Papa Bret getting some fatherhood preparation with his Arkansas team
With your bacon, have some Hogs for Breakfast. It’s SEC Country’s weekday column and roundup on all things Arkansas. Opinion, numbers, inane babble and more! And now with ironic exclamation points. There is no place like it on the Web.
Bret Bielema will become a father soon. His wife, Jen, is due to have the couple’s first child this summer.
In the meantime, the Arkansas coach is getting in some fatherly discipline. Bielema executed 2 dad-isms over the last week or so.
First, he eased off the punishment for Razorbacks guard Johnny Gibson because of Gibson’s athletic ability. Gibson, just over a week ago, Bielema said, wouldn’t be practicing with the first team this spring. The former walk-on was being punished for an undisclosed violation.
That was the case for about 2 weeks. Jake Raulerson, who was Arkansas’ starter at right guard for the first half of last season before being replaced by Gibson, returned to his old duties. Raulerson saw all the first-team reps at the team’s first scrimmage 9 ago.
Then came the second scrimmage. Gibson was back.
How about that?
Our Jason Kersey goes deeper into the whole thing here. And, to me, it seemed a lot like a couple years ago when Ricky Town arrived. All the talk about how comfortable Arkansas was with its quarterbacks and, ta-da, Town is on the roster.
That wasn’t it, though.
The juxtaposition of the two words alone is odd. A “timeout” is, by definition, something of a mild punishment for an offense. I put my 3-year-old in timeout.
Extreme, by definition, is excessive. Above and beyond.
Whatever it is, it’s where Arkansas punter Blake Johnson is after drawing Bielema’s ire this past week. Johnson, Bielema said, tweaked his ankle doing something non-football related. The first-team punter — the only punter on the roster — is out until he can prove himself trustworthy to Bielema and the staff.
I’m sure he will be sooner rather than later, a la Gibson.
It’s a similar situation, really, to what Adam McFain went through a couple years ago. The former Arkansas kicker was the primary kickoff man and was in good shape to perhaps win place-kicking duties when he was injured playing disc golf. McFain was 7 of 10 on field goals and had 45 kickoffs in 2015, his sophomore season. His junior year: 2 kickoffs, no field goals attempted. And he was, as far as we were told, healthy all season.
But that was with Cole Hedlund playing relatively well in his stead. Johnson doesn’t have a backup. Not right now. Austin Allen was listed as the backup punter behind the now-exited Toby Baker at season’s end. Curious to see how long this lasts.
So, it was a good week for ex-Razorbacks, eh?
All 3 former Arkansas basketball players made the NBA playoffs. Patrick Beverly and the Rockets smoked Oklahoma City by 31 points. Bobby Portis and the Bulls upset Boston in Game 1 (with Portis having a monster game). And Joe Johnson went ahead and made the game-winner for Utah on Saturday.
First came Joe’s.
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) April 16, 2017
Bobby Portis had no fear in his first career playoff game pic.twitter.com/JMYbWByua1
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) April 17, 2017
And Pat’s step-back 3.
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) April 17, 2017
On top of that, Boston outfielder Andrew Benintendi had a lovely Easter, going 3 for 5 with 2 doubles and 2 runs scored against Tampa Bay.
Starting Friday, the weekly #ProHogs update will return with complete stats for all former Arkansas ballers in MLB and the NBA. Enjoy.
Walk-off winners against the No. 5 team in the country
Arkansas softball has come a long way.
The Razorbacks beat fifth-ranked Texas A&M in dramatic fashion on Easter afternoon at Bogle Park. Trailing by a run in the bottom of the seventh (the final inning, for the uninitiated), Arkansas scored 2 to win, 4-3.
"The fight on this team is so much fun to watch."
— Razorback Softball (@RazorbackSB) April 16, 2017
Texas A&M had taken the 3-2 lead just the half-inning before. Arkansas was ahead 2-0 from the fifth before the Aggies plated 3 in the seventh.
Tori Cooper tied things with a 2-out single to left and Ashley Diaz followed 2 batters later with her walk-off hit.
Arkansas sits 12th in the SEC after the victory. It may not sound like much, but the Razorbacks won a total of 1 conference game in 2016 and 2015.
The Arkansas baseball team swept Georgia at Baum Stadium this weekend. Now, the Razorbacks sit alone atop the entire SEC, East or West. Dave Van Horn’s bunch heads to Auburn, which is just a game back, next weekend.
Other than Gibson back with the 1s, plenty more was noticeable at Arkansas’ second spring scrimmage, our Trent Shadid writes. By the way, it’s the last scrimmage — probably — until the Red-White Spring Game on Saturday, April 29.
(Former?) Arkansas guards Daryl Macon and Jaylen Barford declared for the NBA draft on Saturday. Neither will hire an agent, according to a press release from the athletic department. That means they can come back if they remove their names from consideration by May 24. Things got somewhat dramatic that Saturday night when Macon tweeted a thank-you note, then deleted it.
Skip Breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important. Catch up with previous versions here.