Arkansas Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Arkansas Razorbacks
SEC (26-8, 13-5)


Eventually Arkansas solidified themselves as the second best team in the SEC. The Razorbacks seemed to be in a big group of teams behind Kentucky for most of the 2014-2015 campaign, but a great February left no doubt that Coach Mike Anderson had his team ready to go. Arkansas won their first seven games of that month, including wins against some good teams like Ole Miss and Texas A&M. They had to travel to Kentucky on the 28th, which did not go so well, but beating Kentucky was probably never going to happen.

Big Wins: 11/25 at SMU (78-72), 12/13 Dayton (69-55), 2/14 at Mississippi (71-70)
Bad Losses: 12/7 at Clemson (65-68), 1/13 at Tennessee (69-74), 1/31 at Florida (56-57)
Coach: Mike Anderson

Why They Can Surprise:
Like any Coach Anderson team, Arkansas scores a lot of points, takes very good care of the ball and plays aggressive defense. The scoring is led by Bobby Portis and Michael Qualls. Portis, a 6-11 sophomore, leads the team with 17.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. He is a great athlete for a player of his size and has some very good post moves. Arkansas will get production from Portis every day. Qualls, a 6-6 wing, picked up right where he left off during his breakout sophomore season, averaging 15.5 points per game. He is a highlight reel type of player who can get up and down the floor in a hurry. Speaking of getting up and down the floor in a hurry, Rashad Madden is one of the more underappreciated point guards in the country. The team’s leading scorer a season ago, Madden knows how to score despite his decreased scoring production this year. He is concentrating on his job of getting Portis and Qualls the ball in good scoring position and keeping the turnovers down. He does both amazingly well.

Why They Can Disappoint:
The aggressive defense leads to quite a few steals, but it also leads to foul trouble and easy buckets for the opposition. Foul trouble could be the biggest problem. Traditionally, Coach Anderson wants to have a lot of quality depth to rotate players and keep the defensive intensity up. Reaching down the bench this season is a bit more risky. While this team will still go nine or ten deep and anybody playing over 30 minutes in a contest is rare, there is a significant drop-off in talent after Madden, Qualls and Portis. Not playing any one of those three for a few minutes here or there could swing momentum the wrong way and in the NCAA Tournament and one little swing could make all of the difference.

Probable Starters:
Rashad Madden, Senior, Guard, 9.7 ppg, 4.5 apg
Anton Beard, Freshman, Guard, 6.0 ppg, 1.6 apg
Michael Qualls, Junior, Guard, 15.5 ppg, 1.6 apg, 5.3 rpg
Alandise Harris, Senior, Forward, 7.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.0 bpg
Bobby Portis, Sophomore, Forward, 17.5 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.4 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Anthlon Bell, Junior, Guard, 8.0 ppg, 1.4 apg
Moses Kingsley, Sophomore, Forward, 3.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.1 bpg
Manuale Watkins, Sophomore, Guard, 2.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg
Jacorey Williams, Junior, Forward, 5.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 79.0 (10th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.5 (279, 13)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.0 (92, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.5 (200, 12)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.9 (110, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.6 (112, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.9 (76, 3)
Rebound Margin: 0.8 (159, 11)
Assists Per Game: 16.8 (7, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.7 (86, 3)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2014    NIT    First Round win over Indiana State
2014    NIT    Second Round loss to California
2008    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Indiana
2008    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to North Carolina
2007    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to USC
2006    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Bucknell
2001    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Georgetown
2000    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Miami

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules