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Arkansas’ Road Woes Are No More Under Eric Musselman

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Texas Tech at Arkansas Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas’ Road Woes Are No More Under Eric Musselman

It’s no secret what Eric Musselman has built in just 2 seasons at Arkansas. 20 wins in year 1 with roster crafted with Musselman-patented transfers and Mike Anderson recruits. Barring an injury to Isaiah Joe, that team would have definitely made the NCAA Tournament field.

And of course, the amazing season that led to a trip to the Elite 8 in the year 2. Even in the loss that ended the year, you still walked away impressed. Arkansas played the eventual National Champions closer than anyone else in the NCAA Tournament. While your heart broke because an incredible season ended, you left impressed and proud of the team.

We can dissect a number of areas where Musselman has been different than previous Head Hogs that led to the program’s improvement, but one of the biggest ones has been the success away from Bud Walton Arena. It’s been a night and day difference compared to the other coaches of the post-Nolan era. Truthfully, Musselman has -arguably- been the best Arkansas has had on the road since 1950. Let’s dive into those numbers:

Eric Musselman reached 9 road wins faster than any Arkansas Head Coach since 1950

Arkansas Head Coaches since 1950:

Eric Musselman 9th road win in 21st road game.
Mike Anderson 9th road win in 38th road game.
John Pelphrey Never won 9 road games. 7-30 total road record.
Stan Heath 9th road win in 47th road game.
Nolan Richardson 9th road win in 31st road game.
Eddie Sutton 9th road win in 23rd road game.
Lanny Van Eman 9th road win in 39th road game.
Duddy Waller Never won a 9th road game. 7-37 total road record.
Glen Rose(Stint #2) 9th road win in 26th road game.
Presley Askew 9th road win in 26th road game.

Here’s the combined records of the opponents each Coach defeated:

Mike Anderson 154-147 (.512)
Stan Heath 141-136 (.509)
Glen Rose(Stint #2) 101-102 (.498)
Nolan Richardson 113-117 (.491)
Eric Musselman 121-129 (.484)
Presley Askew 93-122 (.433)
Lanny Van Eman 89-139 (.390)
Eddie Sutton 82-155 (.345)

Musselman may not top that list, but you would rather win the games than have the best opponent record. And he has won the games!

SEC Teams in Road or Neutral games in the last 2 seasons:

Alabama 20-16 (.556)
Florida 17-15 (.531)
Arkansas 15-14 (.517)
Auburn 14-14 (.500)
Kentucky 13-14 (.481)
LSU 14-16 (.467)
Mississippi St. 15-18 (.454)
Tennessee 11-14 (.440)
Missouri 11-18 (.379)
South Carolina 9-17 (.346)
Texas A&M 7-14 (.333)
Ole Miss 9-20 (.310)
Georgia 5-18 (.278)
Vanderbilt 4-20 (.167)

Musselman has found a way to win away from the Bud. We all know what kind of special that Bud Walton Arena is. Couple that with ability to win on the road and you have yourself a top college basketball program. That is where Arkansas is right now. An incredible season, Elite 8 run, and now a preseason Top 15 team. Things are good in Fayetteville and they aren’t slowing down any time soon.

As always, thanks for reading!
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