Hello, Razorpod fans. After a lengthy absence to digest the Cotton Bowl debacle and formulate an opinion on the basketball Hogs, the Razorpod Crew is back on the blog. Unfortunately, the news isn't good. John Pelphrey's first team at Arkansas looks suspiciously like Stan Heath's last version - inconsistent. Pelphrey is a solid coach who may very well lead the Hogs back to SEC front-runner status and NCAA Tournament glory, but his first team is filled with seven seniors who are very much set in their ways. As much prodded and yelling as Pelphrey does, those seniors are seniors, and their play is as inconsistent and spotty as it was when they were freshmen, sophomores, and juniors.
Arkansas played well in wins over Baylor and Auburn, looked like world-beaters for a half against Alabama before gutting out an OT win (something that is different this year), and then played an all-too familiar game in getting beat by SEC bottom-feeder South Carolina at Bud Walton Arena. A home loss to the Gamecocks coupled with the loss in LR to Appalachian State is not an NCAA Tournament resume builder. Nate Allen tackles one of the glaring problems for both Coach Heath and Coach Pelphrey - lack of a true point guard to lead the attack.
The Hogs have plenty of time to get back on track in SEC play, and wins at Georgia and LSU over the next two games would take some of the bad taste from Wednesday night away. However, unless their is drastic improvement, it's hard to envision this team finishing ahead of Ole Miss and Mississippi State in the West. A third place finish in the SEC West will not get this band of Razorbacks an invitation to March Madness.
The blog will delve into SEC teams' chances of reaching the NCAA Tournament in a couple of weeks when teams start to separate themselves in the standings. As for now, it's good to back talking Razorback sports.