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!

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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.

Selection Sunday Trough

Congrats to the Hoop Hogs on making the SEC Tournament Final. They’ll play Georgia, who’ll be tired after playing 2 games Sunday because of a Tornado that hit the Georgia Dome Friday night. The Hogs reached the final by upsetting #4 Tennessee 92-91 on a Steven Hill turnaround jumper. Before that they beat #18 Vandy for the second time in two weeks 81-75. The game will be at 2:30pm CDT on ESPN2.

In other news…The Baseball team is hosting Georgia for their Conference Opener. Arkansas won the series opener 5-1, and lost Saturday 15-11. Nkosinza Balumbu gave Arkansas the NCAA triple jump title Saturday. Finally, the Razorback golf team maintained its lead from day one to win the team title Saturday at the Border Olympics in Laredo, Texas. They finished 5 shots ahead of #24 Lamar. Have a good selection Sunday and GO HOGS!!

FTB:Rumors abound

Robert Sheilds weekly column has this tidbit…

Now, if I was an AD and was being shown the door but was still going to be hanging around, I would want to keep in place as many people as possible that were friendly to me. Also, all these multi-year contracts for assistants make it all the more difficult to show Nutt the door this year because it is my understanding all these contracts are guaranteed. It will cost the University a tidy sum of money to pay off all these assistants and the head coach. I do not believe in the past position coaches received multi year guaranteed contracts.

Hawgsports.com

Friday Trough

Here’s the Whole Hog Sports story on the Track and Field Team losing 2 National Titles and the NCAA’s statement. The Messages aren’t flying for the Hogs (story I mentioned in the FYI post). The red-white basketball game is tonight. Patrick Beverley has been Named to the Naismith Trophy Pre-Season Watch List. Clay Henry has a Basketball season preview. the AP has a FIU preview up. The Expats have a basketball hodge-podge up and a book review as well. AS360 mentions that the South Carolina game will be televised. Matt Jones is having a weird year in Jacksonville.