The Future's So Bright, He's Gotta Wear Shades

Photo by Dan Hale/Arkansas OnlineThe football season isn't even halfway over, but I've already about had my fill of it. The lackluster play, the increasing anger and frustrations of the fans...it's been one long drag. Thank God that basketball is right around the corner.

On Friday night, the Hogs begin preparations for the upcoming season with a shindig at Bud Walton Arena that will feature an autograph session followed by a practice and a scrimmage. With a considerable amount of veteran talent and new coach John Pelphrey's uptempo style, the basketball Razorbacks promise to provide the fun and excitement that has been so noticeably absent from the gridiron in 2007.

To help you get fired up for the upcoming season (and to take your mind off the football situation), we offer this hodge-podge of Arkansas basketball-related items:

* You can check out the schedule by visiting hogwired.com. Falling into the "don't-miss" category is the Hogs' Feb. 23 visit to Rupp Arena, where Pelphrey will try to coach Arkansas to victory against his alma mater in a building in which his retired jersey hangs. We already can't wait to read Wally's column about this.

* Terry Wood of the Northwest Arkansas Times has penned a nice overview of this year's squad.

* Bob McClellan of Rivals.com says Patrick Beverley is the nation's best sophomore. (Thanks to CharlieHog for providing the link.)

* Gary Parrish of cbssportsline.com ranks the Hogs No. 19th in the nation. Topping his list: our neighbors to the east, the Memphis Tigers. The only other SEC teams in his Top 26 ranking: Tennessee at No. 6 and Alabama at No. 16. In a related development, Kentucky fans already are demanding that Billy Gillespie be fired.

* Speaking of Kentucky fans, visit our friends at A Sea of Blue to read about how Pelphrey already has beaten Gillespie (the Hog Blogger also has a good report on this) and to see where the Hogs fall in the preseason Blogpoll.

* Finally, the following doesn't pertain to this year's squad, but Razorback fans are in dire need of a mood uplifter. Click here and let the good memories roll.

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