Ask Mike: Uncoachable Hoop Hogs, More Portal Talk & Which SEC Teams Make the ’24 CFB Playoffs?

By Mike Irwin
on 2024-01-22 18:51 PM

Q: Our first question is from Boiling Mad Hog who asks: How am I supposed to deal with another month of this awful basketball team? They give no effort and they apparently can’t explain why. This is torture.

A. Baseball practice starts later this week. Weather permitting you could always go over and watch them workout. The thing is, I’m getting nervous. This basketball team was supposed to be top 12 or so in the preseason. They’re probably not going to even make the NIT. Baseball is top two. Hopefully they live up to that billing but until they play a couple of games I think some fans are gonna be nervous. February 16th can’t get here fast enough.

As for basketball, if it makes you that mad don’t watch.

Q. Lanny wants to know: Why isn’t Musselman getting through to these guys? In the past the players are starting to come around by now due to his coaching. I think these players are getting worse.

A. Based on what I’m hearing this group of players is not adjusting to or accepting of Musselman’s coaching style. He’s an in-your-face coach. He doesn’t like to waste time explaining stuff over an over and he goes off a lot on his players. Old school coaching. Apparently there are at least some of these new guys who don’t accept that coaching style. This may be why, after Saturday’s game, Muss mentioned “helping” these players to get better. That’s not a word I hear him use. Perhaps, for this bunch only, he’s gonna change his approach. More low key. More encouraging. It will be interesting to see if he does that.

Q. Eddy Lynn says: Stop blaming the new guys on the team. Devo and Brazile are supposed to be leaders. Instead they are setting a bad example for the transfers.

A. Just a guess here but to me if you’re around players with bad habits long enough it starts to rub off on you. I think that’s why they both have regressed. I’m not sure anybody could lead this bunch. It just looks like to me they they do not respond to coaching or leadership.

Q. Texarkanabob says: I’m no expert on the X’s and O’s of basketball, but it seemed like almost every possession Saturday was one pass then a shot. Or no pass at all and a shot. What’s up with that? Coach Norman Dale must be rolling over in his grave.

A. Wow. What an Idea. Muss showing his guys the movie “Hoosiers” before practice. Given ’em a taste of Norman Dale. Make ’em understand that old school coaching works.

Q: MB Hog says: Lot of discussion on Hogville about Devo’s flagrant 2 kicking foul. I saw it more as bad timing and an unfortunate, unintentional “connection.” It certainly didn’t seem worthy of an ejection from the game. What do you think?

A. Almost everybody I’ve talked to says it should have been a flagrant one, not a flagrant two. Before each season refs have different things they are told to watch for and emphasize. Flagrant fouls are a thing this season. They’re calling more of them and not necessarily using logical judgement on flagrant two’s.

Q. To football where Armon Abbe says: Pittman keeps adding mid major and D-2 players out of the portal. The Aggies and Ole Miss are ranked 1-2 by loading up on transfers from schools like Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia and LSU. That won’t cut it.

A. Different services offer different rankings. I’ve seen Arkansas as low as 23rd and as high as 11th. Ole Miss is around second or third in all of them. A lot of that has to do with the number or transfers they’ve brought in and the number of four stars. Twenty three total and nine four stars compared to nineteen and five for Arkansas.

As we’ve see with Arkansas’ basketball portal rankings from last year the star system is not always an indicator of how players will perform at their new school.

It will be next fall, in real games, before we see how this portal class stacks up.

Q. mousetown says: The SEC East and West goes away next season with the addition of Texas and OU. Who makes the SEC championship game? I say Georgia and Ole Miss.

A. I’ll go with Georgia and LSU. Some say Ole Miss will be there. There is so much hype surrounding that team to me there’s no way they can live up it. Too much rat poison.

Q. sgliles says: I’m excited about the new CFB playoff format this year. Twelve teams. It’s about time. I see six SEC teams getting in but who makes it?

A. I’m more conservative. I’ll go with four. Those four? Georgia, Alabama, LSU & Ole Miss.

Q. Razorboo says: With the word floating around that Quincy McAdoo will be taking a medical hardship the question arises, who were the one or two Razorback athletes (any sport) that showed great promise but their careers were cut short while at on the Hill?

A. The best one I remember was Rawleigh Williams III. He was a very good running back under Bielema. He fractured a vertebra in his neck against Auburn. Recovered and came back the next spring only to hurt his neck again in a scrimmage. He was forced to give up football after that.

Q. TL Slaten wants to know: What was your reaction to Dre Greenlaw’s great game against the Packers? The former Purple Dog will go down as one of the best NFL players ever from the state of Arkansas.

A. If ever there is a feel good story for Fayetteville High and the Razorbacks Greenlaw is it. That kid grew up in shelters and at times homeless in Fayetteville until a Fayetteville High assistant coach, Brian Early, took him in and and later adopted him. He was a defensive back in high school on a state championship team and signed with the U of A.

Greenlaw played for Bret Bielema and one season for Chad Morris. He was moved to linebacker in college and was an All SEC freshmen. His time as a defensive back and his speed helped him with intercepting passes. He was a fifth round pick by the ‘Niners and did he ever take advantage of the opportunity. This is the kind of player you want to coach. I agree, he’s one of the best football players ever from the state of Arkansas.

Q. Hawgredneck says: I was following a discussion on the Internet last week about teams openly buying players before they even enter the portal. Some guy indicated that we should stop crying about it and get with the program. Everybody is doing it. Why do so many fans think this is okay?

A. Because they have no issue with buying championships. They just want to win. I suspect that most of them don’t contribute any money to their favorite team. They expect well heeled boosters to do it. Buy me a championship so I can be happy. These people typically call for college football to operate like pro football. Well in pro football out cannot buy players initially. They have a draft. You don’t get to pick the team you play for. Also you can’t jump from one team to another unless you team management approves it but they can trade you.

Q. WVHogfan says: Several of the women’s teams have had a fantastic season this year. The Gymbacks are off to their best start ever. Why do the women’s teams not get the respect or the publicity that the men’s teams get?

A. Actually I think they do get a lot of publicity and attendance is going up at most women’s sports at the U of A.

Q. Marty Byrde’s proxy says: Playing the Aggies last reminded me of old G. Rollie White Coliseum. It seemed (on TV) like an unusual gym. What were a couple of the worst gyms in the old SWC? Stories?

A. I called it G. Rollie Whiz. The worst thing about it was that A&M allowed Reveille the collie mascot dog inside the coliseum during games and he barked constantly. It was such a low rent facility that Rick Schaeffer, who was Arkansas SID back then, said that Eddie Sutton once told him that the Aggies should be allowed to cheat so they could get a better basketball arena.

Autry court at Rice doubled as a music, drama and concerts facility. It had a stage and curtain at one end of the court. It was very small and very odd. But the worst was Heart O’ Texas Coliseum at Baylor. It doubled as an indoor rodeo arena. It was extremely dark in there and you could look past the north end of the court and see horse and cattle stalls.

(Last updated: 2024-01-22 18:51 PM)