It’s pretty fair to say that even before the Arkansas Razorbacks game Wednesday against Akron, the basketball program was having a rough day.
After recruiting Malik Monk for about the past four years, the elite in-state shooting guard decided Wednesday morning to take his talents to Kentucky and play for John Calipari. That was a pretty substantial recruiting loss for coach Mike Anderson, and it led to consternation among many Razorback supporters, including a crazed 12-minute rant from a radio host and a tweet from last season’s SEC Player of the Year Bobby Portis.
Following that defeat off the floor, the Razorbacks then went out and were defeated on the floor, dropping an 88-80 decision to Akron. That ended a 25-game home winning streak over nonconference foes. It’s even worse when you realize that Akron is suffering through injuries and didn’t have its full complement of depth.
Arkansas is coming off of a successful season, as Portis and Michael Qualls led the way for the Razorbacks to compete in the SEC and earn an NCAA Tournament bid. But Portis and Qualls are gone now, as are Ky Madden, Jacorey Williams and Alandise Harris. Also, sophomore Anton Beard is suspended until the fall semester ends. So really, it’s a totally new cast of characters that is less experienced, and quite honestly less talented than its predecessor.
This could be a pretty long season in Fayetteville, and now Monk’s decision has dimmed the light at the end of the tunnel. Simply put, Wednesday was a pretty tough day to be an Arkansas Razorback.