With the summer months upon us, Razorback basketball probably won’t be talked about in earnest until the full schedule is released in late August or early September.
Until then, fans will debate on whether or not this upcoming season will be better or worse than last year, when Arkansas went 16-16 and finished in the middle of the pack of the SEC.
Fans also have a tendency to debate who the top Razorbacks are of all-time, especially when sports aren’t in season and there’s not much to talk about.
A few years ago, I came out with a Top 20 Razorback players of all-time list. Since that list came out, a number of players have suited up for the Hogs that warrant consideration for the list.
Of course, this ranking list is just my opinion, but I feel it’s an informed opinion because I did play for the team and have talked to many past and present players and people around the program, plus I’ve researched stats and ran the numbers.
To have a well-balanced list, however, you need to establish some criteria:
My criteria, in no specific order, is
- Meaning to the program
Before Bobby Portis came through the program, the last unanimously great Razorback was most likely Ronnie Brewer.
Brewer was a lottery pick of the Utah Jazz in 2006, but he wasn’t SEC Player of the Year like Portis was.
I’d argue that Brewer is somewhere between 10-20 on the list, and so Portis should be ranked higher than him. That’s why we are updating the list.
Despite only spending two seasons at Arkansas, Portis is a top 10 player of all time to me because of his ability, the fact the team went 49-21 with him on the roster, finished second to a loaded Kentucky team, won multiple superlatives and put up impressive numbers, as well as getting the team to postseason play twice, and the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven years.
Let’s also not ignore the fact that the one-and-done rule has changed things. You mean to tell me Corliss Williamson wouldn’t have gone pro after his sophomore season in 1994 if the rules were set up that way then?
Todd Day wouldn’t have gone pro after a year or two? Players shouldn’t be penalized for leaving school early, especially if they were good enough to get drafted and make an impact as a rookie, like Portis did for the Bulls.
What tier do you think Portis belongs in? I don’t think he’s the greatest player in program history, but I think a case could be made for him cracking the top five.
There’s also a chance that with a very strong season, Moses Kingsley could play himself on to the list.
Anyway, over the next several weeks I will recompile the list and will release it for everyone to look at and argue and speculate over.
Who do you think should merit consideration for the top 20 basketball Hogs of all time?