Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Arkansas Beats Texas

I know this is a new dad blog but I had to write about my beloved Hogs beating arch rival #7 ranked Texas last night. Arkansas basketball had been largely irrelevant for some time but this year's team is trying to change that. Arkansas has now beat 2 top 10 teams in a week (Oklahoma and Texas). This team under Coach Pelphrey plays with an intensity and toughness that hog fans have not seen since the days of Nolan Richardson. Most of that is due to Coach Pelphrey's own personality. He recruits players that will play with the same fire that he played with and currently coaches with. After sleepy Stan Heath and his band of care free knuckleheads it is a treat to watch a team that plays as hard as this one. The Hogs have 2 stars in freshman point guard Courtney Fortson and Junior post player Michael Washington. Fortson makes this team go. Without him they would not win anything. His toughness and leadership sets the tone. He has amazing ball handling and passing skills. Whether he scores or not he is making this team better by setting up his teammates and handling the ball about 90% of the time. He is a true leader and will be a star. Washington sat behind a big group of upperclassmen post players for his first 2 years. He never found a roll with that team. Now he is the entire inside game all to himself. He has good size and great quickness for his size. He has proven to be a difficult match up for everyone we have faced including player of the year front runner Blake Griffin. Washington is currently putting up 20 points and 10 rebounds a game which is enough to put him on the short list of best players in the SEC. This team has proven it can beat anyone at home but the true measure of their success will be determined by how they perform on the road. With the effort and toughness they have displayed so far I would not bet against them. GO HOGS!

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