Wally Hall is the managing sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock after an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, he is a member and past president of the Football Writers Association of America, member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, past president and current executive committee and board member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, and voter for the Heisman Trophy. He has been awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year 10 times and has been inducted into the Arkansas Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame.
LIKE IT IS: It isn’t easy getting a read on Razorbacks
LITTLE ROCK — Call them the Roller Coaster Razorbacks.
Arkansas’ basketball team has had more ups and downs this season than O’Hare International Airport.
It’s like they have bungee cords and are jumping off a bridge, going way down and then bouncing way up.
They beat coachless Tennessee at home, lost on the road to LSU, were killed at Texas and Florida, then beat No. 19 Vanderbilt on the visitor-unfriendly floor of Memorial Coliseum.
No doubt, Saturday’s game with Ole Miss should be interesting. The Rebels beat Kentucky on a buzzer shot playing on a Tuesday, which gives them an extra day to prepare for the Hogs.
Ole Miss has been a little bit of an underachieving team.
It is hard to say if the Razorbacks are underachievers or overachievers. They are a mystery.
No doubt if Rotnei Clarke scores 36 points and Michael Sanchez 20, they can play with anyone in the country.
Yet, the first game out of the chute after they teamed up for 56 against Vandy, they scored a combined eight against Georgia, all of them by Clarke.
By no means is that to insinuate they are responsible for the surprising 60-59 lossto Georgia on Wednesday. It’s just another question mark about the team as a whole.
In all frankness, the Hogs should not have lost to Georgia.
Forget whether Trey Tompkins, who scored all 12 of his points in the second half, was fouled or traveled. The fact is the Bulldogs never got into the flow of the game and still won.
They arrived in Fayetteville about 18 hours late because of the weather. They flew out of Augusta, Ga., instead of Athens and didn’t even have time for a shoot-around in Walton Arena because they landed a little more than seven hours before the tipoff.
They took only nine free throws and made six, compared to 20 and 11 by the Hogs.
The Razorbacks were outrebounded 43-28, and part of the advantage of playing man-to-man defense is supposed to be so you can block out for rebounds.
It was an ugly game and a bad home loss for the Hogs.
They are 14-7 overall and 4-4 in the SEC. A year ago, they were 10-11 and 3-3 in league play, but they were on a fivegame winning streak that vaulted them into the SEC West Division lead.
Right now, Alabama is threatening to take a stranglehold on the divisional championship with a twogame lead over the Hogs.
The Hogs need to get off the roller coaster and settle down. They are at their best when they are patient on offense and tenacious on defense, and it doesn’t hurt if Clarke is hotter than a South American lizard’s breath.
It isn’t surprising that Mitch Mustain will not be prosecuted for a felony.
The former Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Mitch Mustain who transferred to Southern Cal was arrested on suspicion of selling prescription drugs.
It sounds much worse than it really is. No one is making excuses, but he was allegedly selling Adderall, a medicine for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Los Angeles County prosecutors declined to file a felony charge because the drug Mustain allegedly sold to an undercover officer was not Adderall, but a similar drug for treating ADHD that is not considered a controlled substance.
Believe it or not, selling Adderall is one of the most common crimes being committed everyday on campuses nationwide.
Adderall is supposed to help people have better focus whether they have ADHD or not.
Kids cramming for a test want every edge they can get, and Adderall gives them that.
Another key reason it is being sold - and shared on a regular basis as well - is that it curbs the appetite.
People on Adderall usually lose a little weight.
What Mustain, who suffers from ADD, did was wrong. It might have even been against the law, but it is an all too common practice all over the country right now.
Sports, Pages 19 on 02/04/2011
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