Sully Says: Rollin' with Nolan in 2017
When we drove up to his ranch, Nolan Richardson was putting a golf club back in the trunk of his car. Golf has always been a passion for the Hall of Fame coach.
It's been 15 years since he coached the Hogs, and these days he's about 15 pounds lighter. He looks great for someone in their 70's (he wouldn't share his age).
Spending an hour or so with the coach is as good as it gets for someone who followed just about every dribble of his historic run as coach of the Hogs.
Nolan moves a bit slower these days, but his memory is razor sharp.
Coach still maintains that his 1990 team was his most talented team, but praised the toughness of that National Championship team. Nolan said that team featured a lot of "dogs." Players like Corey Beck, Clint McDaniel and Corliss Williamson who wouldn't back down to any opponent at any time.
There is no coach-coach relationship stronger than Nolan's bond with Mike Anderson. Nolan shared a story of Mike Anderson, the tenacious 5'10" college guard. Nolan said during one practice, a 6'8" forward elbowed Mike. Following a second elbow from the big man, little Mike went "Mike Tyson" and decked the forward.
His love for Hog fans remains strong. Nolan said they made everyone better. He said Arkansas may not have the biggest fan base, but he believes it is among the most fanatical. He has great memories of the way fans followed his Hogs around the country during their many tourney runs.
As for this 2017 Hog team, Nolan said they could have a special season if they step it up on the defensive end. He thinks freshman Daniel Gafford is the best big man at Arkansas since Oliver Miller. Nolan loves the way Gafford runs the floor.
Bring up a name or a game from the Razorback past, and Coach will entertain you.
We could have listened to Coach for hours.
We will have a nice segment on Nolan during our annual Razorback Hoop Special Friday from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on KATV. You will also hear from Mike Anderson; SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey; former Hogs Pat Bradley and Blake Eddins; and Kyle Deckelbaum will have a must-see segment on Razorback senior Dustin Thomas.