Ronnie Brewer 6-6 Freshman #62 ranked
Olu Famutimi 6-5 Freshman #11 ranked
Vincent Hunter 6-9 Freshman #126 ranked
Julius Lamptey 7-0 Freshman #63 ranked
(1) Height. The 7-0, 270 lbs Julius Lamptey may be the biggest player in the SEC this year and is expected to start at the low post. It is hoped that Dionisio Gomez, 6-8, will be granted another year of eligibility. Rashard Sullivan and Michael Jones are both 6-9, as is slender freshman Vincent Hunter. Sullivan will help Lamptey at the low post and Jones, despite his height, has seen most of his action outside.
(2) Outstanding freshmen. Famutimi, who grew up in Canada but went to school in Flint, Mich., is called by Coach Stan Heath "a scoring machine..very gifted athletically and..very dangerous in the open floor." After failing to be eligible to play as a freshman at Georgia, Lamptey spent a year at New Hampton Prep School. Brewer, like Famutimi, will play at a wing position, and is the son of a former Arkansas basketball star. Hunter is likely to back up Gomez at the high post position.
(3) Increased experience. Point guard Eric Ferguson ran the team as a freshman and should be much improved. 6-4 Jonathan Modica and 6-3 Kendrick Davis started as freshmen. Modica plays on the wing, as does Davis who will also be Ferguson's backup. 6-5 Wenbos Mukubu and 6-3 Jamar Blackmon will find it hard to get playing time.
(1) The low post position? Lamptey looks impressive on paper, but (as Heath says) "there are some things he needs to improve on." His replacement, Sullivan, would struggle against other SEC big men.
(2) The high post position? For Arkansas to be strong at this position, Gomez must return. If he does not, Hunter and Jones will have to handle it.
(3) Lack of junior-senior leadership? Again, this depends to a large extent on the presence of Gomez. The only other senior is the seldom-used Blackmon, and Jones is the only junior.
Overall Prospects for 2003-04
Coach Heath did well last year to guide an Arkansas team of limited talent to four conference wins, including their road victory at Vanderbilt. The Razorbacks should improve substantially on their 9-19 overall record of a year ago and appear to have the talent to move up in the Western Division a couple of notches, to fourth place and above Alabama and Mississippi.