Arkansas Happenings, Here, There and Everywhere

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Photo Courtesy: University of Arkansas Athletics

FAYETTEVILLE — Today will be the quietest National Signing Day since I started working recruiting back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth.

Arkansas still will sign some prospects eventually, but with only three spots available they are being selective. They don’t want to fill the spots now and then in the next few weeks or months someone who they consider a possible difference-maker becomes available.

Here’s what Sam Pittman said about recruiting on Dec. 16 as he signed the majority of the Class of 2021.

“Our focus has been on 2022 now, heavy focus, over the last month,” Pittman said. “I think you have to, especially once we got pretty close to our number. We have four left, I want to find the four best players in the world that can come in here and help us. Obviously if that’s a high school player… we’re still going to recruit high school kids. But my mind is telling me that I want four guys that have played the game that can help us immediately.

“That could be a very highly touted guy coming out of high school, as well. I still don’t believe recruiting is over. In other words, I believe there’s still really good players out there. Because a year ago today we’re still sitting there, and I don’t know how many we had signed maybe six, and my mind was belieiving that we were going to go sign the greatest class ever, you know? Once you get out on the road you realize all the kids are gone already. But we’re going to concentrate on those four very, very important scholarships and we’re going to move forward on the 2022 class.”

Since that time Pittman has added former Charlotte offensive tackle Ty’kieast Crawford.

Don’t Look Now, But ……

Just a short time ago the men’s basketball team was being written off with rumors flying the players had quit on Eric Musselman.

Well, now after winning four consecutive SEC games the Hogs are only a half game out of second place in the SEC. Florida and LSU are 6-3 while the Hogs are 6-4 in the SEC. I don’t venture into hoops much simply because Kevin McPherson handles that for us, but I am glad to see the team having success after being written off by so many.

Arkansas has a game against Texas A&M at home on Saturday if the Aggies are able to play. COVID issues caused them to not play Tuesday night against Vanderbilt. If the game is played Arkansas should get to five SEC wins in a row. Texas A&M is 8-7 overall, but only 2-6 in the SEC.

They will get a couple of severe tests next week when they go to Kentucky and Missouri. Missouri is 4-3 in the SEC and 11-3 overall while Kentucky is 4-4 in league play and 5-10 overall.

Still on UConn High

While Mike Neighbors’ job is to get the team to focus on the task at hand which translates to next game the fans are still talking about the stunning win over over UConn on Jan. 28.

While women’s basketball doesn’t get the love from many like football, baseball or men’s basketball, but my guess is that win over UConn is one of the greatest wins in Arkansas’ history, in any sports. Yes they beat Baylor earlier in the year, but the UConn women are like Alabama in football and the old UCLA with John Wooden in men’s basketball (OK, us old clowns can make that comparison while younger people ask huh?).

UConn is the program people want to build to be like. Arkansas only has one game this week and that is Thursday night at Missouri. Arkansas is 3-5 in the SEC and Missouri is 2-5. Arkansas is 13-6 overall while Missouri is 6-6. Arkansas needs this win. The Razorbacks beat them 91-88 on Jan. 3 in Bud Walton Arena.

Some close losses against Texas A&M and Georgia have made it important for Arkansas to steal a couple of games on the road.

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