April 23, 2014

Arkansas 80, Ole Miss 73

Marshawn Powell / Murphy Holloway (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

ESPN.com: Arkansas downs Ole Miss for 2nd comeback win

Mike Washington had 22 points and 11 rebounds and Marshawn Powell added 19 and two key blocks in the final 1 1/2 minutes to rally Arkansas to its second straight come-from-behind win, upsetting No. 18 Mississippi 80-73 Sunday night.

Also:

Marshawn Powell / Terrance Henry (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) Mike Washington / DeAundre Cranston (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) Roteni Clarke / Chris Warren (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) Mike Washington / Murphy Holloway (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Mike Washington / Murphy Holloway (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) Marshawn Powell / Murphy Holloway (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) Julysses Nobles / Chris Warren (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) Delvon Johnson / Murphy Holloway (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) Marshawn Powell / Terrance Henry (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

  • OwassoHog

    Great win… and on the road too!

    We successfully shoot 85% on free throws… anybody think we win on the road with just a few points less made free throws?

  • http://www.arkansasexpats.com Stephen Expat

    Woo Pig Sooie!!

  • opionatedblowhard

    Looks like an excellent performance by the big men. Anxious to look through the play by play and box score.

  • soupdhog

    For those of you that have said we haven’t improved this year…suck it! Already more SEC wins then last year and the first win on the road in forever. Looks like this team is coming together.

    • http://www.fayettevilleflyer.com sg

      Great, great win. Especially on the road. Made free-throws and pounded the ball inside. It helped that MikeWash wasn’t in foul trouble. I didn’t listen to the game, but it sounded like with Fortson on the bench, we ran an actual offense. Can anyone speak to that?

    • opinionatedblowhard

      I won’t go so far as to suck it (don’t know what “it” is).

      However, I will certainly say over the last three games they have shown aggression and competetiveness that was not there before. I will be glad to eat my words if Pelphrey continues to get more out of these players. The guys that did not have a great game last time, had one tonight and vice versa. That is certainly the sign of an improving team if they can continue to pick each other up.

      Quit talking about having more SEC wins than last year unless you are going to mention how many we had last year. :)

      • Soupdhog

        You know, I’m not sure what ‘it’ is either. I prefer to think it’s something that is rated PG. Something my son says all the time…just trying to be hip like the youngsters. Big ‘fail’ apparently :)

  • Carolina Hog

    Soupdhog,

    I like it. You have to hand it to Pelphery. He could have lost his team after the Kentucky disaster. Too bad for the suspensions that left us with so many losses. NIT invitation would be remarkable improvement. This was a huge win. Two in a row and a road win. Now, can we handle a little prosperity. We should win the next few games. How many short, choppy sentences can one man post. Going to bed. Go Hogs!

  • Walking on Sunshine

    Good effort. Thought we battled on the boards better in the second half. With Fortson out, we got a little more movement on offense and more touches for Powell and Mike on the inside. Rot’s threes were the dagger too.

    The road losing streak of 15 is no more!!!!

  • Hawgfan100

    Amazing how the team has managed to get this win, especially considering they have no coaching staff to speak of and their recently elevated ‘player/coach’ spent most of his time on the bench.

    • Swineherd

      Player-coaches work from the bench too.

      • Hawgfan100

        But not nearly as effectively.

      • Swineherd

        Fortson’s team, 80; The Other Guys, 73.

      • Hawgfan100

        Pel’s team 80; Other guys 73

  • JayTownHog

    Wish we could have watched this one. Apparently we pounded the post, made free throws, and knocked down the big threes. All three of those combinations is what Hawgball is all about, oh and not forgetting the out hustling of the opponent. Post interview; Pel told Clark that it wasn’t our 16th game but our 6th so we are 3 & 3! I’ll take that conference record with the west still open. If we can get ranked above the Mississippi teams that would be great. Finish decent in the sec and a NIT bid that’s a accomplishment for our young, depthless team. The whole team gets involved, got to give it up to them for sticking in there. Go Hogs

  • Swineherd

    This keyboard coaching is starting to pay dividends: the unselfish play of Fortson; great decision-making by Welsh; Washington’s drive and discipline and determination. And Pel: What a coach! The Hogs are the hottest team in their division right now, just as I predicted a few weeks ago.

    Re Fortson: There was a point in the game, early first half, when he was the leading rebounder in the game for the Hogs. Rebounding is something he does for the team but gets no recognition for. He’s also the assist leader on the team.

    My theory is that the more you praise a player (behind his back) the better he plays.

  • Swineherd

    I was amused when during the postgame interview Pelphrey comes out as cool as a snowman on quaaludes, and Mike Nail chuckles at him, “You don’t have to be so laid-back about it.” Pelphrey ignores Nail’s comment and maunders on as if he hadn’t heard a thing.

    I had noticed that same attitude by Pel following the MSU win: he was all nonchalance, as tho he had just won an exhibition game against the Sisters of the Poor instead of a rare conference victory: Hey, it’s all in a day’s work, ya know, just another routine win for us, never a doubt in my mind. To hear him speak you’d never know his team had just risen like the Phoenix from the ashes of adversity.

    If this team sometimes shows a lack of passion, I think I know the source it.

    • GolfHog

      I’ve said for a couple of weeks that Pel has snapped under the pressure. He used all of his coaching skills to create a huge mess. I think he has decided to ignore it and see if it improves. It has.

      • Hawgfan100

        The pharmacy called, golfhog. Your new, stronger scrip is in.

  • Hawgfan100

    Please. This falls squarely under the heading of: ‘Act like you’ve been there before.’ If you want this team to get back to having the attitude of expecting to go on the road and beat top 20 teams, then they better start developing it now.

    • Soupdhog

      Agreed. Pelphrey has been there before as a player, and is setting the ‘act like you’ve been there before’ example. He knows these are big wins, but doesn’t act like they won the NCAA title after each win.

      I think this team is building confidence and swagger. It will be interesting to see how they handle getting the road monkey off their back. They could really bust this thing wide open. The schedule lightens up over the next couple weeks…could be a fun stretch to watch.

      This season is already a success to me; we’ve already exceeded our 2 SEC wins last year (opinionated) – but I had low standards after the past couple years. Anything else is gravy and helps our recruiting.

      Go Hogs!!!

      • Hawgfan100

        Another angle to consider: Pel may also be trying to mitigate any tendency towards ‘big-head’ from these last couple of games.

      • Hungry Hog

        “This season is already a success to me”, “Anything else is gravy”

        We still have 10 conference games to play.. 3-13 is a success?? NO – that is a horrible season. I had a friend that used to say “If she’s lower than your standards, lower your standards.” Please tell me we are not putting on our beer goggles this early and going home with this?

        I am extremely surprised with the last two games. Yes, I am glad that we won, and hopefully now we can EXPECT to win. I EXPECT to win the next three games – at UGA, then two home games. Let’s see if this team can go into a game expecting to win and do it.

      • Soupdhog

        Hungry, it’s just my opinion. I chose a couple years ago to recognize that it will take a number of years to dig our program out of the hole it was in due to the Nolan debacle, lack of support of Heath, the Altman fiasco and the fact that our program was untouchable to many top coaches. Also, with all the player departures during the off season I was further concerned. My expectations have been reset to get excited about incremental progress year over year vs dramatic program turnaround. So yes, 3 SEC wins including one on the road is year over year progress compared to last year.

        In the big picture, I EXPECT the Hogs to be at the top of the SEC in 3-5 years. If that doesn’t happen it’s time to find someone that can get us there. I realize that many ‘fans’ aren’t that patient.

        Again, just my opinion. I think it’s more realistic than to get down on the team and coaching staff when they lose games during times of rebuilding.

      • GolfHog

        Pel may simply be afraid of expectations. You don’t see Petrino running from expectations. These guys can handle it. Or, at least they need to see if they can. They have a team and a bench. It’s time to play some basketball. I love to see what a coach could do with this bunch.

      • Soupdhog

        Golf, where has Pelphrey shown he is running from expectations? If anything, I think he’s proving the opposite – he took a team that got humiliated by UK in front of the nation to two straight SEC wins against the top teams in the West including one on the road. Seems to me he’s manned up along with the rest of the Hogs and playing some ball.

        The difference between Petrino and Pelphrey is that Petino has the top QB in the nation, a loaded backfield and receiver corps along with an experienced defense coming back; albeit they’d be much better without Willy…but I digress…

        Given the facts, Petrino can talk about BCS games. Pelphrey can only talk about one game at a time and can’t look ahead nor should he. He can’t talk about SEC championships..yet. We have no depth to speak of and our best players are freshman and sophmores (I’m gonna leave Mike W out of this). Pelphrey should be talking like Petrino in 2 years. Assuming our ‘fans’ don’t run him out of a job.

  • GolfHog

    Winning on the road is not a “special memory”. It is life in the SEC if you expect to compete for a title and a berth.

    Clearly, the verdict is still out on Pelphry. Anyone in his shoes would be reeling from the difficult circumstances that have plagued this team. I don’t see him or hear him coaching or talking coach speak. Much of leadership from a coaching perspective is verbal, vocal. Maybe he is just very relaxed with nothing left to lose and this new loose attitude has relaxed his players so that they can play their best. I hope so.

    I think this bunch has shown that they have the talent. The last two games have shown what this team can do. With our front line we should be battling inside every night. Clark will only get his shots inside out. Fortson’s main job needs to be feeding the paint. I believe this bench can do more. Second place in the West should be the lowest this team should expect. With a break or two they should compete for the West.

    If they get half way close to any of that they should pull Pel into another year or two. Then everyone will be happy.

    Do you remember why we fired Stan? He made it to the dance two years in a row. It is safe to say, if given six scholarships two years ago, there would be a deeper bench today. Does Pel have a different task ahead of him? It’s top 25 or bust for this program. We should compete in the West EVERY year. Pel may be that guy. It may be like Nolan all over again. But if it is, it needs to start now. That’s all. No one will be happier than I to see it come together. But, this is no time to drop expectations. This is the time see the prize and reach for it.

    If they stumble home again I don’t know what makes you think next year will be any better.

    • Soupdhog

      I agree with everything you say. I think the difference is that you are accurately portraying what the mindset of the team should be, which is to reach for the stars….the mindset of a fan is a different story.

      My mindset is simply to be happy with incremental progress, and not jump off the deep end when we lose a few. Not saying you should agree with that approach; but it might make one a little less aggravated going forward.

  • Swine-O-Mite

    Beating Ole Miss (at Ole Miss) is nothing less than a SWEET VICTORY. Does anyone else remember during Nolan’s last few years when Ole Miss seemed to beat our Hogs on a regular basis? The crazy part is that they had a mediocre team full of Arkansas kids that the Hogs didn’t recruit.

    I hate the delta region of our great nation, and I hate Ole Miss (the epidomy of the delta). I just can’t think of anything that would suck more than being an Ole Miss fan. Well maybe living in Phillips, Lee, or Desha county in Arkansas and being an Ole Miss fan would suck worse.

  • Swineherd

    Maybe Pel has some kind of high-functioning autism that prevents him from recognizing appropriate behavior.

    Or maybe he doesn’t know how to take a compliment.

    Maybe he doesn’t know how to win graciously. He hasn’t had much experience with winning lately.

    Nolan didn’t know how to win graciously. In his postgame interview following the national championship win in ’94 Nolan couldn’t just accept the fruits of his and his team’s efforts, receive the adulation, show gratitude, he had to politicize it in his usual way, barely disguising the chip on his shoulder for all the slights he had received and for how much harder it was for him being a black coach. Nolan never did get over that, his resentment, and it cost him his career and probably cost him a spot in the hall of fame.

    Knowing how to win graciously is just as important as knowing how to lose graciously, moreso if you plan on winning more than losing.

    • opionatedblowhard

      Bring back the races. I would take an ungracious Nolan and his players anyday. :) Seriously, I think it is the unfortunate truth and mistake that Nolan was talking to Frank in that interview. And there was probably a lot of truth to it. Nolan coached his heart out while losing his daughter. That man had a lot to deal with and he never broke.

      • Swineherd

        You’re right, O’Blowhard: Nolan was a tough sonofagun. That was sad and tragic about his daughter. I have immense respect for Richardson, and I wish him well. But he wasn’t very good at handling his critics, the needlers. About once a year he would let them get under his skin, and he would say something non-PC. The politics in a high-profile job like that are surely brutal at times, down-times, losing streaks.

        Perhaps Pelphrey has the temperament to handle the pressure. I hope so.

        I’m not saying Nolan wasn’t justified in feeling the way he did. At the time of his ascendancy he was one of only a handful of black coaches in Div. I. I can only imagine the taunts he must have endured in his career.

        Still I think it should be part of the job description to handle the PR aspects of the position, including media interviews, on behalf of the university and the state, without letting one’s personal issues interfere with the message.

        So far I think Pelphrey has handled himself well in public during a difficult losing streak in which he has faced withering criticism for his team’s performance and the state of the program. I think he has the strength to manage a big-time college program; whether he can WIN remains open to doubt.

  • GolfHog

    Nolan’s only real problem was that he decided that he was the one who won the National Title. He thought he could do it with anyone. He didn’t have to recruit, he could just teach his system to the 10 guys who showed up and be a success. He found out differently and went after Iguodala but, it was too late.

    Even Stan’s bunch of under achievers would focus long enough to put together a little run to get back on the bubble when they got behind. That’s were this program got off track. You have to recruit the right kind of kids. The older ones teach the younger ones the system and work ethic. Pel didn’t have the experience to right the ship. Altman would have had he been given any support.

    Like it or not, a year late and half a season behind, it is finally time for the Pelphry era to begin. They may not be as ready as they will ever be but its time to see if they can grow up a little. Kentucky may have made the point better than anyone could have. It is time to see some battling razorbacks.

    This is still Arkansas. Pel doesn’t get three more years to get to .500. If he is just the latest drama queen to wear the red and white, well, we’ve seen that act before. For a million bucks a year there is pressure and consequences. Sure one more year should be enough if he can build that foundation. That may be the one thing he is actually qualified to do if the kids will let him lead. But, even next year starts now.

    Nows the time. A couple of more wins will bring the crowd back to Bud Walton. The fans are just waiting for something to cheer for.

  • Swineherd

    Golf, your take on Nolan and the end of his era sounds spot-on to me. And very well stated, I must add. Perhaps Nolan just got burned out and needed to relieve the pressure. I don’t know what his mental/emotional state was, but he had been under tremendous pressure since he set foot in Fayetteville.

    I think the SEC was shocked and awed by Nolan and his teams when AR first hit the league, but teams like AL, MS, FL, GA saw they could play like that too. They invested in basketball and started to catch up fast, surprising Nolan with their rapid development.

    I think Stan Heath deserved another year. After all, Pel took Heath’s team to the big dance and won a game, Pel’s best record at Arkansas.

    [Aside: I saw that Heath recently had a couple of impressive wins and has the SF program coming along. I like him and wish him well.]

    I hope you’re right that the Hogs may be on the comeback trail. I’m skeptical but hopeful. After their conference season collapse last year I’ll have to see consistently good play before I become a believer.

    • GolfHog

      Me too. Next year starts now. A couple of wins won’t get it. Time to put up or shut up.

      Stan will grow into a coach. So will Pel. Arkansas is no place for on the job training.

      Altman was a good hire. I would love to know how White screwed that up. Mike would be fine now. He has proven himself.