Give Pel a Chance!
This past Saturday at Bud Walton Arena, the Arkansas Razorback Basketball team overcame a 4 point halftime deficit to defeat Alabama 70-65. Saturday's win put the Hogs at 12-4 overall and 2-1 in conference play, tied with Bama for first place in the west. To hear some talk, the Hogs are at the bottom of the barrel in the SEC. There's no way the Hogs will be able to make a post-season run. Even with the talent coming in next year, it's obvious Pel just can't get it done. We should just go ahead, cancel the season and send Pel packing...
I respectfully disagree...
I am still 100% behind Coach Pel. People seem to forget just how bad things were when he arrived. The Razorback basketball program was in absolute shambles! It was so bad that Dana Altman (the guy originally hired to replace Stan Heath) didn't even take the time to unpack his suitcases before he decided it was just too much for him to deal with and quit. The truth is, Pelphrey took a job that NOBODY else wanted.. Seriously.. Most coaches Long hoped to interview for the job wouldn't even take the time to answer his calls.
Fast forward to 2011 and Pel has just landed one of the top recruiting classes in the country (even if we lose one or two of those guys, it's still a very talented group). He did that DESPITE last years horrible season.
This year, with a lot of basketball left to be played, the Hogs are in decent shape to make a post season run. Every team in the conference has 4 or more losses. Even Kentucky, the only ranked team in the league this year, has 4 losses and has already dropped two conference games. The SEC race is far from over and right now there is no team in the league that really stands out above the others. If the Hogs can grab a few wins on the road and continue to play well at home, an NCAA bid is a very real possibility THIS season.
I think we all need to back off of Coach Pel and give him a chance to finish what he started. He's earned that. Yes, the past few seasons have been disappointing. Nobody likes to see their team struggle. But, now is NOT the time to give up on Pel or this team. He has given our beloved Razorback basketball program his heart and soul the past few seasons and I really feel that the Hogs are right on the cusp of being a really good basketball program again.
Now.. everyone say it with me.. "Go Hogs! Beat South Carolina!!"