Being expats, we were unable to attend Friday night's Red-White basketball game. However, like last year, we were able to persuade CharlieHog, proprietor of the excellent HogNation site and the terrific new RazorbackNine baseball blog (and perhaps most importantly, our very first commenter), to file an eyewitness report. Many thanks, Charlie. The floor is now yours:
Here are my quick thoughts on the Red/White scrimmage. Obviously there isn't much to report from 20 minutes of play.
• The arena is weird, sort of jarringly different. Press row is behind the home basket, the student seating now consists of benches, and the new luxury seats are in. Of course the mid-court logo is now the "helmet" Hog. The ribbon boards have not been installed yet. The "bone/popcorn" Hog logo has been removed from the scoreboard. Only helmet Hogs to be seen everywhere.
• The band is under new direction. It's the guy that always led the band at women's events. Sorry I don't know his name. They sounded great, though.
• Courtney Fortson wasn't there. I don't know why.
• Rotnei Clarke can definitely shoot the three. He made 12 in the 3-point contest held between the women's and men's scrimmages and hit his first four three-pointers in the scrimmage itself.
• Stefan Welsh is noticeably bigger, and Michael Washington also looks to be in great shape.
• Physically, Brandon Moore looks exactly like Sonny Weems to me.
• Overall, the team seems to be very long and athletic, even if they do lack height.
• Michael Sanchez is very physical.
• Montrell McDonald played well and stood out.
Overall that's about it. The defense looked pretty tight. The guys played hard. I'm not sure how many games we'll win (since it's October I'll say all of them - ha) but the potential is there, and I believe in Coach Pelphrey's ability to get them playing as a team and improving over the course of the season.
Attendance was OK. I'd guess around 5,000 to 6,000.
(more at www.razorbackexpats.com)