Here, There and Everywhere Arkansas Razorbacks

FAYETTEVILLE — It’s spring break at the University of Arkansas, but don’t for a minute think that means sports are on hiatus.

Spring football is, but basketball is still rolling while baseball has won 11 in a row and looks like the team we thought it would be. More importantly, they are 3-0 in SEC action. Eric Musselman has his team in the Sweet 16 and takes on top seed Gonzaga on Thursday at 6:09 p.m. CT.

Here’s a look at various sports in Arkansas right now.

Arkansas baseball hits the road

After sweeping Kentucky at Baum-Walker Stadium last weekend to open SEC play, the Hogs will now head to Missouri. The 16-3 Razorbacks take on a Missouri team that is 12-5 this season but was swept by Vanderbilt to open SEC action. The Tigers came into this series 12-2, but Vandy is once again an SEC baseball powerhouse. Action Beford SEC, they fell to Nicholls 9-8 and Gonzaga 10-5. Vandy beat them 15-2, 6-0 before Missouri lost 7-4 on Sunday. Arkansas and Missouri did not meet last season. The last time these two met in baseball was March 15-17, 2019, when the Hogs swept them 2-0, 4-3, 3-2 at Baum-Walker Stadium. After the Missouri series, the Hogs will return home for six games. They host Little Rock on Tuesday and Wednesday next week, then Mississippi State for three games and UCA for one the following Tuesday, April 5. Two transfers and a real freshman lead the Hogs to strike. Catcher Michael Turner leads the team at .369 with a team-best four home runs as well. Chris Lanzilli hits .364 with a pair of homers. Freshman Peyton Stovall, who started the season very slowly at the plate, has increased his offense significantly, as expected, and is hitting .313 and has a few home runs as well.

Bus from Muss to San Francisco

Arkansas defeated Vermont and New Mexico State in the NCAA Tournament. They must now face No. 1 Gonzaga, the overall favorite to win the national title. Gonzaga is loaded and Arkansas may have to play their best game of the season to beat them. Razorback fans took a break when the game plays at 6:09 p.m. CT on Thursday. Being a Lakers fan and used to nearly 10 p.m. advises on most games, that makes for a short night of sleep. Gonzaga struggled with Memphis on Saturday night but used a big second half to take the win. The Zags have plenty of plans to be the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft in 7-0, 195-pound Chet Holmgren. He is a star who can do everything on the pitch. But, honestly, the Hogs may have faced two big men before who are better college players than Holmgren, but not as good as him. ESPN has rated Holmgren as the No. 1 NBA prospect for 2022. They rate Auburn center Walker Kessler, 7-0, 245, the No. 19 prospect. Kentucky center Oscar Tshiebwe, 6-9, 255 , comes in at No. 42 on ESPN’s Top 100 list, which would throw him into the second round. But Kessler and Tshiebwe may be better college players than Holmgren. Gonzaga has several other very talented players. By comparison, Arkansas has one player in ESPN’s Top 100 Draft Prospects for 2022 and that’s Jaylin Williams at No. 61. This year’s draft will only have 58 selections due to a few penalties against teams. If any coach can prepare for Gonzaga, it’s Eric Musselman. He has his team as prepared for every game as any coach in the company at any level. It will be very, very important for Williams, JD Notae and others to avoid fouls. Arkansas will obviously have to shoot better than against New Mexico State. But some predicting a blowout victory for Gonzaga miss the boat on how Musselman prepares his teams for these games. As he said last week, he has Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwayne Wade planned, so whoever the Hogs face in the tournament, he has a plan. In fact, Auburn guard Jabari Smith is ranked the No. 2 prospect for the 2022 NBA Draft and the Hogs beat the Tigers this season in their only meeting. Arkansas may not win, but you can bet Musselman will give them their best chance and set them up.

spring football

Arkansas will have 12 more practices when it returns from spring break. The offense has plenty of starters returning from the 9-4 team although they are introducing several new players at wide receiver, but the defense is where some unfamiliar faces will show up in the lineup. But don’t take that as a bad thing. Linebacker Bumper Pool and safety Jalen Catalon are as good as anyone in the SEC and give Barry Odom a solid starting spot. I really like LSU cornerback Dwight McGlothern and Georgia safety Latavious Brini. Alabama linebacker Drew Sanders is looking good, as are Chris Paul Jr, Jordan Crook and Jackson Woodard to play alongside Pool. Jayden Johnson and Myles Slusher are two nickel-safe types that impress me next to Catalon and Brini. Fans can catch the Hogs scrimmage on April 16 at 11 a.m. Excitement is already building for the Sept. 3 opener at Reynolds Razorback Stadium against Cincinnati, which made the four-team playoffs last season. KJ Jefferson returns to quarterback and aside from Alabama’s Bryce Young, no one in the SEC has a better one. Jadon Haselwood will be giving Arkansas fans some big moments this fall.

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