Optimism abounds as the Hogs and new head coach Mike Anderson prepare to open the 2011-12 basketball season tonight against South Carolina Upstate at Bud Walton Arena. The game will be radio broadcast through the Razorback Sports Network and online via RazorVision beginning at 7:00 p.m.
With the hire of Anderson and a highly-touted incoming freshman class, the Razorbacks have been getting some respect from observers outside the program for the first time in years. Arkansas was picked to finish 6th in the SEC at last month’s SEC Media Day. However, no Razorbacks were selected by the media to the All-SEC Preseason teams.
As for us here at RBN, just like we did last year before basketball season, here are our predictions for both the Razorbacks and the rest of the SEC.
|Hogs’ Most Valuable Player||Marshawn Powell||B.J. Young||Marshawn Powell||Marshawn Powell|
|Hogs’ Newcomer of the Year||Rashad Madden||B.J. Young||Devonta Abron||Hunter Mickelson|
|Hogs’ Breakout Player of the Year||Mardracus Wade||Rashad Madden||Mardracus Wade||Mardracus Wade|
|Advance to Tournament||NCAA||NIT||NIT||NIT|
|5.||Arkansas||Mississippi State||Arkansas||Mississippi State|
|6.||Mississippi State||Arkansas||Ole Miss||Ole Miss|
|7.||Ole Miss||Georgia||Mississippi State||Arkansas|
|11.||South Carolina||South Carolina||LSU||Tennessee|
|12.||Auburn||Auburn||South Carolina||South Carolina|
|Regular Season Champion||Kentucky||Kentucky||Kentucky||Kentucky|
|Player of The Year||John Jenkins (VAN)||Terrence Jones (KY)||Doron Lamb (KY)||Terrence Jones (KY)|
|Coach of the Year||Kevin Stallings||Kevin Stallings||John Calipari||John Calipari|
|Newcomer of the Year||Anthony Davis (KY)||Anthony Davis (KY)||Anthony Davis (KY)||Anthony Davis (KY)|
And finally, just like Vegas, here are a few ‘proposition bets‘ — interesting side bets that we’re making just because they’re fun to speculate about.
|Hogs Leading Rebounder?||Marshawn Powell||Devonta Abron||Devonta Abron||Marshawn Powell|
|Number of Double-Doubles for Marshawn Powell? (4 last season)||6||7||12||6|
|Average Paid Attendance (11,884 last season; 29th in NCAA)||14,000||13,900||14,100||14,000|
|Number of SEC Teams making NCAA Tournament (5 last season)||6||5||4||4|
So that’s what we think. What are your predictions for this season? Will the Hogs be better than expected or will they struggle in Mike Anderson’s first year?