This morning, I had an enjoyable interview with Grant Hall and Vernon Tarver, co-hosts of Press Row on KREB 1190 FM in Northwest Arkansas.
One of our topics was how the coaching turnover at Arkansas since Nolan Richardson’s firing in 2002 had contributed to the Hogs being the worst team on the road in the last decade despite being good enough to be the fourth-best home team. [I wrote about this subject in detail after talking to Pat Bradley for this New York Times article].
From 2002 through 2011, Arkansas had four full-time head coaches, as well as an interim head coach when Mike Anderson took over for Richardson at the end of 2002. The Hogs have had seven winning seasons since then.
Grant Hall wondered if other Division I programs had more coaching turnover than the Hogs, which led me to research the issue.
Thanks to sports-reference.com, I found out that there at least 10 programs with coaching carousel that have recently spun faster than Arkansas':
Pepperdine – Five coaches 2005-2011 [One of these coaches, Eric Bridgeland, stepped into the the role midway through the 2007-08 season on an interim basis; no winning seasons since 2004-05].
Utah – Five coaches 2004-11 [One of these coaches, Kerry Rupp, stepped into the the role during the 2003-04 season on an interim basis; three winning seasons since 2003-04].
Southeast Missouri State – Four full-time coaches 2006-2009 [Former Arkansas assistant Scott Edgar and Little Rock native Dickey Nutt have been part of this dizzying carousel; one winning season since 2005-06]
Wyoming – Four coaches 2007-11 [One head coach, Fred Langley, served on an interim basis in 2010-11]
Texas Tech – Four coaches 2008-12 [Pat Knight took over for his father, Bobby, during the 2007-08 season; one winning season since 2007-08]
Georgia State – Four coaches 2002-2011 [Michael Perry took over for Lefty Driesell mid-season 2002-03; two winning seasons since 2002-2003]
Texas A&M – Four coaches 2004-2011, including current Arkansas assistant Melvin Watkins [had seven winning seasons since 2003-04]
Eastern Washington – Four coaches 2004-2011 [no winning seasons since 2003-04]
Princeton – Four coaches 2003-2011 [all four winning seasons since 2003-04 have come in the last four years, under two coaches]
Alcorn State – Four coaches 2003-2011 [Just a whole lot of losing seasons here, folks. That happens in the SWAC]
Of these programs, only three – Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Utah – belong to major conferences like Arkansas.
It would be interesting to compare how much player turnover there was at these programs and see if that correlates with home/road winning percentages.
The following interview occurred during last month’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a time in which many Americans get away from the daily grind. Not so for former Razorback Ronnie Brewer, whose Chicago Bulls played in Memphis.
MEMPHIS – Everything is rushed for this interview.
The reporters jam into the visitors’ locker room and mass around one Chicago Bull, then another, seeking soundbites. The players look bone tired, but dutifully dispense post-game Pez into the recorders in front of them.
This is NBA life circa 2012, on the heels of a lockout that has forced 66 games to be played with four months. That’s a game every 1.8 days, alongside a slog of hotel check-ins, arena commutes and flights in and out of cities from Portland to Miami.
And sometimes the cards fall just wrong, producing hellacious stretches like the one the Bulls are in now. Seven games in nine days, folks. Even hey-day Jordan might have had trouble getting up
Some updated notes [on 11/30] from the last day of the Rumble on the Ridge basketball tournament, a 3-day affair in Forrest City, Ark:
Pel sighting! He’s no longer stalking the sidelines as Arkansas’ head basketball coach, but that doesn’t mean John Pelphrey can’t keep visiting gyms around the state as a Florida assistant. As long as there is elite talent around to scout in high schools across the South, you had better believe Big Red will be there. Billy Donovan wouldn’t expect any less.
Below is a photo of Pel sitting in the same vicinity as the Sylvan Hills basketball team. Something tells me he wasn’t going to so much as sneak a peak in their direction, though.
Goodwin was a headliner in the tournament, although his team lost 60-89 to the Southwind Jaguars in the final. He was little hampered by the injury toward the end of the below clip, but came back just a few minutes later.
Archie has already signed with Kentucky, and was rocking a UK hat postgame. He said the injury was a “little painful, but nothing too bad to where I couldn’t play.” Asked if he had any message for UK fans, he said: “Tell them I love them … I’m gonna come up there and cause havoc.”
Goodwin’s signed, but Southwind’s junior Johnathan Williams III is still very much on the radar of many big programs. Here’s a clip of what he can do:
Johnathan Williams III (6-7, 208, ESPN’s 17th best player in ℅ 2013)
Below are video highlights from the Razorback basketball’s Primetime at the Palace preseason intrasquad scrimmage. I have more video from the event (Hot Shot contest, dunk contest and scrimmage highlights) on my YouTube channel.
1. Freshman Devonta Abron is pretty agile, and isn’t shy about showing it off. It’ll be interesting to see if he tries to do a different dance during each pregame introduction, assuming he’s a starter. He’ll have to play pretty well for the coaches to let him do this during the regular season!
Below is the expanded video from an earlier post.