Arkansas 2008 NCAA Tournament Capsule
Arkansas Razorbacks - Southeastern Conference (22-11, 9-7)
Seed: #9 - East Region
Big Wins: 1/5 at Baylor (85-78), 1/30 Mississippi State (78-58), 3/1 Vanderbilt (78-73)
Bad Losses: 12/22 Appalachian State (67-74), 1/16 South Carolina (66-70), 1/19 at Georgia (69-82)
Last NCAA Appearance: 2007, First Round loss to USC
Coach: John Pelphrey (0-1 in 1 NCAA appearance)
Probable Arkansas Starters:
- Gary Ervin, Senior, Guard, 9.6 ppg, 3.7 apg
- Patrick Beverly, Sophomore, Guard, 12.0 ppg, 2.4 apg, 6.8 rpg
- Sonny Weems, Senior, Guard, 14.4 ppg, 2.7 apg, 4.5 rpg
- Charles Thomas, Senior, Forward, 9.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg
- Steven Hill, Senior, Center, 4.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.2 bpg
Key Razorback Roleplayers:
- Stefan Welsh, Sophomore, Guard, 5.4 ppg, 2.2 apg
- Vincent Hunter, Senior, Forward, 2.9 ppg, 1.7 rpg
- Darian Townes, Senior , Forward, 11.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.0 bpg
- Michael Washington, Sophomore, Forward, 4.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg
Why Arkansas Can Surprise:
The size, depth, experience and talent of the Arkansas frontcourt should have made the Razorbacks a very dangerous team the last two seasons. However, consistency has been a major problem. Darian Townes is the most productive scorer of the group. Townes will usually come off the bench, but he still averages nearly 12 points per game despite only seeing the floor for 22 minute per contest. Workhorse Charles Thomas will usually get the starting nod. The 6-8 senior has a decent outside shot, but his field-goal percentage has suffered when he tries to extend his range a little too far.
Seven-footer Steven Hill is a great shot blocker and can score a few points on occasion. His ability to alter shots on the defensive end is a vital attribute for the Razorbacks. The big guys keep coming with sophomore Michael Washington and senior Vincent Hunter. Washington has worked his way into a crowded frontcourt over the last two seasons and has proven to be a solid rebounder.
Why They Can Disappoint:
The big guys keep the team’s field-goal percentage up, but this is not a great shooting team. Sophomore Patrick Beverly has seen his overall shooting numbers decrease after a great freshman season. The good news is Beverly is usually taking smart shots from beyond the arc and will not force as many three’s as he did last year. Wing Sonny Weems is the team’s leading scorer. He can hit the long ball from the wing, but is much more effective getting to the basket. If the outside shot is not falling for Beverly or Weems, the opposition will have a much easier time clogging the lane and stopping the slashers and the big men.
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Who To Watch:
Gary Ervin is a lightning quick point guard. His 9.6 points and 3.7 assists per game might be a little disappointing, but Ervin will still create for his teammates and has the ability to take over a game. Ervin is also responsible for keeping the Arkansas offense moving at a fast pace, but still under control. At times, the Razorbacks have been anything but under control and they will not be able to afford a string of poor decisions and bad passes in March.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.3 (87 th in nation, 7 th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.0 (106, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.4 (61, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.2 (56, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.0 (214, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.5 (190, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.3 (228, 7)
Rebound Margin: 4.1 (46, 3)
Assists Per Game: 14.8 (85, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.6 (244, 11)
Joel’s Bracket Says: Second Round loss to North Carolina
By Joel Welser
CollegeSports-fans.com Guest Writer
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