the improvement and success in the past 4-plus seasons is a big throwaway minus a Sweet 16 or consistent rankings, but I don't see it that way. I do think those nationally relevant measurables should be expected, though, so no way I'd give CMA a pass in that regard.



All of the improvement and success in the past 4-plus seasons?  LOL.  Sure it has been better than Heath and Pelphrey and Nolan when things came off the rails.

Want to repeat that conversation from a couple of weeks ago where I tell you how overhyped I believe the 14-15 season was based on the schedule and the lopsided losses to most every good team played.  How that team didn't come close to actually winning anything of importance.  How we advanced in the SECT with the help of UGa resting its players and ended with a blowout defeat.  How the record was enhanced by beating the awful bottom feeders of the conference.  You know it just upsets you.

The second season of your glorious era ended with a .500 season.  Want to talk about how that happened?  The counterfeit operation in the program that supposedly has no issues.  The failed recruitment including signing Kapita knowing what a long shot it was for him to get eligible.  The stupidity or naivete to believe Portis and Qualls were returning and just not bother to have a plan if they don't.

The third season was heading to disaster when right at the last moment at halftime of LSU Mike switches defenses.  That SECT run you tout ended in another blowout loss.  The whining over the UNC game always overrides the break received in the final minute of the Seton Hall win.  Also ignored, the failures during the season that led to an 8/9 game and playing a 1 seed North Carolina in the R32. 

You've even admitted the underachievement of last year's team.  The "locker room mess".  We did win a couple of SECT games again.  Then lost by 18 before the 17pt NCAAT loss.

Our SECT "runs" have ended in 15, 17 and 18 point losses. 

Why do this?  The program is better.  No reason to try and stretch to make it more than it has been.  By some programs standards, sure we've been better than mediocre for 3 of the last 4 seasons. 

hawg66


Give up Kevin. Anyone who thinks Anderson is anything more than mediocre can bring all the facts and logic they have and it wonít matter. Iíve said consistently that when itís clear that Anderson canít sustain the upward trajectory the program has been on since he got here everyone will be in agreement that itís time for a change. Thatís gotten me labeled as Andersonís kin by some here. Before the season began everyone posting here knew this year would be a struggle. When the struggle came the fire Anderson crowd showed up. Theyíre making this place almost not worth participating right now.

Kevin McPherson

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1. Nobody in college basketball thinks regular season conference standings mean squat, nobody. The entire sport is about postseason and having tourney success. This is NOT entirely true, but it's not lost on me one bit that what you do in March carries more weight than anything else.

2. Once again, nobody cares about the NIT. Its about the dance. So your stat should be 3 appearances IN TOTAL at the dance, bounced in first round once. 33% first round bounced, as opposed to 25%. My overall point was that once Arkansas gets to postseason play -- SECT, NIT, and NCAAT -- they've actually shown some signs of life that is measurably better than the narrative that the whole postseason thing has been a BUST, not to mention the 5-year span from 2008-09 thru 2012-13 that Arkansas did not make it past the first game of the SECT let alone get a sniff for an NIT invite. For those sick of waiting since the mid-90s for at least Sweet 16 if nothing more -- and that's going to be most of the fanbase, especially those who were around back then -- then yes nothing else will matter even if maybe some of the postseason success should matter a little.

3. Many have in fact convinced themselves AR is a mid pack team in the SEC b/c they look at the 'now' and the trends, as I do. The past couple of years have seen several teams upgrade coaching, in turn upgrading talent, and those teams are consistently ranked higher and performing better than AR. I understand perception and a lot of it is not baseless, that's why I've repeated over and over that fans are being reasonable in expecting more.

There have been 2 years in the 8 total that when March came around, i thought..dang this AR team could do some damage in a tourney.  Portis' year and Macon/Barford first year. Other than that, March has been completely void of enthusiasm when it comes to Hog basketball. That is what I'm tired of. I don't like the 8-year talk for most arguments. A 2-year pass was absolutely appropriate. I think the no sustained national relevance after 8 seasons chatter is just fine and valid, but anyone holding CMA accountable for no postseason, rankings, etc., during those first two years was not being reasonable or fair given the global state of the program. That's not the same as believing another coach could have turned things around quicker, that me be true although we'll never know.

Atlhogfan1

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I gave examples of how I separate the two. I gave clear distinctions.

You gave me a repeat of the OP where all we have is our SEC "achievements" which have consisted of a 2nd, 8th, T3rd and T4th place finishes and 3 SECT ending losses by an avg of 16.7 PPG. 

Atlhogfan1

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Leaving out the first two seasons:

22.8 wins per season 11.8 losses per season
Avg SEC finish 4.4
1 NIT win over Indiana St in BWA.  Fell behind Cal 31-8 before losing by 11 in the next game. 
3 NCAAT's resulting in 2 wins and 9, 7 and 17 pt losses. 

Not bad.  Better than mediocre for many programs.  Better than Heath and Pelphrey. 

Atlhogfan1

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Give up Kevin. Anyone who thinks Anderson is anything more than mediocre can bring all the facts and logic they have and it wonít matter. Iíve said consistently that when itís clear that Anderson canít sustain the upward trajectory the program has been on since he got here everyone will be in agreement that itís time for a change. Thatís gotten me labeled as Andersonís kin by some here. Before the season began everyone posting here knew this year would be a struggle. When the struggle came the fire Anderson crowd showed up. Theyíre making this place almost not worth participating right now.

Mediocrity is relative to what you are comparing.  To most of college basketball and the SEC, it has been better than mediocre the last 4 seasons overall. 
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Kevin

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Kevin McPherson

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I appreciate the stats here. 

The thing is tho, if you aren't nationally relevant...doesn't that make you nationally irrelevant?

Yes, but go back and see that Atlhog "edited" his post, then look down at my post where I quoted what he actually originally posted before he edited it, which was what I was responding to.

It's clear to me he's not comfortable with my answers that rolled him over. So, he changed what he said to make my response look like a petty spin on two phrases that basically are the same.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 05:40:14 pm by Kevin McPherson »
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Good points!  More evidence that the coach is going nowhere unless he chooses to leave.  I think it would be good for those who want a coaching change to start a GoFundme page.
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jry04

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Mike being 2nd in wins in the SEC in the last 4 years just proves the SEC is inconsistent while Mike is consistent. Mike may never miss the NIT again, but may never make a Sweet 16. Arkansas' average seed in the SECT in those 4 years is 5th. Mike has had 1 finish better than 3rd in 8 seasons. When Heath was here, the SEC sent 6+ teams of a 12 team league to the NCAAT consistently. The SEC has sent just 3 out of 14 teams to the NCAAT multiple times since Mike has been here. The SEC is starting to get tougher, but the league was as weak as it has ever been when Mike first arrived, and he still struggled to produce outside of a few good regular seasons. He has spent 8 total weeks in the top 25 including top 20 once, 0 sweet 16s, and 1 NBA draft pick thru 8 years. His best season to date included 4 losses v unranked teams, a high ranking of 18th, and a 2nd round loss in the NCAAT. That is as mediocre as it gets on a national level. Mike is not a bad coach, but the facts state he is closer to being mediocre than he is to being good. If fans are fine with being a bubble team every year and never making deep runs, he is our guy. At some point, fans should want more. You are lying if you thought 8 years ago that our program, with the amount of in-state talent we have, would have just 3 NCAAt appearances and 0 sweet 16s to this point. The program was not in great shape when Mike arrived, but he also inherited a McDonald's AA, Powell, and multiple 4 stars. Everyone said Mike needed to get his own players in when BJ went rogue late in games, but then Madden did the same. Macon and Barford did the same. We see it now, too. The players change and the same mistakes are made.

SSFrazorback

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Give up Kevin... Theyíre making this place almost not worth participating right now.

Almost? The place is unbearable. All threads look the same no matter what the OP is. You canít talk about a player, past game or future game without it turning into a fire mike thread.

If we did make it to the sweet 16 this year they would complain about how itís mikes fault we didnít go to the elite 8 or about how much we lost by. Itís the same people derailing every single thread. As kevin pointed out they will even edit their posts when proven wrong and move the goalposts. Nothing will ever be good enough for these people.

Thank you Kevin for this post I appreciate the hard work you do. Itís unfortunate that most wont look at it because itís posted in Jump Ball and people avoiothis place like the plague.

Kevin McPherson

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All of the improvement and success in the past 4-plus seasons?  LOL.  Sure it has been better than Heath and Pelphrey and Nolan when things came off the rails. Okay, so improvement and success relative to the previous 14 years, which was my point. Check, 'preciate your buy-in.

Want to repeat that conversation from a couple of weeks ago where I tell you how overhyped I believe the 14-15 season was based on the schedule and the lopsided losses to most every good team played.  How that team didn't come close to actually winning anything of importance.  How we advanced in the SECT with the help of UGa resting its players and ended with a blowout defeat.  How the record was enhanced by beating the awful bottom feeders of the conference.  You know it just upsets you. You trivializing that season is not upsetting, in fact its a blessing that I should have thanked you for sooner. It bolsters and illuminates how ridiculous so much of your discounting truly is. Arkansas was ranked, finished ranked Top 20, but because human polls can sometimes overlook in-balances in scheduling, your argument ALMOST gets close to a sniff test -- BUT RPI/SOS and NCAAT seeding also upheld the Hogs' as a Top 20-25 team, and those measurables take into account scheduling -- i.e quality wins, bad losses, blowouts, road record, neutral record, etc. Human pollsters see blowout losses, too, even if some of the computer metrics didn't account for those, yet again the human polls determined that Arkansas team as Top 20 in the end. And I don't care what GA did or didn't do in the SECT, the Hogs beat that team on its home court in SEC play and there were 12 other SEC teams not named Kentucky and Arkansas that watched a nationally televised SECT finals between the Hogs and 'Cats. That 13-5 SEC season was the same record that won the league last year. Neither TN nor Auburn won the SECT or made it to the second weekend of the NCAAT last year. Are TN's and Auburn's '17-18 achievements throwaways, too?

The second season of your glorious era ended with a .500 season. Want to talk about how that happened?  The counterfeit operation in the program that supposedly has no issues.  The failed recruitment including signing Kapita knowing what a long shot it was for him to get eligible.  The stupidity or naivete to believe Portis and Qualls were returning and just not bother to have a plan if they don't. Kingsley was a pretty good answer for losing Portis. Babb and Qualls leaving hurt and there were no answers, but it was not likely that BOTH would be leaving. Kapita looked like a huge gaffe, until he was eventually cleared to play took some of the sting off of that offer. The counterfeit operation only magnified the problems, no doubt looked bad until CMA did a great job coaching a team short on depth, experience, and holes at key positions (3 and 4) before quickly following that up with a nice bounce-back, SEC 3rd-place, NCAAT return the next season.

The third season was heading to disaster when right at the last moment at halftime of LSU Mike switches defenses.  That SECT run you tout ended in another blowout loss.  The whining over the UNC game always overrides the break received in the final minute of the Seton Hall win.  Also ignored, the failures during the season that led to an 8/9 game and playing a 1 seed North Carolina in the R32. Regardless how they got there, CMA pushed the right buttons to get the team to a 3rd place finish in the SEC and back to the SECT finals. Lots of teams falter in the process, that's college basketball. Look at SCar's troubles before being REWARDED with a better seed, easier bracket path while playing closer to home, etc. And laughing about the call against Seton Hall. Not only did UNC get SEVERAL calls late, it got a HUGE advantage in foul calls and FT opportunities throughout that game. I detailed all of that extensively in a thread that you shrank away from, smart that you did.


You've even admitted the underachievement of last year's team.  The "locker room mess".  We did win a couple of SECT games again.  Then lost by 18 before the 17pt NCAAT loss. Correct, last season was a good season that ended in disappointment. If I'm not mistaken, Arkansas defeated 4 or 5 ranked teams last year. The Hogs were 1-1 against co-SEC-champ Auburn, 1-1 against co-SEC champ TN, and 1-1 against No. 3-seed Florida. Those Hogs also lost a total of 10 games by 10 points or more. It was a Jekyl and Hyde bunch that underachieved but still had a good season.

Our SECT "runs" have ended in 15, 17 and 18 point losses.  Not a good look getting blown out, but it's MUCH better than bowing out in the SECT first round which was the annual life and times at Arkansas thru '13-14. Two of those Kentucky teams, BTW, were pretty damn good. One went undefeated until the Final Four and blew most teams out, the other made it to the Elite Eight and lost there to the same UNC team that needed ref-aid to beat Arkansas.

Why do this?  The program is better.  No reason to try and stretch to make it more than it has been.  By some programs standards, sure we've been better than mediocre for 3 of the last 4 seasons. Why do what, point out the stats, facts, records, and use reasonable logic to suggest things have been markedly improved and trending up in the last 4-plus seasons? Gee, IDK why I do it because it sure would be a lot more convenient to fly the mediocre-program kite around here.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 05:29:31 pm by Kevin McPherson »
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cjack

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My expectations are very simple.  We should be a top 25 team.  I really thought CMA was the one to get us back to being that after the Heath, Pelphrey years.  He has had plenty of opportunity, but it's just not working. 

RazorPiggie

Kevin McPherson

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Mike being 2nd in wins in the SEC in the last 4 years just proves the SEC is inconsistent while Mike is consistent. Mike may never miss the NIT again, but may never make a Sweet 16. Arkansas' average seed in the SECT in those 4 years is 5th. Mike has had 1 finish better than 3rd in 8 seasons. When Heath was here, the SEC sent 6+ teams of a 12 team league to the NCAAT consistently. The SEC has sent just 3 out of 14 teams to the NCAAT multiple times since Mike has been here. The SEC is starting to get tougher, but the league was as weak as it has ever been when Mike first arrived, and he still struggled to produce outside of a few good regular seasons. He has spent 8 total weeks in the top 25 including top 20 once, 0 sweet 16s, and 1 NBA draft pick thru 8 years. His best season to date included 4 losses v unranked teams, a high ranking of 18th, and a 2nd round loss in the NCAAT. That is as mediocre as it gets on a national level. Mike is not a bad coach, but the facts state he is closer to being mediocre than he is to being good. If fans are fine with being a bubble team every year and never making deep runs, he is our guy. At some point, fans should want more. You are lying if you thought 8 years ago that our program, with the amount of in-state talent we have, would have just 3 NCAAt appearances and 0 sweet 16s to this point. The program was not in great shape when Mike arrived, but he also inherited a McDonald's AA, Powell, and multiple 4 stars. Everyone said Mike needed to get his own players in when BJ went rogue late in games, but then Madden did the same. Macon and Barford did the same. We see it now, too. The players change and the same mistakes are made.

Just going to correct some of the minimizing right here before getting to what we agree on ...

* Mike "may never miss the NIT again but may never make a Sweet 16"? That's strange dot-connecting since he's been getting his teams to NCAATs while not making Sweet 16s in 3 of the last 4 years.

* Mike did not inherit a McD AA, Powell got hurt and did not play in year 1, and the multiple 4-stars did not pan out aside from Madden who eventually did.

* This is season 8, and Gafford will make 2 draft picks in 8 years with Qualls very likely being a 3rd had he not wrecked his knee (many of his mid- to late-2nd-round projections had moved up to top 10 of second round projections just prior to him getting hurt). While Macon didn't get drafted, he's at least on track to be a player Mike can point to as a success story developing at Arkansas as a bridge to the league -- may or may not play out that way, but he's at least played in the league as an undrafted FA rookie. Isaiah Joe also getting a lot of attention from NBA folks as a freshman. It's not a great track record, not going to argue it's even a good one, but it's at least trending up.

* Arkansas has not been a "Bubble team every year" ... it was not a bubble team in '14-15, '16-17, or '17-18. Those teams all earned top-half NCAAT bids (a 5, a 7, and an 8) and were safely projected in the Dance heading into the SECT.

* Agree that Arkansas has not been a Top 25 program and that when CMA was hired most fans would have thought after 8 seasons there would be more of that kind of measurable success. I've never said differently.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 05:45:20 pm by Kevin McPherson »
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Kevin McPherson

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My expectations are very simple.  We should be a top 25 team.  I really thought CMA was the one to get us back to being that after the Heath, Pelphrey years.  He has had plenty of opportunity, but it's just not working.

All fair points -- can't, won't, haven't argued otherwise.

HogBreath


A big shout out to Commissioner Sly for only scheduling us against the top SEC teams once each season.

Kevin McPherson

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A big shout out to Commissioner Sly for only scheduling us against the top SEC teams once each season.

SEC skeds are so-called permanently set for only 3 round-robin matchups -- for Arkansas those 3 are LSU, Mizzou, and TA&M -- and the rest are on a rotation. Mizzou was ranked preseason before losing a projected lottery pick to injury, and Vandy was projected as a preseason NCAA pick and was 4-0 when it lost its projected lottery pick to injury. Arkansas plays those teams a total of 4 times. Arkansas got LSU twice -- a team that would be tied with TN and undefeated in the SEC if not for Arkansas winning on the Tigers' homecourt. Arkansas also gets Ole Miss twice, a team that was projected at the bottom of the SEC but turns out has been good enough to be ranked and is currently top half of the league and currently projected NCAAT. Texas A&M is down this year, but since losing to Arkansas in the SEC opener in College Station the Aggies have beaten Big 12 first-place Kansas State and they have road wins at Bama (top half SEC, currently projected NCAAT) and at Mizzou.

If you look at the teams that are currently at the top of the league and/or projected NCAAT = TN, KY, LSU, SCar, Bama, Ole Miss, MSSt, and Auburn -- Arkansas plays those teams a total of 10 times with 6 of those games on the road. Getting TA&M, Mizzou and Vandy twice each may seem like a break, but it's a double-edged sword because Arkansas still has to play on the road against those teams and there really are no easy outs in this league.

Again, there are NO nights off in the SEC. Yes, there will be some blowouts here and there, but for the most part each team is capable of beating anyone. Vandy taking TN to OT is just one example.

« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 05:59:29 pm by Kevin McPherson »
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razorsharp94


This argument is reminiscent of the old rivals days. Thanks for bringing facts I stead of conjecture to the argument, Kevin.

HogBreath


SEC skeds are so-called permanently set for only 3 round-robin matchups -- for Arkansas those 3 are LSU, Mizzou, and TA&M -- and the rest are on a rotation. Mizzou was ranked preseason before losing a projected lottery pick to injury, and Vandy was projected as a preseason NCAA pick and was 4-0 when it lost its projected lottery pick to injury. Arkansas plays those teams a total of 4 times. Arkansas got LSU twice -- a team that would be tied with TN and undefeated in the SEC if not for Arkansas winning on the Tigers' homecourt. Arkansas also gets Ole Miss twice, a team that was projected at the bottom of the SEC but turns out has been good enough to be ranked and is currently top half of the league and currently projected NCAAT. Texas A&M is down this year, but since losing to Arkansas in the SEC opener in College Station the Aggies have beaten Big 12 first-place Kansas State and they have road wins at Bama (top half SEC, currently projected NCAAT) and at Mizzou.

There are NO nights off in the SEC. Yes, there will be some blowouts here and there, but for the most part each team is capable of beating anyone in this league. Vandy taking TN to OT is just one example.



Great points Kev, I'm just glad we got some of the weaker teams twice in place of big blue and Tinner and Florida, playing the bottom teams twice instead of the top squads.  Florida likely wishes they had our schedule.

SexyBeast77


Congratulations to Kevin for winning the Rich Schaeffer award for Sunshine pumping in "Journalism." 
  That's a lot of arbitrary metrics but the fact is Mediocre Mike Averages 10-8 in conference, and 4th or 5th place, and can't advance in the Conference or NCAA Tournament. His ceiling is too low.
Next coach please! The 11,000 empty seats in the Bud seem to agree with me.

bvillepig


Thanks Kevin for your input. It's nice to see the facts broken down without the bias some have.  If the administration decides to go a different direction it's out of my control so I don't worry about it to much. I have made the 5 1/2 hour trip for three games this year and have enjoyed each and every one. I wish I could be there more.

I will continue to pull for the Hogs and Mike and also enjoy every great play and every win as long as he is here. Go Hogs. If and when he is gone I will hop on board with whoever the powers that be choose. I just hope they turn out to be an upgarde.

Kevin McPherson

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Congratulations to Kevin for winning the Rich Schaeffer award for Sunshine pumping in "Journalism." 
  That's a lot of arbitrary metrics but the fact is Mediocre Mike Averages 10-8 in conference, and 4th or 5th place, and can't advance in the Conference or NCAA Tournament. His ceiling is too low.
Next coach please! The 11,000 empty seats in the Bud seem to agree with me.

Burn, after burn, after burn. I'll get back to ya after my long ER visit followed by my shrink stop 'cuz you clearly got me. No mas, SexyBeast!!!

Drop the Mike


Give up Kevin. Anyone who thinks Anderson is anything more than mediocre can bring all the facts and logic they have and it wonít matter. Iíve said consistently that when itís clear that Anderson canít sustain the upward trajectory the program has been on since he got here everyone will be in agreement that itís time for a change. Thatís gotten me labeled as Andersonís kin by some here. Before the season began everyone posting here knew this year would be a struggle. When the struggle came the fire Anderson crowd showed up. Theyíre making this place almost not worth participating right now.

Through his 7.5+ years here at Arkansas Mike is a 21-12 coach. Those are the facts.

If we finish below 21 wins will you classify that as not sustaining the Ďupwardí trajectory?
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Kevin McPherson

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Through his 7.5+ years here at Arkansas Mike is a 21-12 coach. Those are the facts.

If we finish below 21 wins will you classify that as not sustaining the Ďupwardí trajectory?

I don't hold his first 2 seasons against him in terms of record, counting NCAATs, or seasons ranked or not ranked ... which means by the way you framed your question that the bar is even higher for this team, and that makes it even more unlikely that it will live up to the avg record covering the last 5 seasons instead of all 7.

Anyway, I look at a lot of things in determining "upward trajectory." In '15-16, I knew that season would be considerably down compared to '14-15, but I also knew the program was moving in a more positive direction and sure enough it ('15-16) turned out to be the outlier in the past 4 seasons since CMA righted the ship.

Having said all of that, I'll repeat again that I do think it's fair to say that through 8 seasons there should be some consistent national relevance / success, which has not happened and it's reasonable to call it out and expect more. I'm on record numerous times saying this as well as saying that a change after '18-19 is not necessarily unreasonable.
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The_Iceman

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Mike has gotten us back to the Nolan days....the post 1995 Nolan days.

SexyBeast77



What's missing is a deep run and consistent rankings. It's been the mid-90s since Arkansas tasted that consistent national relevance, and it's a valid gripe and no doubt folks should expect more. I just think a lot have convinced themselves that Arkansas is a middle of the pack SEC team at best, maybe worse than that, when actually it's been a top-tier SEC team since Mike righted the ship after his 2-year pass. It's been a program that fans, IMO, should be proud of while expecting more at the same time.

To Just make the NCAA tournament means we are one of the best 68 teams? Yay? Maybe slightly better considering the conference tournament upsets.  And we are actually pretty good but still irrelevant?
Re: Arkansas' finshes: How is this top Tier
2011 - 9th
2012 -7th
2013 - 5th
2014 -2nd
2015 - 8th
2016 - 3rd
2017 - 4th
2018 - 7th?

So we avg about 5th out of 14 teams. What tier is that? The mediocre tier?

HogBreath


Mike has gotten us back to the Nolan days....the post 1995 Nolan days.
We made the sweet 16 in '96.  Mike ain't got us to that point.  But yeah, after '96, for sure, about the same.  I wonder if Mike wasn't more or less the coach back then?
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SexyBeast77


We made the sweet 16 in '96.  Mike ain't got us to that point.  But yeah, after '96, for sure, about the same.  I wonder if Mike wasn't more or less the coach back then?

No, Mike Anderson was the TJ Cleveland of Nolan's staff before TJ Cleveland became TJ Cleveland

26.2Hog

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Mike has gotten us back to the Nolan days....the post 1995 Nolan days.

For you MA aficionados that wrongly accuse Iceman of being a hater, I'd like to point out that Iceman is being quite generous to Mike here.

Because in his last 4 full years ('98 - '01), Nolan made the NCAAT 4 times, finished in the top 25 twice, and won the SEC tournament once.

MA still has work to do to match Nolan's declining days.





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Kevin McPherson

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To Just make the NCAA tournament means we are one of the best 68 teams? Yay? Maybe slightly better considering the conference tournament upsets.  And we are actually pretty good but still irrelevant?
Re: Arkansas' finshes: How is this top Tier
2011 - 9th
2012 -7th
2013 - 5th
2014 -2nd
2015 - 8th
2016 - 3rd
2017 - 4th
2018 - 7th?

So we avg about 5th out of 14 teams. What tier is that? The mediocre tier?

IMO, mediocre in the SEC is finishing middle of the pack in the league (6-8 range). Arkansas has been better than that in 4 of the last 5 seasons (again, I don't count the first 2 seasons). To be fair, finishing 5th while going to the NIT in '13-14 is mediocre, too, but it was ascension relative to years 1 and 2 and things have been consistently better than 5th place and NIT in the most-recent 4-year run.

There are 351 NCAA D1 teams, only 68 of those will make the NCAAT. Since Arkansas started getting back there 4 seasons ago, the Hogs have effectively been seeded as a Top 17-20 team in that 68-field (a 5-seed in '14-15), a Top 25-28 team (a 7-seed in '17-18), and a Top 29-32 team (an 8-seed in '16-17). That's not the same as consistent human-poll Top 25 rankings or Sweet 16s and beyond -- and those things matter, I constantly acknowledge they do -- but the recent trends show Arkansas as being a program on the rise and beyond "mediocre."

That looks to me like a good college program. At the same time I would never frame it as "really good" or "great" which to me means consistent Top 25 rankings, Sweet 16s or better, an SEC or SECT title, etc.

When I use the phrase "national relevance" I'm talking about being "nationally ranked" and/or being alive and in the conversation for a run at a "national title" = making it to the second weekend as one of only 16 teams that still have a shot! Arkansas has NOT gotten there, but that doesn't mean the Hogs have been irrelevant in college basketball. There are a whole lotta teams that would trade places with the Hogs. Not saying this means CMA is meeting expectations -- folks keep conflating that as being my point -- just making the valid case that he's been better than "mediocre" since righting the ship and has been trending on the other side of "good.".

I'd chart it like this (the first X marking where I see the program that he inherited, the second X marking where I believe CMA has moved the program) ...

Poor/cellar ...X............ average/mediocre ............... good ..X............ really good .......... great

I concede that "good" is not "good enough" for some fans, and I'm not saying it should be.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 07:47:10 pm by Kevin McPherson »
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SexyBeast77


To ask that we be in the top 68 just about every year doesn't seem to be asking too much to me.  For anyone born in about 84 or before, that are old enough to remember both the Day/Mayberry/Big O Teams of the early 90s through the National Championship team, we know what is possible.
  So, no we are not happy to be champions of a hypothetical west division, or to be nationally relevant by a very spurious definition of being in the top 3rd of a fairly weak basketball conference without being competitive ourselves, or to be good relative to Heath and Pelphrey. Yes this is better, but we are not competing for anything
Avgs wins - Total (Conference)
Heath
16- 14 (6-10)
Pelphrey
17-15 (6-10)
Anderson
22-12 (10-8)

So we are on average better, but we're not really competitive.

Boardon Hamsay

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Maybe we should holler at Jolstens and have them run us off a few batches of self proclaimed SEC West Division Champion rings? Somebody get Bazzel working on the trophies too but tell him to venture out of the geography genre.

Kevin McPherson

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For you MA aficionados that wrongly accuse Iceman of being a hater, I'd like to point out that Iceman is being quite generous to Mike here.

Because in his last 4 full years ('98 - '01), Nolan made the NCAAT 4 times, finished in the top 25 twice, and won the SEC tournament once.

MA still has work to do to match Nolan's declining days.

A few things, though, so that we get as close to apples to apples as we can. Much more likely for Arkansas to be ranked back then based on their recent rep as a Top 10 program -- remember, Hogs did not win the West in that time let alone a league title. Those Hogs' teams won as many NCAAT games in 4 appearances as CMA's teams won in 3. Neither got to a Sweet 16. Also, Nolan did finally break through with an SECT title in '99-00, but only 1 of those 4 teams made the SECT finals whereas CMA has made 2 SECT finals in the last 4 years.

I'd say those are pretty equitable comparisons in terms of several measurables. Not saying this to bag on you or Iceman, not at all, just saying comparisons need as much light as possible.

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I hear ya Kevin, some good points, but I don't buy in that Nolan's teams were more likely to be ranked at a season's end because of previous success.  Sure, to begin the season might hold true, except the Hogs had not finished in the top 25 the previous two years

But to finish two seasons ranked in the top 20 would have little to no bearing to previous years' success that was 3 years removed.

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