FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Maybe getting a break is the answer Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn has been seeking.
After struggling to the postseason, it's about the only thing he's had available.
"You just try to get 'em right," Van Horn said in a Zoom press conference after drawing a trip to the Stillwater Regional to open play in the NCAA Tournament. "Sometimes it's nice to not have a schedule."
He's been trying to get this team right for a month.
One of the things this team doesn't have is a vocal leader. A guy that can just take over the locker room isn't on this team.
"They want to lead by example," Van Horn said. "We've got a lot of leaders. I just don't know if we have that vocal guy."
Van Horn knows this team needs to do. He's just not real sure what he can do to have it start happening.
"We need to just change our mindset a little bit," he said. "We need to score earlier in these games..
Just over a month ago, fans and the media assumed there would be a regional at Baum-Walker Stadium. That sailed into the ditch along with the Razorbacks in final two series of the year, then couldn't get out in the SEC Tournament.
Van Horn wasn't expecting to get a regional. He did think the Hogs would be headed to Stillwater to play in a new stadium that hasn't hosted postseason play.
And going on the road right now might not be the worst possible thing for this team.
"We want to flip it," he said. "Maybe going on the road provides less distraction."
The Hogs have still gotten to Omaha from the road. The initial objective going into every season is still in front of this team.
Some fans determine the entire fate of the program based on every game. This isn't football. One game doesn't exactly determine anything in football.
But the road will be tougher. Every team they play in Stillwater got to that point by being a pretty good team.
"You never know how it's going to go," Van Horn said.
Which, of course, is the beauty of the postseason in baseball and how teams that get hot and figure it all out at the end can sometimes cause big problems.
Can the Hogs be that team this year?
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