Todd Day Disappointed He’s Still Not a Hogs Assistant

“I am a little salty that I’m not on the Razorbacks staff.”

Todd Day, the University of Arkansas’ three-time All-American, recently opened up to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette about his desire to be an assistant in the Hogs’ basketball program. I spoke to Day right after Mike Anderson was hired as the Hogs’ head basketball coach in 2011, and even then he was excited about the chance of one day soon joining Anderson’s staff.

As an assistant to Nolan Richardson, Anderson had recruited Day out of Memphis in 1988. Day joined fellow stars Oliver Miller and Lee Mayberry to help lead Arkansas to the 1990 Final Four while finishing his career two years later as the program’s all-time leading scorer. At the time I spoke to Day about coaching with Arkansas, he had two years of experience as the head coach of Memphis Academy of Health and Sciences.

Since then, Day’s padded his resume by coaching three more years at Memphis Academy, then coaching his alma mater Memphis Hamilton for a couple years (he won a state championship) and coaching Team Penny on the AAU circuit (where I spoke to him about Malik Monk).

Along the way, Day talked to Mike Anderson at various times about assistant jobs, he told the Democrat-Gazette’s Troy Schulte. The conversations never led anywhere. “I am a little salty that I’m not on the Razorbacks staff,” Day told Schulte. “It’s my school. Those are my guys. Coach A is my guy. I’m not salty at them. I’m just salty at the situation.”

That’s a helluva lotta sodium chloride, folks. I sure hope he’s drinking plenty of fluids with it.

One thing Day doesn’t mention, but may also add salt to the situation, is the fact that Lee Mayberry is on the Razorbacks staff as a “special assistant” to Mike Anderson despite the fact he has less varied coaching experience than Day. Mayberry, a former NBA scout, had coached an AAU team in Tulsa since 2000, but apparently hadn’t coached high school basketball like Day has.

Day’s Coaching Career

  • Arkansas Impact (2008)
  • Memphis Academy of Health and Sciences (2009-2014)
  • Memphis Hamilton High School (2014-2016)
  • Philander Smith (2016-present)

It should be emphasized that Day has always spoken very highly of his friend Mayberry. It’s pure speculation on my part Day may feel a little extra salty he hasn’t been able to carve out a spot on the Razorbacks staff in light of the fact Mayberry has become a special assistant to Anderson. I have never spoken to Day or anybody on the Razorback staff about this.

Day is currently coaching at Philander Smith College in Little Rock. His stepfather, Ted Anderson, advised him to use the NAIA school as a springboard to bigger college positions.

Anderson said he told Day: “Build that program right there, take that from ground zero and take it as high as you can take it. Do it with class and dignity, and you’ll be recognized for it.” For now, Day’s invested in his Philander Smith team, which sits at 9-9. He told Schulte last summer he even turned down an interview for an assistant spot on the staff of Tulane, where his former Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Dunleavy, Sr. now coaches.

Will Day one day get his dream of a Razorback coaching spot?

That’s unknown.

What is known is that any coaching position with the Razorbacks basketball program is, on the whole, losing prestige year by year. That trend was hammered home in a 28-point loss on the road yesterday to a 2-6 conference Oklahoma State team. The Hogs had few excuses. They were playing at full strength health wise and coming off 4 straight SEC wins. They should played better, and with more effort and have been competitive. Instead, they produced a lackluster, sloppy, uncoordinated defensive effort that resulted in the Cowboys repeatedly shredding them from the outside and getting to the basket on open drives seemingly at will.

Whenever Arkansas’ foe has a top-flight point guard, and the game is on a neutral or away court, these eviscerations happen with alarming predictability. They are, in part, the result of poor execution on defensive switching — or, rather, the lack of any plan whatsoever on how to guard perimeter pick and roll action.

That lack of planning is an indictment of the Razorbacks’ coaching staff. If Day one day officially interviews for his dream job, he needs to make his former coach uncomfortable by pointing out the oversights which have hurt the brand of the program he had a hand in building.

 

UCA women seek to avenge men’s Philander Smith loss

A shot at redemption bounces UCA's way

On November 16, the UCA Bears fell to an NAIA team, 97-90.

When it comes to low points of a nascent head coaching career, it will be hard to top this one for Corliss Williamson, the former Razorbacks star now entering the conference portion of his second year at the helm of a Division I school.

“Philander Smith had a great game,” says UCA Sugar Bear Megan Herbert, who attended the game. “They outplayed us, they outhustled us, they basically outworked us. Nothing against the men’s team, but Philander wanted to win that game.”

If there is any silver lining in that loss for UCA athletics, it reminds the women’s team to not take any win for granted. Instead, it motivates the reigning Southland Conference player of the year: “The men shouldn’t have lost that game, and now that we get to play them, we shouldn’t lose. So, I think there’s inspiration to go out there and show them really what UCA basketball is all about.”

After losing to Philander, the Bears won five consecutive game, then lost four in a row. At times, its young players seem to be auditioning for the lead roles in a Southland Conference Theatre rendition of “Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde.”

The women have been more consistent. They have lost only three games and only one of those losses (UMKC – Summit League) came against a team that wasn’t from a high D1 conference. In order for the Sugar Bears to take another step toward becoming a mid-major power, the program must win a Southland Conference and advance to the NCAA Touranment.
For that to happen, it needs to build momentum throughout the conference schedule.

That means, like in the past couple seasons, consistently winning at home – by springing upsets against the likes of Alabama and Indiana … and avoiding them against the Philander Smiths of the world.

Exacting revenge against Philander is “in our head,” says freshman Sharlay Burris. “We owe them one.”

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   Faulkner County may be a dry county, but wet’s the word on the video room wall of its best women’s basketball team.
There, on a board, Sugar Bear coaches lay out goals for their players and their chart progress on a game-to-game basis. Raindrops signify a goal was accomplished, while writing in black means the goal was nearly done.  The numbers in red mean there was a lot of work left undone.