You show your lack of knowledge by suggesting the Vikings need to upgrade at Safety next to Harrison Smith. Not only do they not need to upgrade at safety with Sendejo having another good season and emerging as an extremely capable counterpart to Smith in Mike Zimmer's defense, but you completely overlook the Vikings biggest need. And that has been evident from day 1! Offensive tackle. Not only will they take an offensive tackle with their first pick, they might try to trade up into the first round (if possible to get the OT they want. In fact, their need is so dire up front at tackle, it's possible they could take multiple OTs with their first few picks.
Hey Walt, love the site, but noticed you never did a disaster rating for Reshad Jones injury. Was wondering your opinion of that. Also, I'm sure you'll hear of this soon, but Arian Foster also just retired.
The Razorbacks nearly lost their best player this offseason when B.J. Young tested the NBA Draft waters, but he wisely chose to return for his sophomore campaign. Young was a prized recruit and led the team in scoring, but didn't show the true point guard skills that would have guaranteed him a spot in the first round. Young's departure would have been costly, but his return serves as a huge boost for Arkansas.
Mardracus Wade and Rickey Scott are solid complements to Young in the backcourt and provide Anderson with the quickness and athleticism to use his "40 minutes of hell" style of full-court basketball. The decision of Julysses Nobles to transfer hurts the depth a bit, but Rashad Madden should be ready to see an even larger role off the bench after a decent freshman year. Freshmen Michael Qualls, Anthlon Bell, and DeQuavious Wagner will compete for minutes off the bench, while Oklahoma State transfer Fred Gulley figures to be another weapon once he becomes eligible after the first semester.
A season-ending knee injury to Marshawn Powell just two games into last season was a brutal loss for the Razorbacks as it severely limited their effectiveness inside. Powell's strength and offensive ability on the inside should mix well with the length and shot-blocking ability of developing big man Hunter Mickelson. JUCO transfer Coty Clarke and freshman Jacorey Williams don't offer a lot of size inside off the bench, which is a concern and should increase the likelihood of Anderson utilizing a four-guard lineup which fits well with his aggressive, pressing defense.
Arkansas did pick up a key transfer in Houston forward Alandise Harris, who averaged 11.5 point and 5.9 rebounds per game last year as a sophomore. The Little Rock native returns home, but must sit out this season per NCAA transfer rules, unless he is granted a waiver to play immediately - which is still reportedly a possibility. Having Harris able to suit up this season would be a major boost to the Arkansas' bench and could be the missing piece to get the team over the hump and into the NCAA Tournament picture.
Player to Watch: Marshawn Powell, PF
Powell got off to a great start last year scoring 39 points in just 43 minutes in his first two games before suffering the torn ACL. Without a true backup center on the roster, the 6-7 Powell will log some quality playing time at center as well, which means he must rely on his toughness and strength inside to help overcome his shortcomings.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/23 vs. Arizona State (Las Vegas Invitational)
11/24 vs. Wisconsin/Creighton (Las Vegas Invitational)