Mike’s seat not hot, but it is starting to smolder

PHOTO BY RAZORBACK SPORTS COMMUNICATIONS

You’re not going to hear from this corner that Mike Anderson has a problem.

At least yet.

It’s college basketball and having a 2-4 record in the SEC isn’t cause for a full-blown fire alarm. With 12 conference games (plus an out-of-conference matchup with Oklahoma State), there’s plenty of time to put out the smoldering ashes.

But Arkansas does have to go 7-5 down the stretch just to get to .500.

And nobody knows if that’s enough to make life comfortable for Anderson. That still wouldn’t give him 20 wins on a season that most were expecting to be much better than that.

Yes, things have gotten to that point.

Losing to Florida on Wednesday night wouldn’t be that big of a deal except the Gators came in struggling offensively, without much support down low and Arkansas had hopes.

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That was until KeVaughn Allen, the Little Rock native, suddenly found his shooting touch against his home state team he spurned a few years ago.

In a strange way, you had to figure that would be what would happen. He was the Gators’ leading scorer last year and hadn’t hit double figures this season.

Allen scored 28 points, easily his highest output of the season. Florida students held up large pieces of paper spelling out “shooters shoot” to remind Allen he needed to be aggressive.

“I saw that,” Allen said later. “It was funny to me.”

Arkansas didn’t appear too surprised.

“He came out locked in to shoot the ball,” said Razorbacks guard Jaylen Barford, who scored a team-high 28 points. “He was just scoring left and right.”

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Afterwards, Anderson remained calm and analytical, which is usually the way he is regardless of how big the game is or what the outcome is.

“That was not good defense,” Anderson said. “KeVaughn shot lights out. Jalen Hudson shot lights out. And the rest was history.”

Unfortunately that has been the history for this team too often in the past three weeks.

And it won’t get any easier.

Ole Miss comes in Saturday afternoon and they’ve won in Fayetteville before.

Bit now the Hogs will be playing a little short-handed more than likely.

Trey Thompson went down in the first half with a hamstring injury and Anton Beard left with a gruesome-looking ankle injury also went out early.

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Those are two key players.

Now Anderson has to find an answer for that and figure out some way to get a win without those two key players. No one has officially ruled them out, but expecting either of them to be ready in three days might be too much for even the most optimistic.

Somehow, Anderson’s going to have to figure out a way to get some wins … quickly.

Or that smoldering may turn into a small blaze.

With at least a couple of prominent boosters already beginning a push to try and lure Texas Tech coach Chris Beard to Fayetteville now is the time Anderson needs to stop the fire from growing.

Which will require some wins.

And, as we said, quickly.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Do y’all read what is posted on your page before the show? Mikes’ seat is “smoldering,” but you are repeatedly defending him and talking about extension. If we want an outstanding b-ball program, we must collectively appreciate and respect the coach….despite his shortcomings. Doubters should review coach K’s record at duke for his first 6 seasons.

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