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20. Arkansas Nolan Richardson says he wants to turn his smallish Hogs into nasty little dogs. Then he can unleash his devilish plan

Nov. 23, 1998
Nov. 23, 1998

Table of Contents
Nov. 23, 1998

Faces In The Crowd
College Basketball 98

20. Arkansas Nolan Richardson says he wants to turn his smallish Hogs into nasty little dogs. Then he can unleash his devilish plan

Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson is going to Hell, and he can
hardly wait. For the first time since the Razorbacks reached
back-to-back NCAA title games in 1994 and '95, Richardson
possesses the necessary combination of athletes to unleash the
full wrath of his beloved 40 Minutes of Hell attack. "Lately
we've been maybe 20 Minutes of Hell and then a lot of praying,"
Richardson says. "This year we're back to running around kicking
and scratching and biting. It ain't pretty, but I've always said
that a raggedy ride is better than a smooth walk."

This is an article from the Nov. 23, 1998 issue Original Layout

The spark to reigniting Richardson's frenetic strategy is the
addition of six incoming freshmen who the Hogs coach believes
comprise his most talented crop since Todd Day, Lee Mayberry and
Oliver Miller arrived in '88. Freshman guards Brandon Dean and
Jason Gilbert and forward Sergerio Gipson will add depth and
lift some of the scoring burden off senior guard Pat Bradley,
who is a 41% three-point shooter despite wearing a bull's-eye
throughout his career. "Last year I had so many guys chasing me
around, I'd finish a game with cuts and bruises," Bradley says.
"The key to our season is finding some more offensive options to
scare the defense."

The Hogs boast one of the country's most experienced backcourts,
with a combined 165 starts from Bradley and senior point guard
Kareem Reid, a natural distributor who needs 163 assists to
break Mayberry's school record. Another senior, Derek Hood, must
crash the boards as he did when he led the SEC in rebounding in
'96-97. Richardson acknowledges that the one guy who can help
the Hogs make a quantum leap is Jason Jennings, a 7-footer from
tiny Bald Knob, Ark., who is the team's only player taller than
6'8". A rebounder and shot blocker, Jennings is a giant Opie
Taylor who needs to play more aggressively, so Richardson has
done everything short of insulting the kid's mama to make him
meaner. Ferocity is a critical element to sustaining 40 Minutes
of Hell, and with it Richardson can honestly preach to his
diminutive troops that size doesn't matter. Says the coach, "I
tell my kids, 'It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's
the size of the fight in the dog.' I've seen a lot of big dogs
running away from little bitty dogs."

--T.C.

COLOR PHOTO: BOB ROSATO INSIDE JOB To be a bigger threat, the Hogs need Hood to rule the rim. [Derek Hood in game]

STARTING LINEUP

POS. HT. CLASS KEY STAT

SF Chris Jefferies 6'8" Fr. 22.0 ppg*
PF [**]Derek Hood 6'8" Sr. 6.1 rpg
C Jason Jennings 7'0" So. 51.0 FG%
SG [**]Pat Bradley 6'2" Sr. 14.8 ppg
PG [**]Kareem Reid 5'10" Sr. 11.9 ppg

'97-98 record: 24-9 Final rank (coaches' poll): No. 22
[**]Returning starter *ppg as high school senior