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Arkansas Razorbacks Basketball Schedule Raises Some Questions

Maui is great, but what exactly is the goal of a basketball non-conference schedule with zero true road games and no Syracuse or Michigan-caliber home games?

Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

This is an excerpt of a column I wrote for Sporting Life Arkansas. Read it in it's entirety here, including the scheduling comments Mike Anderson made back last spring.

The basketball schedule was released last week via the Arkansas basketball program’s Twitter account, with individual game announcements coming about five minutes apart in individual tweets. It was like unwrapping all of your Christmas presents but instead of video games and train sets, each present was a different color of the same pair of socks.

My first impression was that this was just another somewhat disappointing non-conference schedule that wasn’t really worth talking about. But then later in the week, ESPN named it one of the ten worst non-conference schedules in the country, even including Mike Anderson by name in the introduction to the piece as someone whose schedule is inexcusable and later calls it "one of the more embarrassing schedules on this list." It might be time to take a closer look.

The schedule raises the question: what is the overall strategy of the Razorback basketball program? If the two general program goals are getting back to the NCAA Tournament and raising money to build a practice facility,  how do they plan on achieving those benchmarks? In order to get there, the program needs an infusion of respect and energy, and this schedule accomplishes neither.

Yes, there should be plenty of victories in Bud Walton through November and December, but this isn’t football where simply winning enough games gets you into the postseason. In basketball, it’s all based on who you beat and where you beat them. Beating a bunch of bad teams in Bud Walton Arena isn’t going to get the Hogs on the bubble, and Bud Walton being halfway full (at best) for those games isn’t helping generate the revenue for the facility.

Again, read it in its entirety here.

Further, Jim Harris caught up with Jeff Long at the Little Rock Touchdown Club on Monday and talked to him about the schedule. Check that out here.