The Arkansas Razorbacks basketball team represents the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas, United States in NCAA Division I men's basketball competition. The school's team currently competes in the Southeastern Conference. The team last played in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in 2015. They lost in the third round to the University of North Carolina.
The basketball team plays its home games in Bud Walton Arena on the University of Arkansas campus. Under the coaching leadership of Nolan Richardson, the Hogs won the national championship in 1994, defeating Duke, and appeared in the championship game the following year, but were beaten by UCLA. The Razorbacks have made NCAA Final Four appearances in 1941, 1945, 1978, 1990, 1994, and 1995.
Arkansas had a relatively late start in basketball; it did not field its first team in the sport until 1924. Francis Schmidt coached the Razorbacks from the 1924 season until the 1929 season, while also coaching the football and baseball teams. During this time, Arkansas finished first in the Southwest Conference four out of six years, and compiled an overall record of 113-17, which, at .869, is the highest winning percentage of any Arkansas coach ever.
In the 1930 season, Charles Bassett took over as head coach. He would coach until the 1933 season. Arkansas finished first in the Southwest Conference during his first year, but would not finish above third place for the rest of his reign. After 4 seasons, his overall record was 62-29.
Glen Rose took over in the 1934 season and would leave after the 1942 season. The Razorbacks took first place in the Southwest Conference outright three times and tied for first twice more during this nine-year run. In the 1941 season, Rose led Arkansas to the NCAA Final Four.
Eugene Lambert took the helm for the 1943 season and would last until the 1949 season. During these four seasons, Arkansas tied for first place of the Southwest conference twice. Arkansas was selected for the NCAA tournament in the 1944 season, but had to withdraw after two of their players were involved in a car accident. The next year they were selected again and would make it to the Final Four. They would not make the tournament again, however until the 1949 season when they reached the NCAA Regional. Lambert's final record was 113-22.
Presley Askew would take over in 1950 and would only last until 1952. Arkansas would tie for first place in the Southwest conference in his first season, but would get progressively worse. The Razorbacks would not make the NCAA tournament during this tenure. His combined record was 35-37.
Glen Rose would take back over in 1953 and would last until 1966. He would not achieve the success he had during his previous run, with the only real success being in the 1958 season, where Arkansas tied for first place of the Southwest conference and would reach the NCAA Regional. Rose's overall record for his time at Arkansas was 325-204.
Duddy Waller would become head coach for the 1966-67 season, but only lasted until the 1970-71 season. His overall record during his 4 seasons was 31-64, which was the worst overall winning percentage, at 0.326, of any Arkansas basketball coach. Waller was replaced by Lanny Van Eman, who lasted from the 1970-71 season through the 1973-74 season. Van Eman finished his career at Arkansas with a 48-56 record. Arkansas failed to finish above second place under during the tenure of these 2 coaches, and would not receive any invitations to the NCAA tournament.
Eddie Sutton would become head coach for the 1974-75 season and would stay through the 1984-85 season. During these eleven seasons, Arkansas would finish in first or tied for first of the Southwest Conference four times. After two unsuccessful seasons, the Razorbacks would be invited to the NCAA tournament during every season of his tenure. The most successful season was 1978 where they would reach the Final Four. Sutton finished with a 260-75 overall record at Arkansas.
Nolan Richardson took over for the 1985-86 season and lasted until 2002, when he was fired for controversial remarks. The Razorbacks finished first in the Southwest Conference three times. Arkansas joined the Southeastern Conference for the 1991 season and would win the regular season conference championship in 1992 and 1994, and would win the SEC Western Division title in 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1995. The Razorbacks would also win the 2000 SEC Tournament championship. Arkansas made the NCAA tournament thirteen times during Richardson's seventeen seasons, and made the Final Four during the 1990, 1994 and 1995 season. They won their first National Championship in 1994. The next season, they returned to the Championship game and finished as runner-up, losing to UCLA. Richardson was fired in 2002 after making controversial public statements against the university and then-athletic director Frank Broyles. Assistant coach Mike Anderson coached the rest of the season, going 1-1. Richardson holds the school record for most wins by a head coach, with an overall record of 389-169. Between the 1989-1990 season and 1995-1996 season, Arkansas won more games than any other school in the nation.
Stan Heath would take over for the 2002-03 season and would last through the 2006-07 season. During his five seasons, Arkansas would not be able to enjoy the success that they achieved under Richardson. They would not finish above third place in the Western division of the Southeastern conference. They were invited to the NCAA tournament for his final two seasons, although they were eliminated in the first round both times. Heath's final record was 82-70.
John Pelphrey was hired as the head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks on Monday, April 9, 2007. He was hired after Dana Altman accepted the job and resigned within a day. Arkansas went 23-12 in Pelphrey's first season, defeating Indiana by 14 points in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before being put away by overall #1 seed North Carolina in the second round. The Razorbacks had an SEC regular season record of 9-7. In his second year, John Pelphrey’s team struggled in conference play after starting the season 12-1 in non-conference games with two notable wins over the nationally ranked Oklahoma Sooners (#4) and the Texas Longhorns (#7). Conference wins were few and far between giving the Razorbacks a final conference record of 2-14. On March 13, 2011 John Pelphrey was dismissed as the head coach of the Razorbacks after an 18-13 season despite an impressive incoming recruiting class.
On March 23, 2011, Mike Anderson signed a 7-year contract with Arkansas. Anderson previously coached the UAB Blazers and Missouri Tigers, and was an assistant coach at Arkansas under Coach Nolan Richardson for 17 years. On March 26, 2011, he was introduced in front of 5,000 fans in Bud Walton Arena. He also threw the first pitch at a Razorback Baseball game later that afternoon. After finishing 18-14 and 19-13 in his first two seasons respectively, and missing out on post-season play, Anderson led the Hogs to a 22-12 record in his third year (2013-2014) as head coach, defeating Indiana State in the first round of the NIT Tournament, before losing to the University of California in round two. It was Arkansas' first postseason appearance since 2008. Anderson is the first head coach in Arkansas history to win 18 or more games in each of his first three years. After breaking their 7 year drought they advanced to the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball tournament in 2015, but finished 16-16 in 2016 and did not qualify for the post season.
The Razorbacks have appeared in the NCAA Tournament 30 times. Their combined record is 41–30. They were National Champions in 1994.
The Razorbacks have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) three times. Their combined record is 5–4.Mike Anderson – Head Coach
Melvin Watkins – Associate Head Coach
Scotty Thurman -- Assistant Coach
T.J. Cleveland – Assistant Coach
R. C. Pitts