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Young Announces He’s Leaving Arkansas For The NBA

Sophomore guard BJ Young announced via twitter on Thursday he plans to enter the NBA draft.

 

Young, who led Arkansas in scoring this season at 15.1 points per game, is the second Razorback this week to leave early for the draft. Forward Marshawn Powell announced Tuesday he will skip his senior season and enter the draft.

Young finished No. 11 on our list of the SEC’s most productive basketball players this season.

Arkansas coach Mike Anderson released a statement Thursday following a meeting with Young:

“This is his dream and as a coach I encourage him to pursue that dream.”

The departure of Powell and Young leaves forward Coty Clarke as Arkansas’ leading scorer next season. He averaged 7.6 points per game as a junior.

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Powell Says He’s Leaving Hogs For The NBA

Mike Anderson’s Arkansas basketball program has suffered a setback as one of this past season’s top Hogs has decided to stick his nose into the pro basketball money trough.  Hard to blame him.

Forward Marshawn Powell tweeted the following goodbye note yesterday:

 

powell tweet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Powell was Arkansas’ second-leading scorer, averaging 14.5 points per game to BJ Young’s 15.2.  No other Razorback averaged double-figures.  In terms of measurables, Powell finished #5 on our list of the SEC’s most productive basketball players this season.  The senior-to-be has already been on the Fayetteville campus for four years, taking a redshirt after a knee injury suffered just two games into the 2011-12 season.

The NBA website DraftExpress.com lists Powell as the #64 prospect among juniors which suggests the player’s move is tied more to getting a paycheck — any paycheck — than it is to his high draft status.

Anderson wished his protege well in an UA-released statement that was as much a “check him out, scouts” endorsement as it was a “so long” note:

 

“I wish Marshawn all the best as he moves on to the next stage of his basketball career.  He had a tremendous junior season after recovering from a knee injury and was a big part of the success that we had this season.  He is a skilled forward who can stretch the defense because of his ability to shoot.  He can also create by putting it on the floor and has a nice post up game.  I feel that his best basketball is in front of him.”

 

Powell can still return to Arkansas if he does not hire an agent.

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All Eyes On Arkansas, Pelphrey

Will Arkansas keep John Pelphrey or fire him?  That’s the question folks are asking from Memphis to St. Louis (where there’s concern UA might make a run at Missouri’s Mike Anderson).

But no news came immediately after last night’s SEC Tournament loss to Tennessee.  And no news has come this morning.  Having just gotten off the phone with one source in The Natural State, it seems that insiders remain split as to what athletic director Jeff Long — and the Board of Trustees — will do with their unpopular, fourth-year head coach.

According to Robbie Neiswanger of ArkansasNews.com, Long declined to comment on Pelphrey’s status last night.  He has remained rather quiet for weeks, in fact, refusing to give his man a strong vote of confidence… as he did a couple of times in 2009-2010.

Forward Marshawn Powell admitted last night that Pelphrey’s job status has been “a little bit” of a distraction this season.  He was also asked if his coach should return next year.

“It’s going to be tough for us to make a coaching change.  If they keep him and we get our recruits coming in next year, we’re going to be pretty tough to deal with in the SEC.  So, I mean, why not?”

A rousing endorsement.

Guard Mardracus Wade was also asked about a potential change and he said “it’s hard to think about” because “he worked so hard just to deal with so many personalities on this team.”  But… “Either way it goes, if we get a new coach, we’re still going to have to work, we’re still going to have to win games.  We’re still going to have to play together as a team and believe in his system if coach is here or not.  We’ve still got to believe.”

Meanwhile, as some Hog fans attempt to a) blame the media and b) spin the charges, (really, you’ve got to read that link) UA’s AD has admitted that if the facts surrounding CBSSports.com’s photo of Pelphrey and two recruits are correct, “it would appear to be a secondary violation.”

Repeat: a secondary violation.

Pelphrey doesn’t need any more headaches right now.  But this would be a non-story if not for cell phone cameras and the power of the internet.  As grizzled newspaper reporters used to say in the old movies, “We’ve got art.”  So a secondary violation is now a major deal.  A major deal that Pelphrey doesn’t need to worry about right now.

He’s got much, much bigger worries to deal with.

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Another Day, Another Suspension At Arkansas

Taking into consideration the mess he inherited upon arrival, we here at MrSEC.com have thrown some support behind embattled Arkansas coach John Pelphrey the last couple of years.  We’ve called out Razorback fans for not filling Bud Walton Arena.  We’ve tsk-tsked columnists who’ve taken potshots at UA’s top hog.

Well.  Ya know.  Maybe we were wrong.

Pelphrey has now suspended yet another player from his team.  Forward Marshawn Powell — a preseason All-SEC selection who is still recovering from an offseason broken foot — will be out indefinitely.

“I think it’s a fluid timetable,” Pelphrey said.  “I think it can be as long as it needs to be and it can be as short as it needs to be.”

Not unlike Pelphrey’s tenure in Fayetteville.

Powell’s playing time has dropped recently and Pelphrey has refused to say why.  A day after Powell returned from Christmas break late — due to a car accident — Pelphrey delivered the news of the suspension to his forward.  “I think he took it pretty well.”

Even so, Pelphrey has now suspended 16 different players during his four-year stay at UA.  That’s exactly half of the players who’ve “suited up for multiple games,” as ArkansasSports360.com puts it.

At this point, it seems that one of the following statements must be true:

a.  Pelphrey has no control over his team and, therefore, constantly needs to discipline and suspend players.

b.  Pelphrey has recruited a long line of miscreants and no-goodniks who continue to prove incapable of conforming to the coach’s rules.

c.  Pelphrey is such a stickler and has handed out so much discipline that his admonishments and punishments no longer carry any weight whatsoever with his troops.  Meaning: If a dog barks long enough, you eventually learn to tune it out.

d.  Pelphrey is Norman Dale.  Does he force his players to dribble between chairs?  Has he handed down a “four passes before every shot” edict?  Will he play with four players rather than send a disobedient fifth player back onto the court?  Perhaps at some point.

But judging from the results so far, we’ll take options a, b or c over option d. 

And we’re starting to understand why Razorback fans are staying away from Bud Walton Arena in droves.  It’s hard to like a team that the coach himself can’t seem to stand.

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