FTB:The John Pelphrey Report Card

This week from the bench…

I typically hand out report cards every year for the University of Arkansas basketball and football coaches. My report cards for the previous football coach were so bad over a period of five years that they got him fired. Since football and basketball coaches have been fired of late, there has not really been a reason to issue them grades knowing they were about to be expelled anyway, but since the Program has kept a basketball coach for over a year, it’s time to let the grades roll for the new student, John Pelphrey. The grades are an improvement over the previous guy who sat in his chair. Please have this signed by Papa Broyles and returned to me.

Hawgsports.com

Monday Trough

The Diamond Hogs dodged raindrops at Vanderbilt but couldn’t escape with a win. Friday’s Game was Canceled, Saturday’s Game was finished Sunday morning Ark-5 Vandy-6 (in 12), and in the 2nd game of the double header Sunday Ark-2 Vandy-6. Here’s the Razorbloggers Round Up of the Vandy Series. Here’s a look at this falls’ incoming Hoop Hogs. And the Men’s Tennins team fell to South Carolina 4-3.

In Ladyback News…
The Gym’backs finished 6th at the SEC Championships, and Arkansas’ Co-Coaches Mark and Rene Cook tied with Auburn’s Jeff Thompson and Georgia’s Suzanne Yoculan for Co-Coach of the Year honors. The 13th ranked Ladyback Tennis Squad clinched a share of the Western Division Title with a win over South Carolina 5-2. Stacy Lewis won her 11th collegiate golf tournament Sunday as the Ladyback Golfers finished 4th overall at the Bryan National. Finally the Lady’Back Softball Squad got Swept this weekend by Georgia Fri. UA-1 UGA-3, Sat. UA-1 UGA-13, Sun. UA-1 UGA-3.

The Lady’Back/Misc Trough

The Nationally Ranked (from #12 to #8 depending on the poll) Lady’Back linksters head to the Bryan National in Browns Summit, N. C., the final event of the 2008 season. The No. 11 Gym’Backs heads to Duluth, Ga., site of Saturday’s 2008 SEC Gymnastics Championships. The Lady’Back Tennis Squad jumped nine spots to #13 nationally and junior Ela Kaluder was honored as the Southeastern Conference’s Player of the Week. The Lady’Back Softball team won the annual Border War Tournament Wednesday. Lady’Back Pole Vaulter Sarah Landau was named SEC Field Athlete of the Week Tuesday while the Lady’Back Track & Field team was ranked No. 9 in the outdoor preseason rankings Wednesday.

Finally, the Expats mention some of their summer plans (I can’t wait). And the Morning News now has a blog and a podcast.

The Hoops and Diamond Trough

Hoops…

Rick Schaeffer looks back at the season. John Pelphrey has his End of the Season press conference. During which he mentions that some of the departing seniors have the chance to play overseas or in the NBA D-League. Finally everybody loves John.

Baseball…

I forgot to mention in an earlier trough that the win last Saturday over LSU was Dave Van Horns 800th as a head coach. The achievement was recognized when he was named to the College Baseball Foundation’s Week 4 National All-Star Lineup. The Diamond Hogs beat Centenary 9-0 on Tuesday. They then fell 5-1 on Wednesday. That ended a 25 game winning streak against Centenary dating back to 1965.

The Football Trough

I’ve missed a lot the last few days and I’ll try to catch up in multiple little posts…

Bobby Petrino said Thursday during a speech in Bentonville that Spring Practice will be open tho the public. CFN discusses the 2008 SEC Schedule team by team and week by week. Which bring me to the annual announcement that the Battle for the Golden Boot has been moved to Friday again. Fairchild’s Arrest helped the Hogs gain points in EDSBS’s Fulmer Cup. Hogs Illustrated checks in with one of my all time favorite hogs Tony Bua. Arkansas held it’s annual Pro Day for it’s Seniors/Departing Juniors Tuesday. Here’s audio from the event. McFadden and Jones didn’t have to work out, but to help their teammates get more exposure they did. The next two are via the Expats…Marcus Monk improved his stock. And Finally, I’m a huge Chicago Bears fan (I lived there for a decade). The idea that the only Head Coach at the pro day, and the only coach to have lunch with DMac and Felix, was the Bears’ Lovie Smith makes my day. Go Bears! and Go Hogs!

Happy Birthday to Us!

A year ago I started the Hawg Blawg. I didn’t really think that I’d stick it out this long but I’ve really enjoyed writing about the Hawgs. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our loyal readers for their patronage. Just for fun I’ll list our highest ranked posts and my a couple of my favorites. Grab a piece of cake and Check it out below the fold…
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Arkansas LB Freddie Fairchild Arrested

Hog LB Freddie Fairchild was arrested today on suspicion of third-degree battery and false imprisonment. The incident was with his girlfriend. Head Coach Bobby Petrino has suspended him indefinitely until it has been determined if he has violated team rules.

Fairchild “attacked (the woman) causing injuries to her head, face, extremities and pelvis,” according to a preliminary probable cause statement from a Fayetteville police detective. The complaint said she reported that he would not allow her to leave for several hours.

Fairchild has been in a “domestic relationship” with the women intermittently for over a year, the statement said.

AOL Fanhouse
AP via AOL

Easter Trough

I hope the Easter Bunny brought all the Hog fans what they wanted in their Easter Baskets! Now on to the links…

Stefan Welsh is doubtful for tonights game. Hat tip to the Expats for noting that Pelphrey did something that Sutton and Richardson weren’t able to do…win their first NCAA Tournament game as Arkansas Head Coach. They also bring a great moment in Hogs/Heels history.

In non hoops news…the Diamond Hogs have split the first two in their series with LSU this weekend…Friday LSU-8 UA-7 Saturday UA-14 LSU-13. The rubber game is this afternoon at 1pm on Cox Sports (CST). I saw this a while back but never linked to it so…QB Ryan Mallet’s request to have the NCAA transfer rule of sitting out a year be dropped will not be granted sources close to the program are saying. Finally the No. 33 Hog tennis squad dropped a 7-0 decision to No. 10 Tennessee on Friday.

Have a great easter and GO HOGS!

Arkansas-86 Indiana-72

The streak is over! The Hogs win in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1999! Arkansas contained Indiana’s Eric Gordon. Sonny Weems scores 31. Darrien Townes had 17 and Patrick Beverley had 12. Steven Hill has a couple of blocks. Stefan Welsh twisted his ankle early in the First Half. Arkansas led most of the way. Here’s ESPN’s Gamecast and Recap. I’ll have more tomorrow. Big Blue here we come!

Saturday Update: Here’s the Razorbloggers Roundup of Relevant Links.

Game Day Trough

Before We tackle the basketball stuff lets round up the other Hog loose ends….Arkansas Baseball split a two game set against Van Horn’s former team, Nebraska…Tuesday-UN 6-UA 1 Wednesday- UN 4-UA 9. The Hogs were ranked #15 by CFN’s Hoops & Helmets Rankings (a combined ranking of a schools Basketball and Football program).

Now onto tonights game…Sonny Weems sprained his knee during practice on Tuesday…but he’ll play tonight. March 11, 1999 was the last time the Hogs won a NCAA tournament game. Arkansas has only faced Indiana one other time, a 75-70 loss in 1949. The Expats have a Q&A with Former Hog and current Buzz Radio Host Pat Bradley. The Razorbloggers look at tonight’s game. Pelphrey touched on “The Shot“, you know that shot taken by Christian Laettner in 1992 that knocked off Pelphrey and Kentucky in the Elite 8 during his press conference earlier this week. Bill Clinton might be at tonight’s game. Around the SEC Kentucky and Georgia lost their First Round NCAA tournament games. Ole Miss won their First Round NIT game. And Finally (via the Expats) Wally Hall put up his guide to Little Rock in his column on Thursday. Tre Baker or Arkansas Sports 360 pretty much rips it apart. Then Baker posted his own Alternate Guide to Little Rock for each of the visiting teams and it’s hilarious

Starkville fans, prepare to be amazed. Spread out across the metropolis are eating places called “McDonald’s”. You’ll be fascinated by the technology used to fulfill your gastrological indulgences: Watch as they make your hamburger from INSIDE the building. Listen as the French fry machine plays “Oye Como Va”. You won’t find sweet tea here, but you will be able to observe technology dispense your drink using an electronic pump device. Rest rooms are indoors as well, complete with running water.

Hope your bracket doesn’t get busted and GO HOGS!

The Hoosier Report Q&A Part 2

Earlier this week yours truly was asked if I was interested in a cross-blog interview with The Hoosier Report. The Hoosier Report has done a bang up job on breaking down Friday’s matchup and I encourage everyone to head over there. You might be asking right about now…”Where’s Part 1?”. Well, he’ll be posting the first four questions which you can find HERE! Part 1 contains questions about Kelvin Sampson, Nolan Richardson, Sanctions, IU’s Head Coaching Search and other interesting stuff to get you ready for tomorrow’s game. Below are the second set of questions. The Hoosier Report will be in Italics…

HR: How does the future look for Arkansas. Is Pelphrey recruiting well, and of this year’s moderately successful team, how much production do you lose and how much will be back?

HB:We have six seniors, who all play significant minutes, that will be gone after the season. As far as recruiting goes I’m excited to see point guard Courtney Fortson come in. He was Rivals No. 59 overall and we haven’t had consistent guard play since Nolan was roaming the sidelines. Also, Pelphrey likes a more up tempo style and with the six seniors leaving, and the recruits he’s bringing in, he’ll be able to return to that style. The state really misses Nolan’s “40 minutes of hell” style and hiring Pelphrey was a move back in that direction. Rivals ranks our ’08 class 14th so I think the future looks promising.

HB: I’ve read that for Indiana it all starts with Eric Gordon and Big Ten Player of the Year DJ White. How does Arkansas stop them? Also, who could surprise the Hogs?

HR: Well, as I said above, Gordon isn’t beating anyone but the Hoosiers right now. I’m cutting him some slack because he is playing injured, but he’s been brutal for the last seven games. The Hoosiers have struggled this year against teams with strong interior defenders, and it seems that Arkansas may fit that bill. DJ White’s worst game was against a lanky Connecticut team. The guy who could surprise Arkansas is Jordan Crawford. Crawford is a freshman whose family is well-known to Arkansas fans: Kentucky’s Joe Crawford is his brother. Crawford loves to shoot, and has had some bad games, but he often explodes. Crawford scored 20 against Kentucky in a game that Gordon missed because of injury; 16 in a tough road win against Minnesota; 18 in a double overtime slugfest at Illinois; and a game-saving 21 at Northwestern the day after Sampson’s departure. Also, any production out of the four spot would be a surprise for IU and Arkansas fans alike. Deandre Thomas, Lance Stemler, and Mike White have been so unpredictable that Sampson and Dakich have resorted to giving lots of minutes to Kyle Taber, a walk-on with limited skills but who isn’t prone to turnovers, bad shots, or stupid fouls.

HR: For my final question, it’s prediction time: how will the Indiana-Arkansas game play out, and who is winning it all in your bracket?

HB:I think Indiana will still be in their funk and Arkansas’ size inside will prove too much for the Hoosiers. But the Hogs can’t make anything easy on themselves…Arkansas 71- Indiana 69. Now I’ll preface this with the fact that I don’t predetermine my Final Four when I pick my bracket. I tend to look at each game from start to finish and see how the cards fall. I have Tennessee and UCLA in the Final and I picked the Vols in a relatively close game…Tenn 79-UCLA 68

HB: And for my final question I’d like to hear your prediction for Friday’s Game, do either of us have a chance against UNC, and who’ll win it all?

HR: Sadly, I think your prediction is about right. IU probably has the bigger upside, but has shown nothing in recent weeks. Arkansas 66, Indiana 61. As for UNC, I don’t know much about Arkansas, but IU, with scoring options inside and out is capable of beating UNC, although the Tarheels certainly should win. As for the champ, they have burned me many, many times, so I should know better, but I have Kansas winning an all Big 12 final over Texas.

HR: Nice talking to you.

HB: Thanks it’s been fun!

Just as a reminder…Here is part one and thanks again to the Hoosier Report!

Pre-NCAA Trough

Sonny Weems was named To AP All-SEC Team; Charles Thomas and Darrien Townes Earn SEC All-Tournament nods. The Hogs will face Indiana around 8:30pm on Friday in Raleigh, NC. Here’s the highlights from John Pelphrey’s Press Conference on the game. Billy Gillispie is High on the Hogs chances as are the rest of the SEC Coaches. Billy Packer and Jim Nantz will be doing the Arkansas/Indiana game Friday…Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel will be in Little Rock for CBS. Speaking of Little Rock, if your in the area, and don’t have the cash to pony up for some NCAA tickets, they will be having two practice sessions at Alltel Arena this Thursday that will be open to the public. In other Basketball news Former LSU Head Coach John Brady is in talks with Arkansas St. about their HC opening.

In Non basketball news Sparty the Michigan St. Spartan won the NCAA Football 09 vote and will appear on the Wii version of the game. As I’ve mentioned before Darren McFadden will appear on the cover of the XBOX 360 version. They have a nice wallpaper of DMac on their site under the downloads link. Former Hog and UAPB Golden Lion Dedrick Poole has been assigned to the Arkansas Twisters of the AF2. The #6 lady’back golfers were fourth at the end of first round play, Monday, at the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Classic. And the Arkansas Men’s Tennis Squad won their 10th of the season beating Hawaii 4-3.

FTB:Bizarre SEC Tournament Produces Surprise Champion

This Week From The Bench….

I never thought I would see an SEC tournament where a team had to play twice on the same day to catch up because of canceled games. Why not just put the Hogs back on the floor against Georgia Saturday night and make it a triple header? I don’t think the outcome would have been any different. Georgia never really looked exhausted in any game. I heard they got IVs in the locker room. Whatever was in those things, the Hogs needed some as well.

Hawgsports.com

Well That Was Disappointing

Well, Arkansas is a 9th Seed in the NCAA Tournament facing 8 Seed Indiana. The Selection Committee Loved us sooo much that if we win, which is a big if, we’ll almost without a doubt face the #1 overall seed North Carolina…in Raleigh, NC…what fun. Arkansas Lost To Georgia in the SEC Tournament Final 66-57. Georgia led the whole way and Arkansas got close but never even tied the game. They were relatively close in most statistical categories but were killed from behind the arch. Georgia was 7-15 and the Hogs were 2-17 from Three Point Range. That was the difference in the game. Finally, I volunteered for Deadspin‘s Tournament Preview on Arkansas. I’ll be linking to in the next few days.

I wanted to also welcome the following teams to Little Rock…Memphis v. Texas-Arlington, Mississippi St. v. Oregon, Miami v. St. Mary’s, Texas v. Austin Peay.