I’ll have to disagree with a lot of you on your opinion of transfers in Razorback head coach, Eric Musselman’s system. Look, a lot of the players that have joined Musselman are ones that played well and enjoyed success at their respective mid-major schools.
JD Notae (15.4 points per game at Jacksonville), Vance Jackson (12 points per game at New Mexico) and Jalen Tate (nearly averaged 14 points per game at Northern Kentucky) were all players who were either the leading scorers on their teams, best defensive player or a leader.
They did not enter the transfer portal because they were terrible players but entered the portal because they wanted a step up in competition. They believed their talents could help them contribute above the mid-major levels.
Justin Smith left Indiana because he wanted a different challenge. He has turned out to be a very valuable player to the Hogs this season. He was the glue guy early on this season but his injury came at a tough time as the Razorbacks would face a tough stretch in the SEC after he injured his ankle against Auburn in the conference opener. Once he is completely healthy Smith should once again be a difference maker on both ends for the Razorbacks.
Musselman has seen what has worked and it is a proven way. I also don’t see it as a broken method either. There are hiccups along the way and Hog fans should know how far this program has come since the late 2000’s.
Right now, they’re struggling against the top-half of the SEC. This Razorback team is not shooting the ball particularly well. As my friend Kyle Sutherland of The Hawg Talk (https://mobile.twitter.com/thehawgtalk) said:
That’s just a part of how their SEC schedule fell. However, if they struggle again this Thursday versus Auburn I may begin press my panic button.
Honestly, Eric Musselman proved at Nevada that his system could work. As it did last year with Jimmy Whitt coming from SMU.
My thoughts immediately after the loss to Alabama:
What a pathetic performance by the Arkansas basketball team. Alabama just runs the Hogs out of the gym by a score of 90-59.— Jacob Davis (@JacobScottDavis) January 16, 2021
With David Patrick leading most of the second half huddles during timeouts concerns me. Is there a rip or divide between the team and Musselman?
Eric Musselman and Mason Jones had a few verbal spats last season during games in 2019-20. They both said that they were such competitors and hated losing. However, Musselman coached hard and Jones responded by playing hard.— Jacob Davis (@JacobScottDavis) January 16, 2021
Is this team just not responding to Muss’ coaching?
Ok, I’ve changed my course from what I said immediately after the game. As I still worry about the state of this team and it’s recent shortcomings, Arkansas is still an uber-talented team. Shots aren’t falling and that hurts confidence and this team has struggled terribly to finish at the rim, too. If they can rise from this then they will be the caliber team fans, players and coaches know they can be.
Who is at fault? Is it the coaching of Musselman and staff? Are the players not buying into what their staff is trying to do? It could be a culmination of things. Who knows what it is like in that locker room right now? Only this team knows but I know all of Razorback Nation hope the Hogs can get it turned around on Wednesday night.