Arkansas Athletics/courtesy
Arkansas baseball coach Dave Van Horn introduced his new assistant Wednesday

Busy day: Nate Thompson introduced, Patrick Beverly traded, Dusty Hannahs goes pro

Eric Bolin

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.

Nate Thompson was thrown to the wolves, er, Arkansas media, on Wednesday. The Diamond Hogs hitting coach and recruiting coordinator was in town just over a week after his hire. Thompson had been put to work quickly as he was out on the road recruiting.

“I’m really excited about working with the hitters here,” Thompson said. “All the guys coming back and the great talent coming in. Tony [Vitello] did a great job with recruiting and getting a lot of very talented hitters. That was a big thing for me. Just being able to see them up close and compete against them over the last few years, very excited about it.”

arkansas-arkansas baseball-luke bonfield
Arkansas outfielder Luke Bonfield is back for his senior season and will be under the watchful eye of new hitting coach Nate Thompson. (Arkansas Athletics/courtesy)

Thompson came from Missouri State and was hired just days after the Bears’ season ended. Arkansas head man Dave Van Horn knew he wanted Thompson almost immediately after Tony Vitello left to become Tennessee head coach. It was just a matter of Missouri State being eliminated from the NCAA Tournament … after they eliminated Arkansas.

From initial conversation to hire took less than a week. Now Thompson has to meet his players, many of whom are around northwest Arkansas, but several of whom are out playing summer league ball across the country.

“It’s all about run production. Whether it’s us driving the ball or just finding a way to compete, grind and get on-base, I don’t care. My style is to try to exploit each guy’s strengths and really help them understand what they do well as a player and how they can fit into a good role for themselves and us as a team to score runs.”

Best Arkansas pro basketballer is on the move

Joe Johnson is the icon. Patrick Beverly is the best active former Hogs baller.

Beverly has new digs now, too, after he was traded Wednesday from the Houston Rockets to the Los Angeles Clippers. He’s joined by Sam Dekker, Lou Williams and a 2018 first-round pick. Headed to the Rockets is perennial All-Star Chris Paul.

Beverly is a first-team All-NBA Defensive team player and just won the league’s inaugural Hustle Award. And, yes, that’s a real thing. You can read about it here.

One the NBA’s best defenders — maybe the best defender on the perimeter – Beverly started 67 last year for the Rockets and averaged 9.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

ICYMI

  • Former Arkansas left-hander Drew Smyly has had a bad go recently. Smyly, in his first year with Seatle, is now out for the year and potentially longer after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Smyly was hurt near the end of spring training and just had a setback in his recovery.
  • Dusty Hannahs is going pro. The leading scorer for the Arkansas basketball team last year has signed a deal to play in Poland. Hannahs will join AZS Koszalin for the 2017-18 season. He averaged 14.4 points per game last year and finished his Arkansas career with 1,047 points, the 41st player in school history to eclipse 1,000 career points and fifth to do it in two seasons.

Yee-Haw! Today in Arkansas

“Oh my goodness. Freedom!” is easily my favorite quote this year.

The act had already happened before in my home state. Never thought it would be the same guy again. But …

The Capitol in Little Rock had just put up a privately-funded 10 Commandments monument. Like, the thing was up for less than 24 hours. Michael Tate Reed destroyed it by running it over with his car. A Facebook video, apparently filmed by Reed, shows the act.

Reed had done the same to a monument in Oklahoma back in 2014. When that state tried to put up a replacement, the Oklahoma Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional.

Reed, who’s family says has a personality disorder, is facing charges of  defacing an object of public interest, criminal trespassing and criminal mischief.

via GIPHY

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