Posted: April 9, 2007 in Uncategorized

The following is a public service provided for all Arkansas Razorback fans – information about brand new head men’s basketball coach, John Pelphrey:

* Many of you will remember Pelphrey as that annoyingly good red-head on Pitino’s Kentucky teams in the early ’90s (picture above against LSU in ’91 – notice Shaq with hair on the right) that played against our May-Day (and Big “O”) teams.

* Pelphrey has the good-and-bad distinction of playing in the classic Elite Eight battle against Duke in 1992. The good being that it is one of the all-time classic college basketball games. The bad is that he was one of the two guys standing close to Christian Laettner when he hit the stinking shot at the buzzer to win the game.

* Pelphrey played for both Pitino and Eddie Sutton at Kentucky, which set up his coaching career. He coached under Sutton at Oklahoma State, then under Pitino-apprentice, Billy Donovan, at both Marshall and Florida (and just for kicks, I’d like to point out that Billy Donovan called ME when I was coaching high school about my point guard, Rob Shaver, who just discovered this blog a few days ago. Donovan was a Kentucky assistant at the time, and he then contacted me again when he moved to Marshall, where he hired Pelphrey as an assistant).

* Pelphrey left Florida in 2002 to be the head coach at the University of South Alabama, which is about 45 minutes from my house (this fact being important, of course). He led the Jaguars to the NCAA tourney the year before last where they ironically lost to Florida, but the Jags were upset this year in the conference tourney by Middle Tennessee State in an overtime thriller.

* In high school, Pelphrey was Mr. Basketball in Kentucky, no small feat.

* Pelphrey’s jersey was retired at the University of Kentucky.

* Billy Donovan said this about Pelphrey: “John Pelphrey is a phenomenal coach, and I think people realize and respect that, but he’s an even better person. He understands about developing student-athletes as people, not just as players. John sets the highest standards in values and integrity and instills these values in the young men he teaches. His work ethic and passion have made him a success at every level of basketball, from a player to an assistant to the transition to a head coach.”

* Rick Pitino said this about Pelphrey: “John Pelphrey was one of the most intelligent players that I have ever coached. His leadership on the court has carried over to the sidelines. As a coach, he is one of the brightest young stars in our game.”

To tell the truth, I hated to see Stan Heath forced out. But I have to say that the choice of John Pelphrey looks to be a good one. Here’s hoping that the boosters will treat him better than his predecessor.

Go Hogs Go!!!


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