A lot has happened to the Arkansas basketball program in the last week. The emotional roller coaster Arkansas fans have been on with this basketball team recently would be enough for some fans of other teams to get off and never want to ride again.
But as Arkansas fans have done in the past, they will continue to support the team and the program. That's where Hog fans deserve a lot of credit. They are going to support the teams at the University of Arkansas no matter what happens.
The same goes for former players, and one who has recently become vocal is Stefan Welsh. Welsh, as you probably know, is a former Razorback who was a member of the 2008-09 team under John Pelphrey that finished non-conference play with a 12-1 record that included wins over #4 Oklahoma and #7 Texas, but then went 2-14 in conference play and finished with a 14-16 record after falling to Florida in the SEC Tournament.
Welsh has a reason why this happened:
When we didn't run play like that .. When we just hooped . We went 12-1 non-cnf .. Started run play like Peyton & finished 14-16 #FactsOnly— Stefan Welsh (@stef_welsh) January 21, 2014
During the 12-1 stretch Arkansas enjoyed to begin the season when Arkansas just hooped, the Razorback offense put up terrific numbers, amassing 90 points four times and 96 against Blake Griffin and Oklahoma. The stretch also saw Courtney Fortson go for the second triple double in school history.
I completely get what Welsh is saying, and he has somewhat of a point here. Arkansas did enjoy quite a bit of success early on when they just hooped and played entertaining basketball. But my question would be what has Arkansas done in the final minutes in the last few ballgames to think just hoopin' will help?
We saw lots of 1-on-1 ball late against Florida, Kentucky and Georgia and, for the most part, it didn't really work in Arkansas' favor. Arkansas simply can't play that style this season. The difference between the 08-09 team and this team is the point guard spot.
Arkansas hasn't had a true point guard since C.Fortson #FactsOnly— Stefan Welsh (@stef_welsh) January 21, 2014
Courtney Fortson was a play-making point guard whether you liked him or not, and his creativity with the ball in his hands late in the shot clock was key, and at times just flat out brilliant (Ed. note: at least sometimes). Arkansas doesn't have that on this team. Ky Madden is the closest we have to Fortson, but they're still very different types of players.
And what Welsh said next really makes a lot of sense, and I believe to be true in some coach's cases:
Sometimes coaches can over coach to there philosophy & not to the talent they have !!!! #FactsOnly— Stefan Welsh (@stef_welsh) January 21, 2014
I believe this tweet to be in regards to Pelphrey and the manner he coached Welsh's squads. I don't think this is the case for Mike Anderson, though. He has the players and the talent to fit his philosophy and system to be able to have success. But the reason why Arkansas isn't enjoying more success if he has the players that fit his system is a question we're all trying to answer.
But nonetheless, Welsh is apparently very high on Anderson, and had this to say:
The year we started 12-1 @ U of A with the team we had ihonestly believe if Mike Anderson we would have gone to the final four . #factsonly— Stefan Welsh (@stef_welsh) January 21, 2014
@ Real Deal On The Hill After my Freshman Season iAak MA to come be our coach . & Ithink he will always remember me by that lolol #FactsOnly— Stefan Welsh (@stef_welsh) January 21, 2014
He then ended his #FactsOnly session with an interesting note from his days in a Razorback uniform:
When we didn't run plays iWent to the sec championship twice .. #FactsOnly— Stefan Welsh (@stef_welsh) January 21, 2014
Welsh is set to be on ESPN Radio 99.5 on Tuesday with host and former Hog Nick Mason to talk about the team and the program. Should be an interesting segment.
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