#37 Arkansas Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Arkansas Razorbacks

Overall Rank: #37
Conference Rank: #7 SEC
#37 Arkansas Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview
Arkansas Team Page


A new era begins in 2014 for the Arkansas women's basketball program as athletic director Jeff Long went outside the box and hired Jimmy Dykes to take over the women's basketball program in Fayetteville. Dykes was a long-time analyst for ESPN and has not been a head coach in women’s college basketball in his career. However, does have plenty of previous experience in coaching and scouting working for the likes of Eddie Sutton. This hire will be an interesting one to see if it pans out for Dykes starting in year one.

2013-14 Record: 19-11, 6-10
2013-14 Postseason: None
Coach: Jimmy Dykes
Coach Record: 0-0 at Arkansas, 0-0 overall

This Razorback team was outstanding defensively last season as they only allowed 54.1 points per game. They also limited opposing teams to just 38.6 percent shooting from the field as well. This ability to defend at a high level will ease the transition for Coach Dykes as he establishes his program in year one. Another huge strength of this Arkansas team is its experience that is returning in 2014-15. Sophomore Forward Jessica Jackson leads the way as she scored 16.2 points per game and can beat you from the inside or the perimeter without any problem.  Calli Berna is going to provide very important stability in the backcourt with her senior leadership for the Razorbacks. Also, this Arkansas team did a nice job last season of taking care of the basketball as they only turned the ball over just over 13 times per game.

Arkansas is going to have to be more efficient at the offensive end of the floor. If they can elevate their free-throw percentage to well over 70 percent that will help them a great them in close games. They also need to be a little more dynamic from the perimeter and force teams defensively to sag down in the paint to try and take away Jackson and Bowen. If Mackenzie Adams and Calli Berna can push their scoring average into double figures then the Razorbacks should be fine and win 20 games this season.

Final Projection:
Arkansas is going to be very battle tested in the non-conference portion of its schedule. They have a return trip to Middle Tennessee State on November 20th. Fortunately, the rest of the tough matchups for the Razorbacks in the non-conference schedule are not in hostile locations with Iowa in Las Vegas, Rutgers at home, and Oklahoma in North Little Rock. In regard to the conference schedule Arkansas will be tested right out of the gate with home matchups with Texas A&M and Tennessee in early January. If the Razorbacks can find a way to hang on and make it to back part of February with a shot at 20 wins. The schedule lines up with several resume building games at home against South Carolina, LSU, and Kentucky all in a row. There is plenty of experience returning for Arkansas this season the key is going to be finding a way to get to at least 8-8 in conference play in order to make it to the postseason.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
McKenzie Adams, Sophomore, Guard, 8.6 points per game
Calli Berna, Senior, Guard, 7.0 points per game
Kelsey Brooks, Sophomore, Guard, 6.4 points per game
Jessica Jackson,Sophomore, Forward, 16.2 points per game
Jhasmin Bowen, Senior, Forward, 8.8 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 66.6 (191st in nation, 11th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 54.1 (3, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.1 (136, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.0 (64, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.9 (114, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.8 (45, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.5 (194, 8)
Rebound Margin: 1.0 (149, 11)
Assists Per Game: 15.1 (69, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.2 (36, 1)


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