Sun Belt hoops still grandly sucks, but the performance of Red Wolves men’s basketball in recent weeks has compelled me to write something more cheerful. It was only about a month ago when I pronounced A-State basketball an “endangered species.” It may well still be endangered. But something has happened to Arkansas State hoops since dropping two to ULM in Monroe: they’ve become hugely entertaining.
In 2011, the Red Wolves elevated Hugh Freeze from offensive coordinator to head coach, and Freeze rewarded the […]
Punch “the Policy” right in the junk. The Arkansas State Red Wolves will be playing the Arkansas Razorbacks […]
Blackman is a three-star recruit , pro-style QB who played for three different head coaches at FSU, and he proved himself more Jimbo Fisher’s guy than Willie Taggart or Mike Norvell’s. But is his Butch Jones’ guy? I have questions:
Here’s one thing I’ve observed over twenty years of checking in on the sports universe: making war with fans is futile and self-destructive. Fans may be dicks. They might be armchair athletes. They may even post unflattering blog posts, but Fans rule with an We’re #1 Foam-Finger Fist. Provoke them at your own peril.
There is literally nothing to watch: no exciting three-point marksman, no thunder-dunker, no ball-handling wizardry, no clairvoyant teamwork, no selfless defense. The biggest statistical talking point for this team? It gets to the free throw line. In the final minutes against ULM, when the Red Wolves really needed the free throws, Arkansas State was all brick.
Because we’re SBC, baby. Stronger the CUSA. Better than the MAC. More relevant than the Mountain West. Less pompous than the American. And masters of the Big 12. We have Chris Vannini , Nicole Auerbach, and The Athletic singing our praises. The Sun Belt has never pulsed brighter.
The Sun Belt has shed its stepping stone reputation. Let’s not go total Mike Aresco here – top talent won’t end a career in the SBC. But we’re no longer a coach-in-training conference. We’re a portal to big gigs and Top 25 recognition.
Theres more – or rather, there’s less. Arkansas State hasn’t had an NBA draft pick since 2002, when 7-footer Jason Jennings went 43rd to the Trailblazers (he took a job in Europe instead). A-State’s biggest claim to fame is the documentary Hoop Dreams which nobody has rented since Hastings went out of business. There’s just no juice in Jonesboro.
Life champion aside, Butch Jones is a legitimate football champion. He replaced Brian Kelly at both Central Michigan and Cincinnati, and he delivered two conference championships for both programs. He signed the No. 7 recruiting class in the nation in 2014 and the No. 4 recruiting class in the nation in 2015. Overall, Butch Jones is 84–54 (34-27 at Tennessee) with four bowl victories.