Blog Entry

Arkansas could slow down without Powell

Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:37 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2011 5:26 pm
By Matt Norlander

Mike Anderson's first year in Fayetteville continues to be a challenge and test of patience. Tuesday morning, it was announced by the school that Razorbacks forward Marshawn Powell will sit the rest of the season due to torn ligaments in his knee. The school, oddly enough, did not announce which knee was to undergo surgery. However, a source confirmed to that it was Powell's right knee.

Powell was the team's leading returner in scoring and rebounding. He also used more possessions last year (26.8 percent) than any other team member, and shot a team-high 29 percent of the Hogs' shots. With him unavailable, an impotency on the offensive end is to be expected. Remember, after a battle with Anderson, sharpshooter Rotnei Clarke transferred out of the program and into Butler this past offseason.

The Razorbacks, currently 2-1 and playing at home against Utah Valley tonight, look like they'll sag well behind the power five at the top of the SEC: Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt, Alabama and Mississippi State. Powell was picked on the Second Team in the preseason by league coaches. The 6-7 junior was 15 for 21 through two games this season.

"This is a big blow to Marshawn and our basketball team,” Anderson said in a statement. "He has been working hard on and off the court this year and was in the best shape of his career.  This is definitely a setback, but I told him that sometimes you have to have setbacks in order to have a great comeback.  He is in good spirits and looking forward to helping his team in any way that he can.”

Now Arkansas, a 7-9 SEC team last season, is down to nine players on scholarship. The depth isn't there, which an issue, of course, since Anderson promotes running opponents into collapse. In his five years at Missouri, Anderson's teams averaged 71.1 possessions per game -- well above the national average.

Junior Julysses Nobles and touted freshman B.J. Young will become the key factors on a Hog team that's probably going to have to adjust its style if it wants to remain viable, long-term. It's hard to believe Anderson can condition his team to go for 72 possessions per game and exect to avoid attrition and fatigue throughout the season.

Photo: AP
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