Arkansas Basketball Lacks Consistency, but John Pelphrey Still Has Some Time

Blake StansberyCorrespondent IJanuary 15, 2010

ATLANTA - MARCH 14:  Head coach John Pelphrey of the Arkansas Razorbacks watches a play during the game against the Vanderbilt Commodores during the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament on March 14, 2008 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Razorback basketball team currently is on a four-game losing streak, and things only get tougher for the Hogs now that they are in SEC play.

The latest loss came last night to SEC West favorite Mississippi State, extending the Hogs' road SEC losing streak to 14 games.

The Razorbacks trailed by as much as 19, but showed heart and determination in coming back, just to fall short 82-80.

It was a cold shooting night for the Razorbacks' star shooting guard Rotnei Clarke. Clarke could not find his shot, going just 2-for-9 from the field and scoring only six points.

The Hogs still had their chances to win the game though, as they rode the back of freshman  power forward sensation Marshawn Powell. But three careless turnovers in the last two minutes sealed their fate.

Consistency, or a lack thereof, has plagued the Hogs all season long. They show themsevles to be a very improved and talented team at times, and at other times they appear lost on the floor.

When the Hogs' top players are taken out of the ballgame they seem to buckle under the pressure. It has been better since the return of Courtney Fortson, who balls hard no matter how the game is playing out, but as a whole the Razorbacks need to maintain a consistent level of play for 40 minutes. They have yet to do so this entire season.

Today the Razorbacks have to make a quick turnaround and prepare to face Alabama at Bud Walton Arena on Saturday.

The Hogs 7-9 record is bad, but if the Hogs can find a way to get the W over the Crimson Tide and get on an SEC winning streak, the season could turn out to not be a total loss.

The Razorbacks are a very young team with Michael Washington, Stefan Welsh, and Marcus Britt being the only upperclassman veteran players. It is important that the young Hogs show improvement, and a desire to get better.

So far while struggling in the win column, the Hogs have been able to show that no quit attitude. They have given Texas, Baylor, UAB, and Mississippi State all good fights. Yet, the Hogs have not be able to pull off the upset of any of these solid teams they have faced.

At the end of the day winning is what matters most. Coach John Pelphrey does not appear to be in the hot seat with AD Jeff Long, yet.

Long, as well as anyone, understands the mess the basketball program was in when he and Pelphrey arrived at Arkansas.

The Hogs are a far cry from their glory years under Eddie Sutton and Nolan Richardson, but Long has faith that Pelphrey is the man to get the job done at Arkansas and restore the school to its former glory.

For the Razorbacks, the time to show improvement and to start winning games is now. Otherwise fan interest (already at an all-time low) is likely to drop more, at which point Long will have no choice but to consider firing Pelphrey and going in a different direction.


This article was written by Blake Stansbery of Born Hog Wild.