There’s No Place Like Home

They say you can’t go home again, and at this point, Coach John Pelphrey is very glad the cliché doesn’t hold true in the middle of a college basketball season.  Pelphrey hasn’t exactly been wildly successful at Bud Walton Arena, but in comparison to his road record, he’s practically Afghanistan in terms of protecting his home.

Pelphrey’s Razorback teams are now 4-23 in his tenure in road conference games, including losses in 22 of the previous 24 contests.  His 4 wins away from home in the SEC were over LSU and Auburn during his first season, and Georgia and Mississippi last season.  Those 4 teams were a combined 62-61 overall in the seasons Arkansas beat them, and only last year’s Rebels finished with more than 6 conference victories (out of 16).  None of them made the NCAA tournament.

Outside of conference play, the Hogs under Coach Pelphrey are 2-4 in true road games.  The wins came over a South Alabama team Pelphrey himself had built, and Baylor in Pelphrey’s first year with a Razorback team he did not himself build.

John Pelphrey finds himself walking a thin line these days.  He has a monster recruiting class coming in, and a fan base which seems less than united in seeing him coach that class.  There is speculation that Pelphrey has some additional wiggle room to grow on the job due to the commitment of resources to the football program, and this may be true.  But nobody who loses 10 out of every 11 road games in their conference can stay employed forever.  If John Pelphrey wishes to find out how well he can win on the road with the highly hyped high schoolers he has recruited for next year, he needs to find a way to win on the road with the players he has recruited for this year.

Luckily, The Razorbacks and Pelphrey return home tonight to play Auburn at 8:00 PM on ESPNU.

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