First off, a big congratulations to all of the student-athletes who completed their degrees in 2015, including Lee Mayberry, Ronnie Brewer, Joe Adams, Rohan Gaines, and many, many more.
Mike Anderson and his coaching staff, and Razorback fans everywhere, have been patiently awaiting the 2016 basketball recruiting class since they watched Malik Monk toy with defenders for the first time (and possibly before that). Monk is a once-in-a-generation type of player in the state of Arkansas, and would be the prize of 2016 for the Hogs. Not to downplay Arkansas' need to get him to Fayetteville, but if it were to go south, there remain a number of talented players in the class who could still make the class great, including former Parkview standout Daryl Macon. Per Rivals, Arkansas has extended 12 offers to players for 2016 – 7 bigs and 5 guards. 2016 will likely be a defining year for Arkansas basketball.
But first, remember there's a season still to be played in 2015, and 3-star big man Ebuka Izundu could be a part of it. He is set to make his announcement – between Arkansas, Miami (FL) and Cincinnati – Wednesday after his final visit, to Arkansas, last weekend. Izundu reclassified from the 2016 class to 2015, and would be a badly needed pickup for Anderson. Izundu averaged 21 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks per game as a senior at Victory Christian in North Carolina. That's pretty good. And to repeat what Doc said last week, if Arkansas could nab Kevaughn Allen's commitment AND Izundu this late in the game, that'd be something.
Much has been made of the "momentum" Arkansas football carried from the final four games of last season into spring practice, and how it should continue into this fall. The Razorbacks open 2015 with a pair of desserts before hosting Texas Tech, who Arkansas should probably pound again. Then the gauntlet begins and the momentum will be tested. Following what may be a repeat of last year in Lubbock, the Hogs go through near literal hell for a month (minus the open date), and will take shots at Texas A&M in Arlington, sexy SEC East title pick Tennessee in Neyland, Nick Saban and Gus Malzahn. And really, the worst part of this stretch is only one of these games is in Fayetteville. We'll truly know Arkansas' identity when this stretch ends.
Former Razorback wide receiver Carlton Salters, who left the program in 2010 to pursue a baseball career, has found a niche with the Gary SouthShore RailCats. The RailCats are apparently a part of American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, a league not affiliated with Major League Baseball, but Salters is holding on to his dream and hoping someone takes a chance on him.
Mike Anderson is always looking for a way to make the game faster, and in 2015-16, if the NCAA changes the 35-second shot clock to 30 seconds, he'll get his wish. But some don't believe it will make the college game better, and think the shorter shot clock will only create more ugly-as-sin possessions.
Tweet of the Week
Jonathan Williams (@Jwillpart2) May 10, 2015