Photo Credit: SEC Network/ESPN Photo Credit: SEC Network/ESPN

John Calipari had his introductory press conference on Wednesday. And while he certainly had a lot of optimism in his voice, Calipari conveyed that rebuilding Arkansas’ men’s basketball team will be a journey.

In talking about what he’s inheriting with the Razorbacks, Calipari made it known that the cupboard is pretty bare. He did so in no uncertain terms.

“You know what? I’m jacked about another opportunity. I’m like, ‘Let’s go,'” Calipari said. Things then took a hard shift.

“Now, I met with the team. There is no team.”

Calipari’s comments inspired eye rolls and laughter alike.

Tramon Mark and Trevon Brazile both recently declared their intentions to leave the Arkansas program, as they will enter the transfer portal and NBA Draft, respectively. They were the final two scholarship players left from the 2023-24 team. Of course, Arkansas has its own targets in the transfer portal. Calipari also noted that some of the players entering the draft might still return to college. With that, rebuilding the team might take longer than normal.

If there’s something Calipari has proven he can do in recent years, it’s rebuild a team on the fly. A frequent talking point of both Calipari and college basketball commentators was the youth of his Kentucky teams.

Arkansas had a down year in Eric Musselman’s final year leading the program before going to USC. The Razorbacks went 16-17 overall, 6-12 in the SEC and missed the NCAA Tournament. The previous three seasons at Arkansas were all productive, as the Razorbacks made two trips to the Elite Eight and another to the Sweet 16.

[Photo Credit: SEC Network/ESPN]

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