I get Arkansas has already faced some of the elite in the SEC so far, but I’d really like to know what the plan was for Hog Hoops today. Today featured another slow start. Kermit Davis’ team had a great plan. Hogs look confused, not physical enough at both ends (points in the paint 44-28 to Ole Miss, rebounding 40-31 to Ole Miss). What I question five games into the conference slate is the Razorbacks’ identity. What is the approach? Just speed teams up, force lopsided numbers in turnovers, points off turnovers and hope you shoot the ball well? Didn’t happen again…today.
My point is, this team (I know, I know, it’s young, we hear it all the time)…doesn’t have contingencies. There isn’t enough there to win halfcourt battles. The Rebels clamped down on Daniel Gafford over and over again and he wasn’t strong enough with the ball. Finally, he was not in foul trouble in an SEC Game today, but wasn’t a factor. In Gafford’s defense, where was Reggie Chaney? Or Adrio Bailey? And what a bizarre box score. Gabe Osabuohien, 2nd on the team in scoring today with 13. Keyshawn Embery-Simpson leads with 16. Isaiah Joe had 11. They obviously need help from Desi Sills & Jalen Harris and there wasn’t much there outside of Harris’ seven assists, but wow, you can really tell how much Mason Jones will impact this team positively or negatively. Jones only 1-10 from the field today.
Ole Miss is impressive, has veteran guards & enough in the post to make a run. But it’s just a frustrating time for Hog Hoops. Outside of an 8-0 run early 2nd Half today, there wasn’t much to get excited about if you’re a Hog Fan. I can still see Arkansas improve by February, but can the Hogs improve enough to counter a 1-3-1 or 2-3 zone, for example, consistently? Can they win on the boards when they don’t shoot well (some guys simply still fail to put a body on somebody when a shot goes up). And can they shore up enough defensive deficiencies (i.e. help comes, they switch, but help for the helper comes too late)?
Arkansas lacks grit & composure, but I think the Hogs’ effort will return. My bigger question is…can they make the necessary adjustments?