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Beginning Monday, June 21st, 2004 CHN began unveiling 144 Team previews in 144 Days. CHN ranked the nations top 144 teams, and is unveiling one per day leading up until the opening day of the 2004-05 Season.


Bookmark the 144 Teams in 144 Days home page, and check back each day to see which team is previewed next.

#58 Arkansas Razorbacks
2003-04: 12-16, 4-12, 12th
2003-04 postseason: none

Joel Welser

Stan Heath is still trying to turn around this struggling program.  The recruiting hasn’t been a problem and another stellar class comes to Fayetteville this year.  A solid returning backcourt in Jonathon Modica, Ronnie Brewer, Eric Ferguson and Olu Famutimi should lead the way for the Razorbacks to improve on their disappointing 4-12 conference record of a year ago. 

Who’s Out: Big man Billy Pharis may be the biggest lose for Arkansas.  The 6-8, 230 pounder averaged 5.5 points and 2.9 rebounds his senior campaign.  Guards Jamar Blackmon and Charles Tatum saw few minutes during their senior seasons.  Kendrick Davis and Wen Mukubu have both transferred.  Davis, who is headed to North Texas, saw less action last year as a sophomore.  The 6-4 guard still managed 5.4 points per game in 25 appearances.  Mukubu, a 6-6 swingman, only averaged 5.8 minutes in 24 games.  Mukubu is planning to play for UAB in 2005-2006.

Who’s In: Al Jefferson would have made this group of newcomers second to none, but even without the 15th overall pick of the NBA Draft, this group will make a big impact on the SEC.  Stan Heath built up his frontline with his best three recruits.  Charles Thomas might be a little undersized for a power forward at 6-7 and 243 pounds, but he is an aggressive player in the post and has a great rebounding ability.  Thomas has put on quite a bit of weight recently to help his strength under the basket.  Darian Townes can still be a little rough around the edges, but has tons of potential.  The 6-9 power forward is a solid scorer with the ability to be a big shot blocking threat.  Steven Hill is one of the best incoming centers in the nation.  The 7-footer averaged 16.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 6.0 blocks as a senior at Branson High School in Missouri.  Junior college transfer Dontell Jefferson will add some depth at the point.  As a sophomore at Atlanta Metropolitan College, Jefferson averaged 16.4 points, 9.2 assists, 6.7 boards and 3.4 steals.  Marcus Monk is a football player first, but after Houston Nutt’s team finishes up on the gridiron, the 6-6 small forward should see some minutes on the court.

Who to Watch: Jonathon Modica led the team in scoring last year, but it is Ronnie Brewer who may step up and become the go to guy this year.  Brewer, as a freshman, scored 12.2 points and led the team in both rebounds and assists, averaging 5.5 and 3.4, respectively.  Those are some lofty numbers for a guy who plays the two guard and the three spot.  At 6-7, the rebounds aren’t too surprising, but he shouldn’t be asked to do too much work on the boards this season with the talented frontcourt newcomers.

Projected Conference Rank: Freshmen Charles Thomas, Darian Townes and Steven Hill have to help out Michael Jones, Matt Jones and Vincent Hunter in the frontcourt.  It might not take long, if at all, for the newcomers to take over the starting jobs from the returning players.  With a solid backcourt and a promising frontcourt, the Razorbacks shouldn’t have much trouble improving on their 12-16 record.  An 8th place finish and a trip to the NIT won’t be the highest expectations this young group will see before they leave Fayetteville.  

Projected Post-season Tournament: NIT


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Email Joel Welser: jwelser_chn@ameritech.net

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