With extreme measures John Pelphrey constantly had to teach last year’s Razorbacks to play harder and more cohesively than they had ever played before.
Now Arkansas’ second-year coach has more than ever to teach this young team, but unceasing emphasis on effort isn’t required.
Seems to come naturally to these 8-1 Hogs. Even with their natural leader not among them.
Patrick Beverley was one former coach Stan Heath recruit who could match intensity with Sidney Moncrief and Corey Beck, the respective intensity epitomes from Eddie Sutton and Nolan Richardson eras past.
Non-basketball related issues dictated Beverley not returning for his junior year. He now plays professionally overseas.
However, newcomers like true freshmen starting guards Courtney Fortson and Rotnei Clarke and redshirt freshman forward Michael Sanchez seem naturally to pick up the A for effort slack Beverley left behind.
They are leaders, yet still look to juniors Michael Washington and Stefan Welsh as big dogs in the pack.
Two-year lettermen Washington and Welsh are the elder statesmen on a team that graduated six seniors last spring. [read more]