HOGS!!!!!…….BY………90!!!!!!!…….errr…..make that 112.
I’m going to go ahead and tell you right now, I don’t know much about women’s basketball at the University of Arkansas. But, I do know something about sports, teams and a few other things here and there about life.
One thing I know about Lady Razorbacks is that they are in Croatia right now and the Hogs won their first game by a lot. And by “a lot,” I’m talking about a ridiculous 112 points. In fact, the InCroatia “All-Stars” only scored four points in the first half, but they doubled that in the second stanza of the game.
Should Arkansas basketball coach Mike Neighbors be worried about his Hog team letting down like that and allowing their opponent to double their point production from the first half? Could they not smell blood in the water? Could they not have stomped on their throats and kept them down? What’s the deal, Neighbors?
Croatia Basketball Falling a Bit Flat
Yes. I’m kidding. Some in the Arkansas social media sphere have done the same. On the Razorback Nation Facebook page, Doug Baird sarcastically intoned: “Man, that was worth the expense of flying to east Europe! I’m thinking the [Fayetteville High] girls would have put up a better fight and they [the Razorbacks] could have walked over to the gym!!”
Elsewhere on Facebook, it got worse. One commenter questioned how such a game could even be beneficial: “Could have played some 6th graders, got the same result and saved some $$.”
To those worried that the lack of real competition hurt the Razorbacks, I say “Lighten up, Francis.” Don’t be too quick to criticize the Hog program for sending this team halfway around the world to accomplish what they could have accomplished by going down the street and playing in a church league game.
Anyone who’s played golf for long enough knows never to scold, or praise, a moving ball. You never know when it’s going to stop, whether it’s going to end up in a divot, or break right at the hole and lip out leaving you with a longer putt than you just missed and turn that certain birdie into a bogey. Likewise, on the gridiron, it’s a fool’s errand to try to predict the bounce of fumbled football. You’d be better off to check out this site and try to determine the week by week winners in the upcoming NFL season.
Just like fans had no idea what they would see against these All-Stars, we have no idea how good the team is that they’ll play next. The only thing we know is that if these are the “All-Stars” of women’s basketball in Croatia, some awfully dark nights must have descended in the once-proud basketball land of Toni Kukoc and Drazen Petrovic.
So, save the criticism of the program to what happens between the lines, not the travel destination.
Better Plan for Arkansas Basketball?
Could the program have gained more for the buck by going to some far-off land and playing some real competition? Sure they could have. Likewise, I could have also saved money by eating something healthy at home last night, but I can afford to go through the drive-thru at Mex-to-Go, so I did. That’s probably about the financial impact this trip had on the Arkansas Razorback’s athletic department, and I’ve got plenty of healthy meals to eat ahead of me.
So, let’s just answer a few questions as we consider what appears to be a vacation for this basketball team who would otherwise be working their asses off in the gym like they’ve done for many of the past 364 days.
Did they improve their basketball skills? Probably not. Not any more than they could have in their own practice gym.
Did they overcome adversity in a hostile road environment? Uhhh….that would be an absolute “no.”
Could they have bonded in the gym in Fayetteville like they did on a transcontinental flight? No way. Check out the pictures at the bottom here. How can they not have a blast scoping the ancient Roman ruins of Split, eating the local fare and whatever else they are doing?
Would they have experienced the first hand joy of trying to charge an iPhone in a wall socket that doesn’t fit? Hard no.
Would they have benefited from the life experience that comes from traveling overseas? Again, no.
Finally, would they be able to tell recruits that every once in a while, players get to go on really cool trips? Absolute, definite, hard no.
Don’t Rue Razorbacks on the Road
Plus, check out this line at the bottom of the official UA story:
In the box score, all stats for InCroatia All-Stars were credited to one player
How many times will these women get to play against a team where every single player on the team is obviously related as evidenced by having the same name? The mom and dad of the players on this team make Ricky Council IV’s parents look like Quentin Tarantino in the realm of creativity.
Hey, anyone can look at beating a team by 112 points, especially when the opponent could hardly muster double digits and and think, “what a joke.”
I seem to recall a time around 12 months ago when a bunch of new Razorbacks who were all 5-star recruits coming out of high school went overseas and played a bunch of teams they didn’t beat by 112 points but might as well have. They gained no experience over there other than what I just described previously. Nobody complained about that, and while the Hogs may have had their ups and downs throughout the course of last season, they still made it to the Sweet 16 for the third time in as many years.
Unless these women somehow find their way into a Russian prison, a lot of good and nothing bad will come from the life experience they get from going overseas to play basketball and represent the University of Arkansas.
Much Closer in Game 2
On Wednesday, the Razorbacks allowed more than four times as many points to a squad called ZZK Buducnost, but they were never really threatened.
Arkansas used a 7-0 run in the first quarter to take a double-digit lead and never looked back. After doubling up their opponent 28-14 in the first half, the Razorbacks won 71-49. That is a much more respectable 22-point margin after the first game, which started with a 70-7 run by the Razorbacks.
That was the second of two exhibition games in Croatia. Next up on the tour for Arkansas is Greece, where it will end its trip with a matchup against the University of Regina on Sunday in Athens. Tip off is scheduled for 6 p.m. local time, which is 10 a.m. CT.
At First, Devo Davis Thought The Score Was a Typo
Very funny stuff starting at 3:50 below when the guys from “The Zone” bring up this final score to the Arkansas basketball star Devo Davis. He immediately starts laughing and then launches into his reaction:
More about Arkansas basketball from BoAS here: