Lots of good stuff out there about the hiring of Mike Anderson. Let's get right to it:
* To start off with a bit of a bummer, Rotnei Clarke has requested a scholarship release so that he can pursue a transfer. On a non-bummer note, Clarke made the request right after Pelphrey was fired, and Jeff Long denied the request, asking Clarke to see who the Hogs hired before deciding if he wanted to transfer.
I would have to think Clarke would excel in Anderson's system - think of all those smallish three-point threats like Pat Bradley and Lee Mayberry who thrived under Coach Richardson. I'm betting that Anderson will be able to persuade Rotnei to stay. I sure hope so. He'd be a very valuable weapon next year, and after the doldrums of the past three years, I'd like to see him finally be part of a Razorback NCAA Tournament team.
* Speaking of persuading, Dudley Dawson says Anderson and Scotty Thurman are in Lepanto this afternoon visiting with Ky Madden and Aaron Ross, two members of the highly touted recruiting class signed by John Pelphrey. Apparently, Anderson and Thurman will travel to Jonesboro later today to chat with signee Hunter Mickelson. According to this Richard Davenport article on WholeHogSports (note: subscription required to view the link), St. Louis point B.J. Young, the most highly touted member of the recruiting class, is enthused about the Anderson hiring, and power forward Devonta Abron of Dallas says he'll "listen to what [Anderson] has to say."
* Otis Kirk of ArkansasSports360 says that Ross and Madden will remain committed to Arkansas and that Anderson is likely to retain Rob Evans as an assistant, which Kirk says should help Anderson's efforts to keep Abron in the fold because Evans was the primary recruiter of Abron. Regardless of what happens with Abron, we're Evans fans and hope he sticks around.
* At the risk of flooding you with recruiting links, Ron Higgins of the Commercial Appeal in Memphis says that Anderson's return to Fayetteville may mean the Hogs are once again serious recruiting threats in the Bluff City.
* Our friend Chris Bahn of ArkansasSports360 is enthused about the hire:
There is no reason, however, to look at what Anderson has done at places with far less tradition, fan support and resources and think he isn’t capable of earning his money in Fayetteville. Count on an increase in season ticket sales the first year that will more or less pay Anderson’s salary. Imagine what will happen once he actually starts winning.
Welcome home, Mike. And Woo Pig Sooie!