SEC BASKETBALL PREVIEW: The Arkansas Razorbacks

This is the next in our continuing preview of the 2002 SEC Men's basketball season. Today, hoops expert VeeMan gives us a preview of the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Returning Players

 

                  MIN PPG %FG  %3P %FT  REB  AST

-------------------------------------------------

Dionisio Gomez    504 7.6 52.6 ---  60.0 139 35

Carl Baker Sr     407 3.8 39.3 19.0 61.3  66 17

Alonzo Lane Sr    407 3.7 43.2 ---  61.2  59 11

Larry Satchell Sr 341 2.8 45.0 ---  44.2  74 16

Charles Tatum Sr  264 3.6 30.8 26.4 86.7  10 16

Blake Eddins Sr   162 0.9 24.3 21.4 ---   28 11

Michael Jones So  220 4.8 48.3 33.3 76.9  41 8

Matt Jones So     120 3.8 47.7 ---  76.9  25 10 



 

Players Lost

                  MIN PPG  %FG   %3P %FT  REB AST

-----------------------------------------------

Jannero Pargo     790 16.6 46.0 43.2 78.1 69 96

Brandon Dean      751 12.2 48.4 35.6 71.7 83 59

J.J. Sullinger    616  9.4 42.0 20.3 72.0 88 56

T.J. Cleveland    541  4.1 30.1 21.0 67.6 57 66

Teddy Gipson      517  7.6 46.6 35.1 61.1 50 39

Berry Jordan      180  2.0 43.6 ---  28.6 30  5 

New Players and Rank in PrepStars

Jonathan Modica 6'4" Freshman (#127)

Rashard Sullivan 6'9" Freshman (#172)

Wenbos Mukubu 6'5" Freshman (#259)

Kendrick Davis 6'3" Freshman (#117)

Eric Ferguson 6'2" Freshman (#254) 

Strengths

(1) Considerable experience and a reasonable amount of size in the front court (Gomez, 6'8"; Baker, 6'8"; Lane, 6'7" and 250 lbs; Satchell, 6'9"; Michael Jones, 6'9"; and freshman Sullivan).

(2) A fresh, competent young head coach in Stan Heath, coming off of great success at Kent State. 

Weaknesses

(1) Hardly any experience in the backcourt. Tatum, 5'10" senior, may miss the entire 2002-03 season because of a knee injury. Eddins, 6'7" wing man, couldn't hit his shots last year.

(2) None of the experienced frontcourt players are established scorers, although Michael Jones (more of a wing forward) has the best chance to develop. Matt Jones, muscular 6'6" high post player, is on a football scholarship.

(3) Outside shooting was fair (33.3% last year) but most of it, especially Pargo, is gone. 

Keys

(1) How quickly will the experienced players team get accustomed to a more disciplined style of play after having played Nolan Richardson's helter-skelter "40 minutes of hell?"

(2) The newcomers, ranked #46 by PrepStars (after two of the best Andre Iguodala and Brandon Tobias) asked for releases), have simply got to produce. Modica and Davis must step up as scorers, both having averaged over 30 ppg in high school. Ferguson, who originally signed with Villanova but failed to qualify and spent a year at Milford Academy, has got to handle the point guard position. 

Near Certainties

Heath will find his first season at Arkansas a hard struggle. There are a great many puzzle pieces in the picture and some of them are likely to not fit well. 

Prospects for 2002-2003

Arkansas will struggle and is likely to finish at the bottom of the SEC West. In the unlikely event that the team makes a post-season tournament, Heath will have done a wonderful job.


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