Big Weekend Trough

I’ve got some catching up to do since I was on a business trip to NWA this week. Although that trip did allow me to catch the first of the two game set against N. Colorado at Baum Tuesday. I have some mediocre pictures from my point and shoot I’ll be posting at my flickr account that I’ll link to in a post this weekend. On to the news…

Don’t forget that EAS Razorfest and the Spring Red-White game are tomorrow. The NFL Draft is also this weekend. Here is a look at all the hogs most likely to be drafted…I’ll get back to McFadden in a moment.

Hog LB Freddie Fairchild pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of third degree battery and second degree false imprisonment stemming from an arrest earlier this month. Here’s the final practice wrapups from the Razorbloggers…4/17, 4/18, 4/19, 4/22, 4/24. Here’s a good article on Defensive Coordinator Willy Robinson and outtakes from the article touching on his major off-season knee surgery.

Since I last did a trough the Diamond Hogs have been on somewhat of a hot streak, winning 5 out of their last 6. First they bounced back over the loss to ORU with a 9-1 win over Alcorn St.. They then won their second consecutive SEC series against then #30 Tennessee…UA 5-UT 4, UA 5- UT 4, UT 7-UA 6. They then took both games of a two game set midweek against Northern Colorado…UA 9- UNCo 2, and UA 7-UNCo 1. I Just want to take a sec and say that the daily spring practice and the post game wrap ups that the Razorbloggers do are fantastic. Those posts are a somewhat thankless job and I just wanted to point out the great work they do. Thanks again.

While I was gone I also missed the Patrick Beverley “I’m Leaving” mania. Beverley apparently updated the status on his facebook.com page to “I’m Leaving”. During last weekend’s Real Deal on the Hill Beverley also told reporters that he had “No Comment” on the reports. Rumors started swirling that he was headed to USF, reuniting with former Head Hog Stan Heath. Finally, during an interview with a Tampa Bay paper, Beverley’s Mom stated he was staying at Arkansas (She apparently talked him out of it).

Speaking of Mothers…Darren McFadden’s Mom had some choice comments regarding her son playing in either New York, for the Jets, or Oakland. In the article in the LA Times an Arkansas Coach is quoted as saying D-Mac will be bringing the whole family to where ever he’s drafted. One thing he won’t be bringing to NYC is a Dress for the Draft. He’s also been in talks with the Patriots and talks about his most recent ESPN the Magazine photo shoot. The expats also mention his honest and open policy about his family and past.

And Finally…

Sophomores Michelle Stout and Casey Jo Magee became the first Lady Razorbacks gymnasts to earn All-America honors Thursday, leading 11th-ranked Arkansas to a fifth-place finish in Session 1 of the NCAA Championships

Friday Trough

Welcome to the weekend. Spring Football Practice opened up on Thursday. But, weather forced them indoors yesterday and today. Here’s some rules from the athletic dept. when you finally do get to attend practice. The Razorbloggers preview the spring practices. Petrino will be holding a High School Coaches Clinic. He also spoke to the media on Monday and here’s some audio clips from the Slophouse. Speaking of the Slophouse they point out an article that ran in the New York Times chronicling the road DMac had to take to get to the big time.

In Hoops News… Nate Rakestraw was given his release from the team earlier this week. No word on where he’s headed. The Expats remind everyone that it was 14 years ago today that Nolan, Corliss, Scotty, and the boys brought Fayetteville their first NCAA Tournament title. Time flies indeed. They also show how all of this years final four teams have links to Arkansas’ NCAA past. Sonny Weems won the college basketball version of the slam dunk contest and made Sportcenter’s Top Plays. Wally Hall talks about a domino effect that could send John Pelphrey to Kentucky.

The Diamond Hogs finally got a win with a 7-6 thriller at Missouri State Tuesday Night. But rain returned to the Razorbacks forecast when a game with Mississippi Valley State forced them to postpone Wednesday’s game to May 12th. Now the hogs are looking to JUCO transfer Justin Wells to make his first D-1 start Saturday during the Auburn series that starts tonight.

Ladyback diver Madison Palmer was named to the 2008 Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Community Service Team. The Hog Tennis Squad will take it’s final roadtrip of the season this weekend when they travel to Ole Miss. Chris Wyrick was names Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs. Kevin Trainor, who was the AD for External Affairs, will continue to serve in his current role with the revised title of Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations and Communications.

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.

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.

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!!

SEC Tourney Trough

The SEC Tournament Kicks off Tomorrow The Hogs have a first Round bye and will face the winner of the Vandy/Auburn on Friday at 2:15 cdt (approx). They need to win to get off the bubble…the bubble that ESPN’s Braketologist says is populated by bad teams. But before we look ahead lets look back at the past week or so…The Hoops squad beat Auburn on Senior Day 77-64. The Diamond Hogs Swept Siena 14-5, 17-2, and 10-4. They then traveled to #1 Arizona State and gave them all they can handle in a 6-5 Loss. On The News Front Sonny Weems was named to the SEC Coaches All-SEC first team and the USBWA all-district team (district VII). Weems and teammate Steven Hill were named to the SEC all-defensive team. Corliss “Big Nasty” Williamson was named as Arkansas’ “SEC Legend” for this weekends SEC tournament. AD Jeff Long Spoke to the Little Rock Tip-Off Club about scheduling in-state schools (no likely), Bobby Petrino’s hiring, His First SEC title (Track), and scheduling games in Little Rock. The Hogs announced that they had signed the Texas A&M contract to play at the new Cowboys stadium for a decade starting 2009. As most of you know Nolan Richardson is out of the running for ASU Head Coach.

Finally I’d like to highlight a series that has just wrapped up on the Razorback Expats on the Hogs’ trip to the 1978 Final Four. The team was coached by Eddie Sutton (who’s 72nd birthday is today) and was Arkansas’ first trip to the final four in the modern era. Here is Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Cover Boy Trough

The Diamond Hogs are on a roll…UA 8, Ohio State 6…Wednesday’s Doubleheader..UA 13, South Dakota State 1 (Game 1); UA 20, South Dakota State 4 (Game 2). The hoops squad is frustrating in new fabulous ways…Ole Miss-81 UA-72. Speaking of the hoops squad, Sonny Weems was named to the NABC All-District Team (District 9). Here’s a profile of Corliss Williamson (Via Expats). Nolan Richardson is talking to Arkansas St. about their Head Coaching position. Some former hogs (including Clint Stoerner) might have their springs ruined…the AAFL is going to postpone their inaugural season. the Ladyback Hoopsters are going into the SEC Tournament on an 8 game losing streak. Will Etta (Willie) Long Oates, a former Razorback cheerleader and Arkansas State Legislator, Died Tuesday at the age of 90. And Finally some news on Darren McFadden. He landed himself in Fox Sports Bottom 10. But, More Importantly, He’s been named the cover boy of NCAA Football 2009 for the XBox 360. Enjoy the Videogame Goodness Below…

NCAA 09 XBox

The Bubble Trough

After an UGLY loss to Alabama (56-59) The Hoop Hogs found themselves firmly on the bubble. After the fantastic win over #18 Vandy (78-73), at home, the Hogs took a step off of that bubble. I’m not convinced that they’re safe (a loss at Ole Miss would hurt badly) but I think they’re chances are improving. ESPN seems to agree. Here’s an Interview with Former Hog Pat Bradley looking back at the season so far (pre-Vandy).

The Diamond Hogs are 5-1 after a Friday win over Louisiana Tech (9-8) and their first loss of the season at Texas A&M (15-7).

The Men and Women Track Hogs are both in first place going into Sunday at the SEC Track Championships.

Quick Hits: The Tennis Hogs lose SEC opener to Auburn. The #11 Gym’Backs fall at #1 Georgia. Ladyback hoopster Sarah Pfeifer profiled.

Catchup Trough

The Hoop Hogs Went 1-1 since the last Trought…UA-87 LSU-61, UA-58 UK-63. The Diamond Hogs Swept Witchia St. over the weekend…Fri 9-4, Sat 5-4, Sun 7-3. Darren McFadden is fast apparently…watch the video. Hillis was the fastest FB at the combine with an unofficial time of 4.58 in the 40. Marcus Monk also tried to prove himself. Hog Football Tickets are going up to $45 this season. Arkansas has asked Texas to allow the football team to reschedule the Longhorns from 2009 to 2014 but nothing has been finalized. Tom Collen is building a winner in the Lady Hogs Hoops squad. Finally, some people were upset with CBS cutting away from the UA/UK game Saturday.

Update: I wanted to mention again to Vote For Big Red. Also, EA is allowing people vote to add an arena to NCAA March Madness 08. EA visited Bud Walton and has a post about it on the MM08 blog Vote For Bud Walton!

The “Vote Big Red” Trough

The Diamond Hogs start up play this Friday with a series against Wichita St. and the local media are starting to do their season forecasts/previews…Razorbloggers, The Morning News, and the Slophouse. Junior third baseman Logan Forsythe was named to USA Baseball’s pre-season Golden Spikes Award Watch List on Tuesday. Here’s the Diamond Hog Promotion Schedule. The Hoop Hogs Lose to Division Leader Mississippi St. 80-74…But their RPI is still high. Assistant Coach Rob Evans talked with the LR Tip-Off Club. AD Jeff Long is in talks with Nolan Richardson to Honor the ’94 National Championship Team next year on the 15th Anniversary. ESPN’s Mel Kiper is against the Dallas Cowboys trading up to get Darren McFadden. Mitch Mustain is trying to work his way off of USC’s Scout Team.

And Finally, As far as Video Games go I own only a Nintendo Wii. No XBox360 or PS3. The game that I’ve been waiting for has finally been announced for Wii…NCAA FOOTBALL 2009! To commemorate the event EA is allowing the public to vote (once per day) on a college mascot to place on the cover of NCAA Football for Wii. Voting will be thru March 14th. Vote for Big Red!