2005 Arkansas Razorbacks Basketball Preview
2005 Arkansas Razorbacks Team Preview
Over the past five years the Arkansas Razorbacks have gone from being a very good team in 2001 to a fairly bad team from 2002-2004 to a good team in 2005. This year they are poised to once again be a very good team, to give Alabama a sound run for the division title, and to get back to the NCAA Tournament, which they haven’t seen close-up since 2001.
Coach Stan Heath took over the Razorbacks three years ago when they were plummeting towards a 9-win season. Last year they were good for double that amount and this season they could finish with around 22 victories. Heath is finally seeing his hard work get results and this season’s Arkansas basketball club has more talent and experience than any team he’s coached.
Ronnie Brewer, who many consider to be the SEC’s finest player, brings his 16.2 PPG and ability to switch from forward to guard instantly to the court every game. A great ball handler and aggressive defender, he led the team last season in steals, rebounds, and points.
Center Darian Townes is the player who gives the Razorbacks a low post presence. As a freshman he helped the club with 10.2 PPG and 4.6 RPG. At 6’ 10” and 250-pounds he has the bulk and athleticism to control the inside; last season he was second on the team in blocked shots.
Someone who could become a low post strongman is 7’ 0” center Steven Hill. With 54 blocked shots he finished second in the conference in that category. Right now the sophomore is still a backup, but if he can stretch his stamina and shoot more, he might be down right dangerous.
At guard the Hogs have two seniors—the accurate shooting Jonathan Medica and the unpredictable Dontell Jefferson. Medica, who hit for 52% from the field, can score when needed. Last season Jefferson was the designated solution to the team’s point guard problem. Coming from a junior college he struggled in making the transition. Freshman Sean McCurdy, who can hit from outside, will probably vie for this position and has a good chance of taking it from Jefferson and making it his own.
On paper this team looks very good. Last year, however, despite their overall sound record they could not win on the road. That needs to change this season if they have any hope of making the next big step.
For more info on the 2005 Razorbacks check out the official Arkansas athletic site.