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Not with a Bang but a Whimper

That's how the basketball Razorbacks began their exhibition season last night. Given the current state of affairs, that's to be expected and, to be fair, judging a team on one exhibition game is about as rash as it gets.

Still, one can't help but be a little dismayed at some of the details of the Hogs' sluggish 77-59 victory over Dillard:

• Only 2,278 fans were in attendance. Granted, it was an exhibition game, and both the World Series and Monday Night Football were on last night, but that figure is in Duddy Waller or Lanny Van Eman territory.

• Stefan Welsh did not play and has been indefinitely suspended by Pelphrey (shocking!), and the coach says the suspension may last the rest of the semester. I'm not the biggest Welsh fan (his out-of-control shots are not kind to my cardiovascular system), but this team needs all of the scoring help it can get.

• Michael Sanchez did not play, and it sounds like he's going to be out a long time as he deals with plantar fasciitis.

The seriousness of those details, of course, pales in comparison to yesterday's announcement that a special prosecutor will review a woman's allegation that she was raped by three members of the basketball team. Add it all up, and it's not a great time to be a Hog hoops fan.

On the bright side, it sounds like both Michael Washington and newcomer Glenn Bryant had good games, and you have to assume that the upcoming debut of highly touted Marshawn Powell, who was out last night with an illness, will boost the team's play.

And on an interesting note, freshman quarterback Brandon Mitchell, who at one point in high school committed to play basketball at LSU, dressed out and was on the bench last night. He did not play, but apparently will be a member of the team at some point this season, meaning he will join Houston Nutt, Robert Brannon, Robert Reed, Joe Dean Davenport and Marcus Monk in the hallowed ranks of those Hogs who have suited up for both the football and basketball squads. Our staff of port-swilling, goateed historians who study Razorback two-sport "stars" has been positively galvanzied by the Mitchell news.

One just wishes there was more for the rest of us to be galvanized by.